For consumers, the benefit of third-party debt collection can be seen through reduced consumer prices and greater consumer purchasing power, since consumers would likely be faced with higher prices if businesses were unable to recoup losses resulting from bad debt. A 2013 survey by Ernst & Young and analysis shows that the $44.8 billion in debt returned to creditors on a commission basis is equivalent to an average savings of $393 per American household that might have otherwise been spent had businesses been forced to raise prices to cover the unrecovered debt. The average per household savings attributable to third-party debt returned to creditors translates into approximately 8 months of cellular phone service, 86 days of electricity or 127 gallons of gasoline.
A 2016 survey by Ernst & Young and analysis shows a total of $67.6 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.