As the new requirements for membership within the DBA are beginning to take form, and debt purchasers are moving toward adopting the new standards, we are beginning to see what may be working and what may need some revisions in the coming time.
First, the push toward certification has generally been positive, but may need to take some tweaking. One change that may be helpful would be moving from an audit by each creditor AND an audit every two years to a single audit every year for each debt buyer. The single audit could take the place of both the DBA requirement for membership as well as the one needed to make a purchase for each creditor. DBA certification could take the place of the necessary audit, and would provide instant credibility to companies with certification for debt sellers. Large sellers may take the lead in requiring DBA certification for buyers. Buyers who are not certified could be named by the DBA in cases of poor performance.
The DBA has done well in response to legislative action, particularly on the national level, but small and mid-size debt buyers are still struggling for representation and finding markets. Many are taking a wait-and-see attitude, as some predict that the market will open up for new buyers, while others are pessimistic that the avenues will just remain open to large debt purchasers with continued no-resale direct deals with banks.
The Debt Buyers' Association needs greater representation from the side of smaller debt buyers, which is why I am considering running again for the DBA board. We ran a very close race last year, and I believe that we could be successful again if we begin drawing support early and get the word and the information out. I would primarily seek to represent small- and medium-sized debt buyers, who currently have little representation on the DBA board. Lack of representation for small debt buyers damages the overall receivable industry, and for our industry to truly thrive, all elements need good representation.
Another change which is sorely needed is an updated website. The current DBA website is a relic of a decade ago and needs a complete reworking. As a matter of business practicality and relevance, websites need continual updates every few years for modern web trends and to ensure high placement in searches. As it stands, a google search for "DBA" does not show the Debt Buyers International webpage on the first page of search results.