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Value of Collections to Businesses & Communities

Recovering Assets

Bringing our Expertise to Your Business


Businesses, large and small, benefit from third-party debt collection because debt recoveries help them keep costs down and reduce their risk of financial insolvency and bankruptcy that may be triggered by unrecovered bad debt. According to a 2020 study conducted by Kaulkin Ginsberg, agencies recovered $90.1 billion in total debt in 2019.

There are 124,000 employees in the collection industry. U.S. debt collection agencies support the indirect and induced employment of more than 95,100 individuals in industries that sell goods and services to debt collection agencies and their employees. Considering both the direct and indirect economic impacts of the debt collection industry, the total employment impact on the U.S. is nearly 230,000 jobs with a total payroll impact of $12.4 billion.
Debt collection agencies were estimated to directly contribute $1.1 billion of federal tax and $106 million of state tax. Taxes attributable to the operations of debt collection agencies, employees, suppliers, and businesses that sell to employees total over $2.6 billion - approximately 10% of the estimated total economic impact of the debt collection industry. Of the $2.6 billion total estimated total tax impact, 51% is estimated to be federal tax (corporate and individual income taxes), and 49% is estimated to be state and local taxes.

ACA International is excited to release results of the 2017 Ernst & Young survey which provides an in-depth overview of the economic importance of the third-party debt collection industry on the U.S. and individual state economies.

Based on data from 2016, the report details the industry’s contribution to employment, asset recovery, and other fiscal categories. Since 2013, the last year a similar survey was conducted, the amount of debt collected has increased by 42 percent, which translates to a return of $67.6 billion to creditors in 2016.

“This survey proves what ACA International members already know – the third-party debt collection industry is a fundamental, essential part of a healthy U.S. economy,” said Rick Perr, ACA International’s president. “ACA International encourages members to share this report with clients who will find that third-party debt collectors are actively engaged in their local communities as employers, volunteers, philanthropists, and taxpayers.”

Key national findings of this landmark study include:

Recovering Assets: A total of $90.1 billion was recovered on behalf of creditor clients. The collection of consumer debt provides a valuable benefit to American households, as third-party debt collection efforts represent $579 in savings on average per household by keeping the costs of goods and services lower.

Job Creation: Third-party collection agencies directly employed 124,000 people with a payroll of $4.9 billion. Indirectly, the industry influenced the creation of more than 89,000 jobs.

Paying Taxes: Third-party collection agencies and their employees paid $852 million in federal taxes and $677 million in state and local taxes. The ancillary impact of the industry generated a total of $1.6 billion in federal taxes paid and $1.28 billion in state and local taxes.

Giving Back: Third-party collection agencies and their employees contributed $17.7 million and volunteered 524,000 hours to charitable community causes.

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