Companies in this industry collect payments for claims on behalf of their clients. Major companies include Alorica, Encore Capital Group, iQor, PRA Group, and Walter Investment Management (all based in the US) as well as First Collect International (UK), Intrum Justitia (Switzerland), and NTT Finance (Japan).
Demand for collections services is driven by the volume of financial transactions and by the health of the economy. The profitability of individual companies depends largely on efficiency of operations. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in their ability to buy receivables portfolios. Small companies can compete successfully by providing superior customer service. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 45% of revenue.
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Leading categories of debt handled by collection agencies include money owed to health care providers (hospitals, physician groups and clinics), student loan debt, and credit card debt. Other categories of debt handled by collection agencies include government, retail, telecom, utility, private, and mortgage debt.