Organizations in the ARM (Accounts Receivable Management) industry prioritize compliance and accuracy in sending printed collection letters. Most outsource these critical communications to a vendor. Many print and mail companies offer these services, but not all are the same. There’s a major difference you need to be on the lookout for—are they solely focused on secure and compliant transactional print and mail?
If not, accuracy and compliance could be in danger. If you need help with collection letter printing, you’ll want to heed this advice.
Compliance Is Non-Negotiable, But How Do You Evaluate Partners?
Any debt collection communication must follow the rules of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Those rules dictate when you can send letters and what they must contain, including the name of the creditor, the amount owed, and how you can dispute or verify the debt.
New rules were added in 2020 that clarified what information collectors must divulge to consumers about debt and the timeframe to do so. The rule also introduced a model to follow. You must send this validation information at the onset or within five days after initial communication.
Those, along with existing guidelines about letters about design, fulfillment, auditing, and accuracy, define the compliance guidelines to follow. Failure to comply with the FDCPA can result in steep fines.
So, how can you be sure your print and mail provider is an expert on the topic? There are several key things to seek out:
- Do they have a robust compliance program, and can they demonstrate how they maintain this in production?
- Do they have compliance certifications?
- Is there a compliance officer on staff?
- Can they facilitate customizable collection letters and update templates for you?
- What do they have in place to ensure accuracy and quality?
- Do they have solutions for address accuracy?
- What measures do they use to protect and secure data?
- Do they offer a way to track letters and provide an audit log, which you would need if a claim of noncompliance arises?
Ask all these questions and get into the details about how they maintain compliance. With a transactional print and mail company, heavily regulated communications are all they do, so compliance is part of every aspect of the workflow.
How Accurate Are Your Collection Letter Jobs? Is There Room for Improvement?
Along with compliance comes the need for accuracy in printed collection communications. Mis-mailings are often a side effect of mass production. When operators don’t have sophisticated equipment and repeatable processes, errors occur.
To eliminate as many mistakes as possible, you’ll want to know your provider’s accuracy rating and how they achieve this. You’ll want to consider both processes and equipment in such an evaluation.
Every workflow has steps, and when companies use an approach like Lean Manufacturing, they embed quality into the process. Standard works are the task breakdown of each action. Lean Manufacturing also promotes constant auditing to achieve a repeatable workflow. You’ll also want to be sure that every production facility is a mirror so there’s no variance.
The Equipment and Technology
The process is part of the puzzle, and the technology is the final piece. A mis-mailing happens at insertion, so the best print and mail companies use advanced inserting machines and mini cameras to scan barcodes on each document. Insert integrity and chain of custody control from receipt of files to production will need to be capabilities your provider offers.
Be Confident in the Production and Delivery of Collection Letters with the Right Partner
Your organization must live by compliance and accuracy in how you interact with consumers. It’s critical, no matter the channel of communication. Just as you want your employees to adhere to this, you must hold your partners equally accountable.
You can with PCI Group. We are experts at printing and mailing compliant and accurate collection letters. All our operations comply with the FDCPA, and we are SOC I&II certified. We also have an industry-leading accuracy rating of 99.9999%. Plus, you’ll have access to tracking, reports, and more with trakPCI, a secure, online document management platform.
Contact us today to find out how we can support your debt collection efforts.