Executive Spotlight with Missy Meggison

Missy Meggison with insideARM featured on Executive Spotlight

What are your primary duties in your current role?

It’s a long title, but I wear a lot of hats! The most crucial part of my job is paying close attention

to the news and industry trends so I can help people see the issues and patterns that affect

their organizations. In practice, this means that I pick the news for insideARM, drive content production, and run insideARM’s membership groups, Research Assistant and Consumer Relations Consortium. I also work with the Auriemma Directors who run our 30+ different Creditor Roundtables to help them break down legal issues for the creditors who participate in their groups.

Industry Q&A:

How did you join the receivables industry?

Completely by accident!! When I graduated from law school, I was looking to find gainful employment as a lawyer, as one tends to do. Like many recent grads, I applied to any (and maybe even all) openings where a firm was willing to take on new lawyers. One of the positions I applied for was a collections attorney at the law firm of Pollack and Rosen (a wonderful multistate firm, by the way!!). Joe Rosen saw something in me that maybe I didn’t even see myself, and hired me. That was back in December of 2006 and, though there have been numerous twists and turns since that day, the rest, as they say, is now history.

In the receivables industry, what emerging trend has your attention?

State laws certainly have my attention. The CFPB has signaled loudly and clearly that it encourages states to pass their own consumer protection laws. No one disputes that consumers should be protected; of course, they should be (and this is a core mission of the Consumer Relations Consortium)! However, many of these state laws are passed without an understanding of consumer protections afforded by federal law or an understanding of the basic methods in which the industry functions. They do not appear to take into consideration explanatory comments from the industry. The net result is a patchwork of inconsistent laws that actually make things tougher for both consumers and debt collectors.

Further, lately, both the states and CFPB seem to be more interested in headlines than in the unintended consequences and long-term effects of their rules. Headlines are nice, but when the net effect is to choke off communication with debt collection agencies, they actually make things worse for consumers. For example, when states and the CFPB villainize the collections industry and effectively restrict the vessel that sits between charge-off and lawsuit (i.e., collection agencies), they actually increase litigation, and it becomes far more difficult for a consumer to settle an account.

What are your hopes for the receivables industry?

My hope is that as we combat ill-thought-out rules, all industry players will be more vocal about the benefits our industry provides to consumers. In my experience, consumers often do not know they are able to settle or make payment arrangements on their debt since often those options aren’t available until an account reaches collections. It’s not until they speak to a debt collector that they learn they have options. In my opinion, we as an industry need to be more vocal about the fact that shutting down the channels of communication with debt collectors hurts consumers.

What is your favorite part of working at your company?

I’m going to call out two things because it’s a tie for me. My two favorite things are

(1) being able to deliver relevant updates to busy people through the news and insideARM’s membership groups (Research Assistant and the Consumer Relations Consortium); and

(2) Collaborating with my Auriemma colleagues to communicate with Creditors on relevant issues affecting the ARM space.

Professional Motivation & Inspiration:

Share a quote that motivates or inspires you:

I’m not sure if this is a direct quote from someone, but it’s something that someone said to me once and stuck: “I don’t know what I don’t know.”

It reminds me that I am not omnipotent and should ask questions. Asking questions provides insight and a greater understanding of whatever the given topic of conversation happens to be.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received in life?

In business, the best piece of advice I’ve ever received and that has saved me from myself numerous times is, “When someone makes a mistake, never assume you understand why or how it happened. Always calmly ask, ‘What happened?’ You’ll be surprised by why what you hear in response.” I was given this advice over 10 years ago, and it has never failed. It’s stopped me from saying words I can’t take back and has helped me strengthen my relationships with my colleagues.

On the personal advice front, the best piece of advice I ever received was, “Always remember that you are irreplaceable to your family.” This advice helps me keep things in perspective. I’ve had the luxury of working for wonderful organizations over the years, but family always comes first for me.

What are you most proud of, or what is your biggest accomplishment?

I’m most proud of my work with the Consumer Relations Consortium. I’ve been in the collections industry for over 17 years. In that time, I have held many roles ranging from litigating collection matters in the courtroom, to managing a multistate collections litigation practice, and even serving as GC and CCO for a national agency and debt buyer. Those roles allowed me to grow within the industry and to understand the industry from several different facets.

My work with the CRC allows me to communicate with regulators and other stakeholders to put my knowledge to good use, instead of just throwing my opinions into the ether. I’ve been involved in several successes with the CRC that have helped shape both state and federal policy.

Personal Q&A:

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I can’t think back that far. Haha!

If you work from home, what is the best thing about your home office setup/working from home? And if you work in an office, what is your favorite part of working in the office?

I love, and I cannot stress this enough, LOVE, working from home. The best parts are that my cats are always close by (and frequently join internal calls!), and my view. My office faces my front yard which has a few trees, shrubs, and flowers, so there always seems to be birds flying around and squirrels and chipmunks doing their thing. It’s wonderful to look up and see greenery and small creatures enjoying a beautiful day.

What is your favorite book, movie, TV show, podcast, or music genre?

Let’s go with the Music Genre. I am all about 90s alternative music. I drive an older car that still has a 6-CD changer, and of the 6 CDs in my car, I think the average year of release is 1995. Do I get bonus points for the fact that I have actually owned these CDs since the 90s? Many of the CD’s I have in the CD book I keep in my car (Yes- I still do this), are the originals I bought in the 90s. 90s music is superior to everything else, and no I will not be taking questions at this time. Haha!

People would be surprised if they knew…

I had no intention of going to college when I graduated high school. I didn’t care very much about it and didn’t think it was for me. I changed my mind about 6 months after graduating.

Do you have a pet? If so, what kind and what’s their name?

I have two gray tabby cats that frequently appear in Zoom calls! They are litter mates. Kiki is 7.8 pounds of general menace, and Athena is 9 pounds of loud. Since they’re petite, sometimes they both jump on my lap at the same time during calls.

About Latitude by Genesys

Auriemma Roundtables is a company that provides data services, meetings, and peer insights to the lending and payments industries. They help leading companies improve their business practices by providing access to communities, data and intelligence that drive decision-making.

insideARM is a source for news and analytics within the receivables management industry. With an audience of executives from collection agencies and law firms, debt buyers, creditors, suppliers of technology and services, regulators, investors, and other interested parties, insideARM is one of the most trusted and utilized resources within the industry.

Published On: June 4th, 2024|Categories: Executive Spotlight|Tags: , , |

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