Collection Industry Returns $90.1 Billion

Collection Industry Returns $90.1 Billion to the economy
Photo Credit: ACA International



ACA International’s 2020 State of the Collection Industry Report in partnership with Kaulkin Ginsberg Company provides an overview of important trends related to how the industry benefits consumers, creditors and the overall economy. 


ACA International’s members and the collection industry serve an important role between creditors and consumers, as shown in recent data on collections and account resolutions totaling billions of dollars and significant household savings.

In fact, based on data from 2018, the most up to date publicly available information, the total net debt returned to creditors amounted to nearly $90.1 billion, according to a 2020 State of the Industry Report created as part of a partnership between ACA International and the Kaulkin Ginsberg Company.

The total debt returned represents roughly $706 in savings per household.

“ACA is dedicated to helping its members succeed, and this report shows its members are dedicated to helping creditors and consumers succeed,” said ACA International CEO Mark Neeb. “The ARM industry’s success in helping to restore the credit-based economy, providing jobs, and supporting communities across the U.S. through volunteering and company sponsored activities is shown in this report. For example, ARM employees offered roughly 524,000 hours of their time to volunteering—including 229,800 hours for company-sponsored activities.”

ACA is excited to release results of the report based on a survey of the Collection industry administered by Kaulkin Ginsberg in 2019; the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 County Business Patterns Survey, nonemployer statistics, and statistics on U.S. business data series; and Ernst & Young’s November 2017, July 2014, and January 2012 reports on debt collection commissioned by ACA, titled “The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the US National and State Economies.”

Additional key collection industry estimates and figures derived from the data sources listed above include:

  • Creditors placed roughly 1.6 billion accounts with debt collection firms. The aggregate value was nearly $923.1 billion, representing an average account balance of $574.
  • ARM firms collected nearly $102.6 billion in debt, with a recovery rate of 11.1% of value.
  • The Collection industry employed around 124,400 people—including payroll employees and owners. Total compensation, which combines aggregate payroll, amounted to almost $5 billion.
  • ARM firms contributed an estimated $108.3 million to charity.
  • Collection companies and their employees paid roughly $1.1 billion in federal taxes and $105.9 million in state and local taxes.

For Michigan:

Total Debt Collected:$1,198,915,182

Total Debt Returned:$1,060,387,382

Total Employed: 1,511

Federal Taxes Paid:$13,195,305

State & Local Taxes Paid $1,230,227


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