MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ACA International, the association of credit and collections professionals, offers the following comments in response to recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau communications regarding the alarming status of federal and private student loan delinquencies, defaults and forbearance.
"Several ACA members assist the Department of Education and private lenders in working with consumers who are struggling to repay their student loans," said ACA International President Leslie Bender, who is also general counsel and chief compliance officer at Coast Professional, Inc. in West Monroe, La. "We strongly believe in the importance of communication and financial education that helps students better understand the serious ramifications of defaults, delinquencies and forbearance. Our industry supports calls to increase awareness of available choices for student loan repayment."
According to data from the Department of Education and the National Student Loan Data System, the CFPB reported that more than 7 million consumers were in default on federal or private student loans. With more than $1.2 trillion in existing student loan debt, student loans now outpace credit cards as the highest level of consumer debt.
"ACA will continue to encourage active communication between students, their lenders and third-party debt collectors," said ACA International Chief Executive Officer Pat Morris. "ACA members believe consumers have important rights under federal and state law, and deserve to be treated fairly, respectfully and free of deception or abuse." For more information about consumer rights and students loans, visit www.askdoctordebt.org.
Third-party debt collection is essential to the national and state economies, which are built on the foundation that those who provide credit, goods and services expect to be repaid. Recovering rightfully owed debts helps businesses survive, prevents layoffs, keeps cost down and ensures that credit, goods and services are available to consumers.
ACA International is the comprehensive, knowledge-based resource for the credit and collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together nearly 5,000 members in the United States and abroad, and their more than 150,000 employees, including third-party collection agencies, asset buyers, attorneys, creditors and vendor affiliates. ACA establishes a wide variety of products, services and publications. For more information on ACA International, visit www.acainternational.org.