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  • Writer's pictureThe Preferred Group of Tampa

Getting to Know the Team at Preferred CMS: Stephanie Work

For some people, a job is more than a job; it's a calling. Stephanie Work, the Director of Revenue Recovery at Preferred CMS, believes that collections was a calling for her when she relocated and needed a job. How else to explain a 13-year career that has allowed her to progress and achieve accomplishments that she never thought possible.

"Once I landed a spot I just went with it and worked to learn everything I could because I was brought up to work hard and do your best at anything and everything you are doing," she said. "I remember I just continued to learn more, move up and ta da."

Like a magic trick, life in the collection industry is not what it was 13 years ago when Work started in the industry. The litigious nature of so many consumers has shifted the focus away from collection agencies helping people resolve their debts and onto the importance of compliance and making sure that collectors do not make a mistake. That has made collecting a lot harder, Work said, because new regulations often are not put in place with the creditor, healthcare provider, or collection agency in mind. Providing regulators and legislators with better insight into how proper and legitimate collection agencies operate would probably alleviate many of those issues, she noted.

These days, instead of educating regulators and legislators, Work spends most of her time educating her staff and working with them to make sure they know more than they need to, and she spends her time monitoring their calls and conducting spot checks throughout the day. She is always moving around the office, eschewing the notion that collections is a sedentary career choice.

The way that Work trains her staff and keeps them educated is emblematic of the type of relationship that collection agencies should have with their creditor-clients, she said. Information between the creditor and the collection agency needs to flow freely, and collection agencies have a responsibility to educate creditor-clients about the laws and regulations that go hand-in-hand with collecting.

"I think if [creditors] knew what problems can occur with every scenario then the flow from their hands to ours would be smoother," she said.

The key to being a smooth manager, Work said, is to be open-minded.

"Always remember there are two sides to everything." she said. "Accept both, evaluate both and be fair across the board."

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