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Collection Agency Caucus
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The purpose of NCHER’s Collection Agency Caucus is to provide a forum for the exchange and solicitation of ideas and the promotion of legislative and regulatory items important to private collection agencies (PCAs) that provide default prevention and default recovery services for federal and private student loan programs. The Caucus’ mission is aligned with NCHER’s mission to enhance member organizations’ abilities to help families and students develop, pay for, and attain their educational goals so they can pursue meaningful and rewarding work and become contributing members of society.

The Caucus’ membership includes those NCHER members who are in good standing; who are PCAs under contract or subcontract with the U.S. Department of Education to service its defaulted loan portfolio; who are PCAs under contract or subcontract with one or more guaranty agencies to service Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans; and/or who are agencies interested in servicing defaulted loans under federal and private student loan programs. All Caucus members must sign the Collection Agency Caucus Statement of Good Practices, which is attached to this document.


The Caucus is led by a chair who should, when present, preside at all meetings of the membership. The chair is elected by the Caucus’ members for a two-year term, and can serve no more than two consecutive two-year terms. The chair serves as a voting liaison member of the NCHER Board of Directors during his/her tenure as chair.

Meetings and Communications

The Caucus holds periodic meetings via conference calls and has an active email list-serve for the exchange of information among its membership. The Caucus currently holds in-person meetings in conjunction with the Debt Management and Borrower Support Committee, and may hold other meetings at a time and place to be designated by the chair.

Committees/Working Groups

The Caucus may, with the concurrence of the membership, create committees or working groups: (1) to assist it in carrying out the duties specified in this document or (2) that are deemed to be in the best interest of the membership.

The Caucus:

  • Assists NCHER, including its advocacy staff, in identifying items of interest to its membership at the federal level and building consensus on policy positions that can be promoted with Members of Congress and the Administration. Such efforts include, but are not limited to, assisting the NCHER Government Relations Committee in the development of proactive legislative priorities of importance to the Caucus membership and advocating for NCHER’s priorities before the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, White House, and federal agencies.

  • Assists NCHER, including the NCHER Government Relations Committee, in monitoring and responding, in support or opposition, to provisions included in House and Senate legislation that impacts the membership.

  • Assists NCHER, including its communications staff, in the development of “one-pagers” highlighting the important work that the nation’s collection agencies provide to students, borrowers, families and communities, and proactively highlighting positive stories and quickly responding to complaints raised by student and consumer advocates on the treatment of borrowers and how the membership collects on student loans.

  • Assists NCHER in educating members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, including new and returning members, and Administration officials on the important role that collection agencies and other sectors of the NCHER membership play in helping families and students develop, pay for, and attain their educational goals so they can pursue meaningful and rewarding work and become contributing members of society.

  • Works with NCHER’s College Access and Success Committee, Debt Management and Borrower Support Committee, Private Loan and Consumer Finance Committee, and Program Regulations and Policy Committee to advocate for priorities that are in the best interests of the respective caucus, committee, and working group memberships.

Advocacy Priorities
The Caucus’ current priorities include, but are not limited to:

  • Improving the servicing and collection of federal student loans, including loans made under the Federal Direct Loan Program and Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Such efforts include, but are not limited to, influencing the U.S. Department of Education’s administration of its Defaulted Loan Program and monitoring the default collection contract to ensure such activities are performed in the best interest of the borrower, taxpayer, and federal government.

  • Pushing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to carry out the provisions included in the Bipartisan Budget Act amending the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to allow for the use of new technologies when contacting delinquent and defaulted borrowers.

  • Monitoring and responding to the regulatory efforts of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), including anticipated proposed rules governing debt collection practices for federal and private student loans.

  • Supporting a robust rehabilitation loan program to assist student and parent borrowers in rehabilitating or consolidating their defaulted federal and private student loans, including allowing defaulted borrowers to rehabilitate their loans more than once should they continue to struggle to repay their student loans and allowing access to the National Directory of New Hires and the National Student Loan Data System so guaranty agencies can locate struggling borrowers to provide counseling on repayment options and offer the opportunity to rehabilitate defaulted loans.

  • Requiring federal agencies to use Fair-Value Accounting when measuring the true costs of federal credit programs, and enhancing the role of private capital and local expertise in financing the cost of college and administering education loans.

NCHER Collection Agency Caucus Statement of Good Practices
Collection agency members of the National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) are asked to observe the following rules of operation and code of ethics, and to continually meet professional responsibilities, as a condition of new and continued membership:

NCHER collection agency members will, to the best of their abilities:

  • Maintain a high standard of business principles and conduct, avoiding any activity that would violate the professional standards adopted by the association, that may be perceived as a conflict of interest, or that may be likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.

  • Refrain from knowingly violating any federal, state, or local laws relating to the operation of a collection business or any credit industry practices and procedures.

  • Adhere to the Third Party Servicer Regulations as defined in 34 CFR 668.15 and 34 CFR 682.416, as applicable.

  • Comply with the instructions given by our customers in the fulfillment of services, including, but not limited to, default aversion and collection activities; program compliance; appropriate cash management practices; and accurate reporting.

  • Provide services that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, economic status, or any additional legally-protected classes.

  • Provide education and instruction to all appropriate personnel, making them familiar with the laws, rules, and regulations under which a collection agency must comply, including, but not limited to, the Higher Education Act, Federal Debt Collections Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act.

  • Participate in professional development and continuing education opportunities to keep abreast of current happenings within the industry and welcome new ideas and opinions from within the profession.
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