Author Topic: "ConServe" ("Continental Service Group, Inc."), collects student loans, and.  (Read 8495 times)

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A poster on this site, who is dealing with an account in collections from a NY college, has mentioned to me that the CA is a “ConServe”.  This 20-year-old CA, full name “Continental Service Group, Inc.”, is out of Rochester, NY (another upstate NY CA…! Oy vey!   >:(   )  There is not a whole lot of information on them, but, if their own website is any indication, they are the typical CA:  Nasty!  And all too able to put a “gloss” on it.

But, they may yet be hoist by their own petard!  How?  You shall see a bit later on…:

Their address, according to a web search is:

P.O. Box 190
Fairport, NY 14450-0190
(866) 804-1700

Their full street address:

700 Perinton Hills Office Park, P.O. Box 7
Fairport, New York 14450
(585) 421-1000

This is their website address:

This company, founded in 1985, handles both outsourced accounts receivables and contingency collections for educational institutions, utilities, medical, and commercial accounts.  Here is some of what their website says about them:

History and Philosophy

Continental Service Group Inc. was incorporated in New York State on September 12, 1985. Today, all of our collection and accounts receivable management services are consolidated under the name of ConServe. Mark E. Davitt is president and treasurer. <<snip>> Since 1985, ConServe has focused on collecting service receivable debt, reducing our Clients’ administrative burden, accelerating Client cash flow and reducing losses by achieving the highest possible recovery rates on the accounts placed with us. Today, we also provide accounts receivable management, pre-collect, training and consulting services. Our revenues are derived from fee-for-service arrangements or produced through the contingency fees charged upon the successful collection of those accounts. <<snip>>

See the bolded part:  ConServe is a contingency CA which also acts as a first-party billing and collections service.  The “soup-to-nuts” arrangement becoming far more common these days…and one that could complicate things for the alleged debtors—us.


The Foundation of Our Success

 We understand that our consistently high performance levels can not be achieved without the qualified personnel to execute the daily workload, which leads us to the foundation of our success. . . OUR PEOPLE. ConServe employs professional debt counselors who have made the company’s Commitment to Excellence. ConServe maintains one of the lowest turnover rates of any agency in the industry. This is clearly a reflection of our positive work environment and high ethical standards. Oh, yeah?  “Ethical CA” , IMHO, is an oxymoron. As you know, low turnover means better results for our Clients. <<snip>>

Oh, really?


The backbone of our success lies in our strong commitment to technology. ConServe is beginning to embrace the kind of true computer-telephony integration that will change the expectations of our Clients forever and clearly revolutionize the collections industry. This true integration of data and voice delivers screen pop-up applications to enhance both Client service and debtor communication and allow automatic tracking of all account activity. Right now, we are implementing a number of leading edge systems and solutions that will transform our operations, including:
•   Digital telephone technology with automatic call distribution and variable and programmable call vectoring that will allow us to adapt to incoming call volume automatically, giving a better level of service to our Clients.
•   Advanced call locator technology that goes well beyond Caller I.D. to help us effectively locate and contact your accounts.
•   Integrated predictive dialers that don’t just interface, but are truly integrated with our computer software. Therefore, we will be able to simultaneously update our database records, while eliminating duplicate calls and increasing quality assurance.

•   Digital Voice Recording records the actual voice communications between our staff and your debtors. This technology is tangible evidence of our commitment to quality.

Our new, state-of-the-art Interactive Information Center (IIC) gives Clients instant access to up-to-the-minute aggregate account status and detailed account information. We are also expanding our mass storage and enhancing our on line query capabilities to give you the ad hoc reports you need, when you need them. In addition, the IIC provides consumers with a 24-hour/7-day automated vehicle for making payments or payment arrangements, according to the very specific guidelines established by you. IIC technology also offers a very cost effective vehicle for contacting high volume accounts.

A comment:  Oh, nice!  Potential high tech harassment! Delivered 24/7/365.

Yet, I said this CA may very well hoist themselves by their own petard?  Here it is, the #1 Hoist!:   Where is it?  Just look back and see the “Digital Voice Recording” item:  They record calls…no doubt every one of them!    Thank you, ConServe, for giving us permission to record you!  ;) 

ConServe also is a certified CA with the U.S. Department of Education, and, indeed, dunns for debts owed to educational institutions across the country.  Note that ConServe feels they must constantly harp on the “trillions of dollars in unpaid debts” in this country.  What they don’t tell you, of course, is that many of those debts don’t exist, or are incurred by the Government itself, NOT individuals and private businesses!

Also, see how this passage is written…the implication is the typical one in the collection industry as to why debts go unpaid:


 There are literally trillions of dollars in unpaid debts in this country. Debts that are choking retail stores, businesses and especially colleges and universities. The U.S. Department of Education places delinquent student loans in excess of $9 billion annually. This is in excess of the hundreds of millions of dollars of unpaid institutional loans and accounts receivable. The failure of students to repay these obligations further jeopardizes the pool of monies available to future students. At ConServe, we do not believe that your institution should be jeopardized by the refusal of some individuals to honor their financial obligations. That’s why we’ve developed a results oriented debt collection program that reduces accounts receivables, while preserving those all-important alumni relationships. ConServe currently collects several hundred thousand accounts for more than twenty-two hundred different funds on behalf of our Clients. Our revenues are derived from contingency fees charged upon the successful collection of those accounts. So, our compensation is directly tied to the level of our success. We are pleased to announce we have met the requirements for certification as a Third Party Servicer of federal student loans. As you know, complying with the rigorous components of this federal audit is an accomplishment that not many A/R management companies have achieved. In fact, our original audit covers our fiscal year including the period December 1995, the required start date of the audit. You can feel confident that we have the people and processes in place to service all of your collection needs. By specializing in the collection of higher education accounts, we have been able to design and implement specific methodologies that have resulted in collection rates that are among the highest in this industry.<<snip>>

Is it their abilities to collect student loans, no doubt the bulk of their educational institution collection portfolio?  Or, is it simply that student loans are easier to collect upon, courtesy of Uncle Sam?  How many debts allow for seizing assets via administrative action without going to court?  Not many…except student loans!  That is what they won’t tell the potential client…makes them look more successful via. their own efforts than they really are.

The attitude throughout this website is typical:   Debts go unpaid because the alleged debtor refuses to pay what they could very well afford to pay.  However, I have yet to see a CA website that so blatantly spits it out under every heading referring to the type of debts they choose to pursue.  Which, with these guys,  is almost any type of debt imaginable.  Indeed, if you go to the website, virtually every category heading, except for Medical debts,  repeats this same phrase, ad nauseum, changing only the words necessary to apply to the actual category!

How did I come to that conclusion?  Just look at the italicized part, and the bolded word—refusal—within the passage!  That says it all!!  Namely, this “service oriented” business is not really about true customer service, but is about making the alleged debtor look like a complete scofflaw, if not outright thief!  Once again, the assumption that the alleged debtor owes money simply because they just won’t pay, and perfectly well can do so, is traditional in the collection industry.  And, just plain wrong in nearly every case.  And, ConServe is doning nothing to change that perception, so it seems.

I wonder if the only reason we have not yet heard a boatload of complaints about these characters is that they mainly collect on accounts most of us don’t deal with all that often, except when they are still being collected by the  OC's own staff, or after they have been sold to a JDB?

And, to end this little article,  you better not owe the Doc!  Or, they may be the “business office” you’ll have to deal with:


Until very recently, there was something almost taboo about healthcare providers or private medical practices collecting on unpaid medical or dental bills. Although almost 220 million Americans have some form of health insurance, personal healthcare expenditures are projected to reach an all time high and providers can expect to be hit hard. Each year,  hospitals are forced to write off billions of dollars in bad debt,  mostly self pay balances. That’s why ConServe has developed a results oriented debt collection program that reduces past due accounts, while preserving those all-important doctor patient relationships. By specializing in the collection of accounts for healthcare providers, we have been able to design and implement specific methodologies that have resulted in collection rates that are among the highest in this industry. Our revenues are derived from contingency fees charged upon the successful collection of those accounts. So, our compensation is directly tied to the level of our success.

They do medical collections on a commission basis!  So, to make money,  no doubt they have to be aggressive…against those who usually are the least able to deal with the situation as it arises.