Encore Capital Group Launches Industry-First Consumer Bill of Rights

- Enactment Defines Higher Standards for Industry -

Mar 21, 2011, 09:00 ET from Encore Capital Group, Inc.

SAN DIEGO, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Encore Capital Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ECPG), a recognized leader in distressed consumer debt buying and recovery, today unveiled its Consumer Bill of Rights.  The document codifies the company's commitment to conduct business ethically, engage in respectful and constructive dialogue with consumers, and play a positive role in consumers' financial recovery.

Encore Capital is the nation's largest publicly-traded debt buyer by revenue.  Combining fair business practices, sophisticated analytics, and broad investments in data and behavioral science, Encore Capital and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Midland Credit Management, Inc., aim to set the industry standard for consumer conduct.

Key tenets of the Bill of Rights include:

  • Contacting consumers in a timely and effective manner, resolving accounts quickly and honestly, and ensuring collection practices that promote settlement and preserve dignity;
  • Establishing forgiveness and hardship guidelines, including the cessation of collection efforts when permanent hardship is demonstrated;
  • Suspending interest or fees when a consumer is making timely payments on an established plan;
  • Safeguarding consumer information;
  • Implementing the fair and reasonable use of litigation to resolve an outstanding obligation, and seeking to avoid litigation whenever possible; and
  • Committing to not resell defaulted consumer accounts in the normal course of business.

"We've worked hard, consulting with consumer advocacy groups and others, to identify the issues and debt-collection practices that impact consumers most.  In this document, we're embracing that feedback to take an industry-leading approach to help our consumers regain their purchasing power despite the lingering economic challenges," J. Brandon Black, Encore Capital's Chief Executive Officer, said.  "Encore has long been committed to the principles outlined in the Consumer Bill of Rights, and we are dedicated to building relationships with consumers based on honesty and integrity."

Fundamental to this initiative is Encore Capital's long-standing commitment to engage in a dialogue that helps consumers meet both their past and current financial responsibilities. By offering significant discounts, freezing interest charges, and negotiating long-term payment plans, Encore Capital has helped two million consumers repay their financial obligations over the past decade.

"This document marks an important milestone for Encore and our industry," Black said.  "Our employees value and respect our consumers, and we look forward to additional opportunities to advance industry standards and uphold consumer rights."

To view Encore Capital's Consumer Bill of Rights, please visit: www.encorecapital.com.

If you have questions or concerns about Encore Capital's Consumer Bill of Rights, please contact Midland's Consumer Relations department head at (888) 328-8007 or send an email to EncoreCBR@mcmcg.com.

About Encore Capital Group, Inc.

Encore Capital Group is a leader in consumer debt buying and recovery.  We purchase portfolios of defaulted consumer receivables from major banks, credit unions, and utility providers and partner with individuals as they repay their obligations and work toward financial recovery.  Our success and future growth are driven by our sophisticated and widespread use of analytics, our broad investments in data and behavioral science, the significant cost advantages provided by both our operations in India and our enterprise-wide, account-level cost database, and our demonstrated commitment to conduct business ethically and in ways that support our consumers' financial recovery.

Headquartered in San Diego, we are a publicly traded NASDAQ Global Select company (ticker: ECPG) and a component stock of both the Russell 2000 and Wilshire 4500.  More information about the Company can be found at www.encorecapital.com.

Forward Looking Statements

The statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including, most importantly, those statements preceded by, or that include, the words "may," "believe," "projects," "expects," "anticipates" or the negation thereof, or similar expressions, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Reform Act"). For all "forward-looking statements," the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Reform Act. Such forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company and its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors are discussed in the reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K, each as it may be amended from time to time. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Mike Huckman
MSLGROUP, for Encore Capital
(212) 468-3968


Mary McCeney
MSLGROUP, for Encore Capital
(212) 468-4053

SOURCE Encore Capital Group, Inc.