Accounts Receivable Management Featured Article

Collection Agencies Pay Veteran's Tuition

May 24, 2012

Collection agencies are mostly associated with scandals these days, so it might surprise some to know there are good deeds that come from this vilified industry. ARMing Heroes, a not-for-profit that specializes in assisting U.S. war veterans, raised over $27,000 in a ten-week period from the credit and collection industry.

Because of the generosity of collection agencies, ARMing Heroes was able to make a substantial difference in the life of an injured vet, not only by helping him financially, but offering him financial advice on how to deal with creditors.

The name of the soldier is Maurice Shuff, who joined the Pennsylvania National Guard Reserve in 2004. Five years later, he was deployed to Iraq where he was discharged after suffering an injury. Although found work with an electronics’ retailer, Shuff was barely able to make ends meet.

Despite what many people are led to believe about the educational support veterans receive from the government, Shuff, like so many of us, suffered from an overwhelming amount of debt accrued from student loans related costs for his college degree. He turned to not-for-profit organizations for help, and ARMing Heroes answered his call.

The most significant contribution, according to reports, came from Southwest Credit in 2011. Southwest Credit has an Employee Contribution Program (ECP) that encourages employees to challenge the company into donating to charities. The employees, in recognizing the financial need of veterans, gave to ARMing Heroes.

ARMing Heroes recognized that if half of their corporate donors enlisted programs like the ECP, the foundation could raise over $400,000 in one year.

Along with the financial endowment to pay off his student loans, Shuff was also given some expert advice on how to use the remaining money to deal with his creditors. In the letter Shuff sent to ARMing Heroes, he tells tales of his wage garnishment from student loan creditors, as well as other financial obstacles the foundation has helped him overcome.

“That’s why I must say I appreciate the work that ARMing Heroes has done and is doing,” he said, “so hopefully this time next year we can read another military vet’s story of appreciation.”

Edited by Braden Becker

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