Stoller 07172022

Pandemic-inspired pivots drive inflationary collections and compliance policies

By Selina Stoller, Vice President, Business Development, Concord Servicing

Companies that pivoted during the pandemic to make customer collections a caring communications process will profit now in the midst of inflation, and possibly stagflation—inflation with no Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth—as the year progresses.

In the world of customer collections, Concord fine-tuned its proprietary Blackwell Recovery® late-stage collections systems as well as early-stage processes during the pandemic. Given conditions where borrowers were experiencing extreme financial distress, Concord made sure that efforts aligned with compliance, caring, and client portfolio management circumstances.

Concord President and CRO Shaun O’Neill addressed this very topic more than a year ago in an April 2021 Fintech Nexus News article. He noted, “A combination of economic woes triggered by the pandemic, and exacerbated by weather-related catastrophes, makes kinder, gentler, more understanding collection policies good for portfolio performance. They’re likely to generate more revenue than a hardline approach, plus there’s the benefit of building longevity and loyalty with customers who like, trust and respect their ‘bill collectors’ instead of abhorring them.”

In the article, O’Neill details how the basics of these “new” policies are actually rooted in decades-old enlightened thinking. He cites a customer collections policy advocated by Peter Renton, co-founder of Fintech Nexus (formerly called LendIt), two decades ago: “A recommendation that collections and customer service ‘should be two sides of the same coin’ is currently gaining momentum in the pandemic era. But this approach was advocated fully two decades ago by none other than LendIt’s own Peter Renton…In a previous life he owned a printing company that sold products to credit departments and he had long advocated the need for consummate customer service. His key recommendations tied to bill-collection policies appeared in a January 2001 article in the prestigious Editor & Publisher magazine…In part, his bylined article states: ‘In this dark morass actually lies a wonderful opportunity to turn debt collection into a customer-relationship-building program…this opens up the potential to generate some unexpected goodwill.’”

That’s the playbook that Concord utilizes with loan servicing clients on behalf of clients and clients’ customers now—in areas ranging from loan onboarding and initial servicing to collections. Further driving the importance of this policy is ever-stricter regulatory compliance mandated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) along with various state and local agencies.

In the realm of continuous improvement, Concord is further enhancing project management to ensure covering all bases with new clients (and their customers). Implementation, customer service, and project management converge to make sure customer service is as dialed-in as possible. New products are being developed to support such efforts as omni-channel communications platforms. Ranging from responsive live customer support to texting, new systems truly will enable customers to communicate via their preferred channels.

To sum up, caring customer collections and loan servicing are important because they’re the right thing to do, as well as being good for portfolio performance and compliant with regulatory requirements.

Layoffs by several major corporations in recent weeks imply rising consumer borrowing delinquencies may be forthcoming. If this continues, consumers may experience less discretionary income, possible unemployment fears, and may be concerned over rising prices.  If this convergence occurs, loan servicers should be especially watchful for early signs of borrower distress in meeting loan obligations. As problems arise, caring customer collections and loan servicing policies will give obligors a sense of collaboration that will make them much more likely to do everything they can to continue paying.

This will be especially important with unsecured obligations, as many people may prioritize paying their mortgages over anything else—and minimize making what they feel are discretionary purchases.

In the home improvement and solar sectors, interest rates and state energy programs may heavily influence what are perceived to be discretionary purchases. People are less likely to put new solar on their roofs if interest rates are too high or there are no state energy-program driven incentives. That said, right now we’re seeing more solar installs among people who are passionate about it (and therefore view it as high priority)—or are utilizing the state programs with attractive terms. However, with rising energy costs this may be an area that benefits.

Home improvement in general may decrease if there is an increase in interest rates and unemployment. People will put in new furnaces, fix roof leaks, and handle other necessity-based projects. But, the decision to remodel a kitchen or bathroom may be postponed for those hit by the economic headwinds.

Portfolio performance bears close monitoring
As a result of all this, the quality of portfolio loan assets may change, depending on the asset class and portfolio composition. Low-quality portfolios may experience higher delinquencies and defaults if there is economic turbulence.

The upside is that there are always opportunities. In the loan servicing and collection world, many of those opportunities tie to working with and encouraging obligors to pay what they can when they can, instead of abandoning obligations altogether.  The customer support and care of collectors is crucial in times of obligor distress.

This is where Blackwell Recovery® and other collections processes can be invaluable. Using the pandemic as a previous example, portfolio performance did much better with collaborative approaches where borrowers not only did their utmost to pay, but respected and admired the company because of the opportunity.

In addition to direct portfolio improvement, collaboration helped ensure staying compliant in the watchful eyes of regulatory agencies. Lack of consumer complaints, and even positive social media reports, have proven to be business generators in their own right—all of which helps enhance portfolio performance.


What’s going on with consumer delinquency? Depends on who you ask, and where you look…

Stoller 2 07172022

What’s going on with consumer delinquency?

Depends on who you ask, and where you look. addresses this issue in a mid-June 2022 article. Excerpts follow:

Are credit card delinquencies high? Deutsche Bank explains why it matters how they are tracked…Concerns that the U.S. economy could be heading for a recession mount as inflation remains high and the central bank moves to tighten monetary policy. Those pressures have put renewed focus on the financial health of consumers, as soaring prices for gas, groceries and other expenses eat away at savings and paychecks…Credit cards often serve as a first place to look for signs of consumer distress. Still, it’s possible to get a vastly different picture of the delinquency rate…depending on how late payments have been reported, according to a new Deutsche Bank report.

At the high end, the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel and Equifax data (NY Fed/Equifax) showed a 8.4% credit card delinquency rate in the first quarter of 2022, by including the portion of payments late 90 days or more…The Federal Reserve reported a 1.7% delinquency rate, by focusing on credit cards past due 30 days or more for the same stretch, while credit rating agency Fitch focused on delinquencies of 60 days or more, reporting a small 0.6% rate.

Questions remain over how past due debt is reported. ‘A 90+ day rate should be lower than the 30+ day rate…so what gives?’ Deutsche analysts wrote, in a Friday client note…Digging deeper, they noted that the NY Fed/Equifax consumer credit panel delinquency data included defaulted loans still in collections, while the Fed data from the Call reports and the Fitch ABS index didn’t.

Then, there are credit industry insights from showing first quarter data broken down by asset class type. Charts below include credit cards, auto loans, unsecured personal loans, and mortgage loans.

Q1 2022 credit card trend

Credit Card Lending MetricQ1 2022Q1 2021Q1 2020Q1 2019
Number of Credit Cards492.5 million456.7 million459.6 million434.9 million
Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (90+ DPD)1.61%1.27%1.98%1.89%
Average Debt Per Borrower$5,010$4,784$5,637$5,545
Prior Quarter Originations*15.5 million18.9 million16.5 million21.5 million
Average New Account Credit Lines*$4,634$3,811$5,135$5,313

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.

Q1 2022 auto loan trends 

Auto Lending MetricQ1 2022Q1 2021Q1 2020Q1 2019
Number of Auto Loans81.5 million83.3 million83.8 million82.2 million
Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (60+ DPD)1.63%1.52%1.37%1.32%
Prior Quarter Originations*6.5 million6.7 million6.9 million6.7 million
Average Monthly Payment**$556$492$465$458
Average Balance  of New Auto Loans*$28,415$24,664$22,752$22,117
Average Debt Per Borrower $21,517$19,980$19,256$18,826

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.
**Data from S&P Global MobilityAutoCreditInsight, viewed one quarter in arrears.

Q1 2022 unsecured personal loan trends 

Personal Loan MetricQ1 2022Q1 2021Q1 2020Q1 2019
Total Balances$178 billion$144 billion$159 billion$139 billion
Number of Unsecured Personal Loans23.9 million20.8 million23.5 million21.4 million
Number of Consumers with Unsecured Personal Loans20.4 million19.0 million20.9 million19.3 million
Account-Level Delinquency Rate (90+ DPD)2.01%1.76%2.35%2.48%
Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (60+ DPD)3.25%2.68%3.41%3.50%
Average Debt Per Borrower$9,896$8,817$8,820$8,363
Prior Quarter Originations*5.7 million4.2 million5.2 million5.0 million
Average Balance of New Unsecured Personal Loans*$6,656$5,155$5,548$5,332

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.

Q1 2022 mortgage trends 

Mortgage Lending MetricQ1 2022Q1 2021Q1 2020Q1 2019
Number of Mortgage Loans51.5 million50.9 million50.7 million49.8 million
Account-Level Delinquency Rate (90+ DPD)0.63%0.74%1.03%1.05%
Prior Quarter Originations*2.9 million4.0 million2.3 million1.4 million
Mortgage Origination* Distribution – Purchase 56%47%57%78%
Mortgage Origination* Distribution –  Refinance44%53%43%22%
Average Balance of New Mortgage Loans*$315,543$294,411$292,754$250,002
Number of HELOC Originations*278,230212,303275,854276,561
Number of Home Equity Loan Originations*201,381177,911181,598169,315

* Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.

Myers announ 07152022-2a

Tom Myers joins Concord Servicing as Business Development VP

Tom Myers, former Slipstream Business Development Director, has joined Concord Servicing as Vice President of Business Development. This move expands a six-year-long partnership with Concord encompassing funding, loan origination and loan servicing.

Previous partnership focus on regulated energy, solar, and home energy efficiency improvement sectors will now also include commercial solar, HVAC, and installation contractors to further aims in the for-profit arena across all income levels.

“Tom joining Concord will enable us to expand existing relationships we’ve built together, as well as help companies offering and installing HVAC, solar, and other energy efficiency-oriented products and services,” notes Concord President and CRO Shaun O’Neill.

As part of Slipstream, Myers found funding for low-to-moderate-income borrowers seeking home energy efficiency upgrades through state energy programs, leveraging public funds with private investment. Concord handles loan servicing—including loading new loans into the portfolio, accurately accruing interest and payments, and handling UCC filings where needed. In addition, Concord provides daily loan aggregation reports to stakeholders for current portfolio status and addresses collections issues from early-to-late stage delinquency.

Notes Myers, “Given the demand for energy efficiency-related lending at all income levels, our going-forward efforts will focus on finding programs and lenders with competitive interest rates and easy loan qualification, backed by Concord’s 12-year-long pioneering loan servicing expertise in the renewable energy arena starting with a pilot effort through The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in 2010.”

Myers adds, “Our partnership model has paved the way to success in the state and utility energy program sector, and has proven an effective incentive for contractors to enlist consumers to install energy efficient systems and equipment with easy loan approval and low-interest loans.

Technology itself is helping drive rapid expansion of efforts both in regulated and market-driven programs.  Myers says, “There are devices, technology, and programs far different than even a decade ago. When high-load demand in a sector gets too hot or cold, the grid can turn down temperatures. There’s new heating and cooling technology and geothermal. A decade ago, solar storage was hardly affordable. As we shift the grid from coal to picking up power in such other sources as hydrogen fuel cells, nuclear, and water, we are truly decarbonizing our world!”


Kudos to NYSERDA, Connecticut Green Bank, California Energy Commission for State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards

Congratulations to the California Energy Commission, Connecticut Green Bank, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)for their 2022 State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards from the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). Since 2009, the biennial Leadership Awards have recognized outstanding state programs and projects that have accelerated the adoption of clean energy technologies.

“Concord is proud to be associated with these organizations, which have blazed new trails in use of clean energy and have contributed substantially to energy efficiency initiatives in their own states, as well as modeling subsequent efforts across the country,” notes Shaun O’Neill, Concord President and CRO.

Concord has worked with NYSERDA since 2010 to pioneer loan servicing programs for both Smart Energy loans and, later, On-Bill Recovery programs. The company handles a variety of loan servicing initiatives for Connecticut Green Bank and the California Alternative Energy & Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAETFA), a leader in green financing for the State Treasurer’s Office programs affiliated with the California Energy Commission.

Notes the CESA news release, awards were given to the “California Energy Commission (CEC) for the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (2022 Energy Code) for newly constructed buildings and renovated buildings. The 2022 code blazes a trail for states seeking to decarbonize the building sector aggressively and cost-effectively….Connecticut Green Bank for Green Liberty Bonds. Modelled after the War Bonds of the 1940s, Green Liberty Bonds are purchased by individual investors in lower-dollar denominations (the bonds are offered in $1,000 increments), enabling people to directly participate in the green economy and earn a return on their investment…New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) for the Clean Energy Initiative (CEI). NYSERDA and HCR have partnered to provide incentives and technical assistance for decarbonization of multifamily affordable housing developments in New York State.

“These awards exemplify a concerted commitment to transforming old, inefficient, and resource-depleting energy systems into renewable, sustainable, and economical energy efficiency models,” notes O’Neill. “It’s the wave of the present and future for the country’s energy grid, and is an increasingly economical way for consumers to save money on their utilities—especially in the low-to-moderate income arena.”

Notes Tom Myers, Director of Business Development for Slipstream, a Concord partner on low-to-moderate income state energy efficiency loan origination and servicing, “Ultimately, the ability to connect borrowers with energy savings rests squarely on the ability to find affordable, flexible loans and installers willing and able to participate. These award-winning organizations are doing just that, providing a solution that starts with energy-efficient sources and ends with consumers being able to save money while contributing to clean energy advancement.”


Hiring Concord Servicing enables Serenité to concentrate on core competencies.

Capitalizing on the “need to be good or be gone,” Serenité Private Residence Club at Camelback Mountain in the Poconos is doubling down on customer service benchmarks on everything from facility design and member connection to such fundamentals as payment processing provided by Concord Servicing.

Notes Gregg Bittner, Serenité Chief Financial Officer, “Before Concord came on board, we did all payment processing and custodials in-house. As this is their expertise, they can focus on these vital areas and we can concentrate on our core competencies. So far, this is far exceeding our expectations—allowing us to pull back resources and better define and perform on what we are delivering.”

Concord President and CRO Shaun O’Neill points out, “Our partnership with Serenité shows how well the relationship can work when all parties are committed to working together in the best win-win way possible.”

About Serenité
Serenité Private Residence Club at Camelback Mountain in the Poconos is a private club where members stay and vacation. The club combines the luxury amenities and services of a boutique resort with the comforts and security of a “home-away-from-home” featuring stately-appointed, fully furnished residences. Serenité is embracing the true spirit of the mountains with a focus on physical wellness and mental wellbeing with the integration of world-class level hydrotherapy spas and outdoor wellness hiking trails, while bringing together a genuine family atmosphere. Club events and socials give members of all ages something to enjoy and look forward to all four seasons of the year. The member community is the core of Serenité.


Notes from the Fintech Compliance Survey Report 

Thwarting threat actors in today’s active and attack-heavy environment is a top loan servicing priority.

“Importantly, growth requires meaningful financial crime risk data and detection efforts. Mature risk practices and technology may not only limit downside risk, but actually accelerate growth…Stricter regulations require agile solutions…As threat actor capabilities expand, regulators tighten requirements. In particular, companies need scalable solutions across customer screening and monitoring and transaction monitoring.”

“Transaction Monitoring…Automate data analysis in real-time, on an ongoing basis…Build comprehensive views of customers’ financial behavior quickly and efficiently– even predict future activity to determine whether customers present an ongoing money laundering or terror-financing threat…Automatically alert AML teams of the need for closer scrutiny and to generate suspicious activity reports.”

Concord’s contact center fills the bill in all areas. Check us out. Reach out.

Is your loan servicing compliance team up to the task?

“Central to the fintech ethos is improving conventional financial experiences with better technology. Innovations like open banking and digital currency ecosystems simplify once opaque and expensive consumer experiences – upending entire business models, applications, and processes. Following fintech breakthroughs, however, is more complex criminality. As Deloitte notes, new technologies introduce unforeseen loopholes for financial crime activities…While agility and technology help deliver products with less overhead, these features can actually hamper operations…digital banks ‘must show they’re compliant with all relevant regulations – even though they’re often operating with significantly smaller compliance teams.’”

Concord’s Compliance Department demonstrates current and complete regulatory compliance every day—on federal and state-by-state levels. Ask us to prove it.

If customer onboarding falters, you create dissatisfied customers right out of the gate.

“The highest growth fintechs deliver both rapid and comprehensive onboarding…According to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), ‘inconsistent customer onboarding and due diligence obligations is the biggest factor contributing to increased costs and reduced speed.’ Large enterprises in particular noted the downside of burdensome onboarding. Over 50% of these leaders cited ‘friction with customer onboarding’ as stalling growth.”

Concord’s 34-year track record speaks for itself. Check us out. Reach out.


Source: The Outsized Role of Compliance in Fintech Hypergrowth / Fintech Compliance Survey Report
A special report from LendIt and ComplyAdvantage on connections between business growth and financial crime risk detection.

Green Banks

Now is the time for Green Banks

Cost-effective, efficient, and knowledgeable third-party loan servicing is a major force driving loan compliance, leading-edge security, robust administration and reporting, investor/rating agency confidence, and best-case portfolio performance

Green Banks at both the state and national levels will be instrumental in securing and leveraging large-scale funding of energy-efficient programs nationwide. With Green Banks will come many new jobs, opportunities for consumer-friendly financing and lower utility bills at all economic levels, and a rapid increase in renewable energy use.

It all started with establishment of the Connecticut Green Bank in July 2011. According to its website, the first Green Bank in the nation supports the Governor and Legislature’s energy strategy for cleaner, less expensive, and more reliable energy sources while creating jobs and supporting local economic development.

Key to success is development of new and innovative financing programs attracting more private capital to grow public/private programs around energy-related initiatives.

42 states now operating or developing Green Banks
Reversing a long-time axiom that “climate policy advocacy equated to making things more expensive, Green Banks make it cheaper. Now, it’s investment, investment, investment. The Green Bank philosophy fits into the general narrative.

Smart-E loans leading the way
Adding fuel to the energy efficiency fire are Smart-E loans. Connecticut offers these unsecured, low-interest personal loans with flexible terms to upgrade home energy performance. Almost any home improvement project that reduces energy use and lowers costs may qualify.



ARDA: the face of vacation ownership 

Concord is proud to be a Patron Sponsor of the ARDA Spring Conference, happening now at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida.

As stated on their website:

“Based in Washington, D.C., the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the trade association for the timeshare industry. ARDA’s membership comprises over 500 companies (both privately held firms and publicly traded corporations), which house 5,000-plus individual ARDA members. ARDA’s active, engaged members have extensive experience in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate.

ARDA’s work — including proactive advocacy — touches every role within the timeshare industry. Developers, exchange companies, vacation clubs, timeshare resellers, timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, industry vendors, consultants, and legal and regulatory experts are all part of the ARDA network. Meanwhile, timeshare owners and managers connect with ARDA through the ARDA-Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC).”

If you are attending the ARDA Spring Conference, please be sure to come by our meeting room (#202) to say hello and grab a snack.


Renewable EnrgyBlog

Renewable energy, ROI become inseparable partners

100% financing facilitates solar, other energy efficiency upgrades

By Shaun W. O’Neill, President and CRO, Concord Servicing

Energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness are now going hand in hand. One-hundred percent financing can be obtained to upgrade existing resorts and homeowner associations, as well as include many new energy-saving technologies into new-builds.

That’s the assessment of Jared Meyers, Vice-Chairman and Founding Director of Florida’s Climate First Bank and Chairman of Orlando, FL-based Legacy Vacation Resorts. Climate First Bank in St. Petersburg, FL is the nation’s first community bank dedicated to making energy efficiency a financially-compelling and ROI-wise investment. With very affordable financing options and the ability to substantially lower future operating costs, Meyers sees renewable energy as a win-win proposition whose time finally has arrived. It’s none too soon, given rising prices in general along with increasing pressures to reduce dependency on foreign carbon-based fuels.

Energy efficiency ROI, operating cost reductions achieved in multi-unit and single-family developments

Meyers, also founder and Chairman of St. Petersburg-based Salt Palm Development, a single family, townhome and condo developer, has documented the financial wisdom of energy efficiency upgrades in many different types of developments, including his own single-family home.

“We’ve had a 94% energy offset on my home since 2018. At properties where solar is in the mix, we’re looking at 40 to 80% offset. With these savings, we’re looking at 15% payback each year for a 100% payback within seven years,” Meyers notes.

For those concerned about having sufficient capital, Climate First’s 100% financing offers a way to realize benefits right away, Meyers adds.

“Every development can control their own energy costs, which given high inflation right now, makes solar, windpower, geothermal and other upgrades a very timely move,” Meyers emphasizes. “At the resort level, our position is if it’s a decade or less payback, we don’t require executive approval to proceed. This is a way to pay today’s dollars to control tomorrow’s energy costs.”

Meyers points out that longer-term paybacks also merit strong consideration, given today’s opportunities amid growing utility costs. He notes, “When you consider that electricity bills are regularly increasing, even a 20-year payback with solar—a 5% ROI—makes sense.”

Meyers is walking the talk. By year-end, all Florida Legacy Vacation Resorts properties are slated for outfitting with renewable energy products and systems. Other properties in Colorado, Nevada, and New Jersey will follow suit. Substantially lower operating costs impacting eight resorts and more than 100,000 families annually will add up quickly.

He points out, “All timeshare condos are perfect for solar retrofits. With up to 100% financing, you’re paying less starting month one. This obviously makes financial, as well as environmental, sense.” He points out that the best benefits for developers come with being non-profit or partnering with a non-profit such as an HOA association.

Quality control is a key decision-making criterion

Meyers points out that reputable solar installers and manufacturers offer performance guarantees to provide a clear and complete idea of energy offsets going forward. One excellent way to ensure that the installer and manufacturer are reputable is to use an institution such as Climate First Bank to vet them. “Obviously, a bank only wants to lend based on solid footing. In addition to vetting, banks also can provide recommendations based on prior experience,” Meyers says.

To ensure getting all ducks in a row, Meyers strongly advises companies to do their homework upfront. “You have to get more than ‘guarantees,’ you need the right type of warranties on everything,” he says, adding, “That doesn’t just include solar panels. All other elements, such as inverters, wiring, racking systems, and the like need to be covered by the right warranty.” It’s good to use the right bank, one that knows, understands, and has first-hand experience in this realm.

“Any resort doing improvements can benefit from a complete review of anything that can save energy, and therefore energy costs. This can include programmable thermostats, HVAC systems, insulation, sealing, appliances, high-efficiency systems, water heaters, the roof itself. The list goes on to include pool equipment, showerheads, faucets, and even flapper devices on toilets. And, then there’s property landscaping, where additional savings can be realized,” Meyers notes.

His recent LinkedIn post offers dramatic food for thought: “There is no longer a good reason to postpone upgrades to your condo association or homeowners association with Climate First Bank’s new lending product that can provide up to 100% financing. As a board member on 13 associations, we’ve already tested this loan product and now are in the process of putting it in place everywhere…The sad and horrific collapse of Champlain Towers in Surfside Florida last year will happen again if condominiums do not upgrade deficient parts of their buildings. And it only makes sense to incorporate energy friendly upgrades at the same time to reduce your costs and carbon footprint.”

Another incentive for energy efficiency upgrades now is the likelihood of diminishing tax credits. Meyers points out that today’s dollar-for-dollar 26% tax credit that reduces taxes by that amount is expected to drop to 22% by year-end. In addition to only paying 74% with the tax credit, there are accelerated depreciation benefits that enable writing off the equipment much faster, he adds.

The landscape is shifting quickly. Seen as an expensive investment for years, energy efficiency upgrades using renewable energy are now becoming very cost-effective, saving money by substantially lowering utility costs and providing an excellent hedge against future energy costs.


Longtime ARDA and Chairman’s League member Shaun W. O’Neill is President and CRO of Concord Servicing, and a respected strategic thinker and subject matter expert who evaluates and initiates growth opportunities across multiple asset classes. With Concord since 1997, his focus is consumer lending, servicing, collections, and loss mitigation.

Jared Meyers is the Owner and/or Chairman of several companies headquartered in Florida, including Legacy Vacation Resorts and Salt Palm Development. He also is Vice-Chairman and Founding Director of Climate First Bank based in St. Petersburg, FL, a values-based community bank focusing on environmental sustainability.


Blackwell Recovery™ balances compassionate, compliant collections with successful portfolio performance

Successful severe delinquency account debt recovery requires a savvy success strategy in today’s consumer-challenged and compliance-heavy collections world. Blackwell Recovery™, Concord’s proprietary late collections program, provides collaborative customer strategies coupled with full compliance to protect clients and maximize portfolio performance. Features and benefits include:

  • Collaborative, customer-focused communications resulting in higher debt repayment;
  • Customized collection plans based on unique requirements;
  • Real-time reporting for current intel and collection strategy adjustments;
  • Dedicated compliance team to comply with all federal, state, and other pertinent regulations;
  • Data protection and compliance in a fully secure external data center;
  • Multilingual staff located in the US and Mexico.

Saying Concord’s Blackwell Recovery does all this is one thing. Proving it is another. Notes a Blackwell Recovery client, whose pandemic-inspired engagement with Concord continues in today’s still-challenging environment:

“Even in a good economy, resolving delinquent accounts has its challenges. Add an unprecedented global health crisis and suddenly consumer pocketbooks at ALL levels of the economic spectrum are impacted. Households already strapped for cash are more strapped, and good paying customers experiencing furloughs and unemployment are now finding themselves in the delinquency category, perhaps for the first time ever. We needed to find a collections partner that would get creative and collaborate with us in posturing the right message, delivered at the right time to the right household, while still operating under the heightened regulatory environment to ensure our members are treated with a high degree of empathy. Our search led us straight to Blackwell Recovery and we are thrilled with the outcome.” 

Concord’s Kyle Derry, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Implementation, points out this experience is indicative of Blackwell Recovery’s appeal across a broad base of industries, from energy efficiency and solar to timeshare and home improvement.

Derry emphasizes, “Because of Concord’s vast experience in loan servicing and portfolio management in multiple asset classes, our Blackwell Recovery team members are well positioned to share industry best practices with our clients. Blackwell’s experienced team of collectors use specific tactics and strategies to recover revenues for our clients while building customer relationships and loyalty—leading to enhanced reputations and portfolio performance.”

Concord President and Chief Revenue Officer Shaun O’Neill reinforces the importance of collaborative collections strategies used in Blackwell Recovery efforts. As he notes in his article published in LendIt Fintech News: “A combination of economic woes triggered by the pandemic, and exacerbated by weather-related catastrophes, makes kinder, gentler, more understanding collection policies good for portfolio performance. They’re likely to generate more revenue than a hardline approach, plus there’s the benefit of building longevity and loyalty with customers who like, trust and respect their ‘bill collectors’ instead of abhorring them.”

O’Neill cites three key tenets of Blackwell Recovery practices in the article:

1. Establish clear understandings and agreements. Being empathic and collaborative does not mean conveying the impression to consumers that they no longer need to take responsibility. One of the best ways to do this is the “fair and firm” approach with clear terms and incentives to follow through (e.g., adherence to an agreement that allows extended time to pay without penalties.)

2. Know all the rules to avoid legal, regulatory and reputation troubles. Staying on top of all applicable federal, state and local collection rules is a herculean, ever-changing challenge. As with any policies crossing multiple jurisdictions, there’s a need to comply with everything that is on the books or contemplated (e.g., there can be 300 pending bills at state levels at one time). In some cases, this creates conflicting rules and regulations that much be sorted out to ensure all applicable policies and protocols are followed.

3. Prepare for the long haul. Collaborative collections are here to stay. While some collectors may toughen up practices as the economy improves and restrictions ease, empirical evidence showing that portfolios perform best with customer service-oriented collection programs will be the guiding light. Further, such agencies as the federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau are moving the world toward more consumer protections, so it makes maximum sense to address issues proactively instead of waiting for regulations to force the issue.