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Technology and Telecommunications Compliance Issues Wrap Up ACA International’s 2018 Convention and Expo

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ACA International’s 2018 Annual Convention & Expo concluded Wednesday after two days of rigorous educational sessions covering a variety of hot topics. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s sessions:

  • In an ACA advocacy panel Wednesday morning, ACA’s Vice President of Government and State Affairs Andrew Madden noted that many of ACA’s state and regional units are focused on addressing the rising tide of dispute letters sent by credit repair organizations. “You have to attack the issue on both the state and federal level,” Madden said. “The Feds pay attention to what’s happening in the states. For instance, if a bill gets introduced in Congress and it can’t get through; maybe a federal regulatory agency takes it on. If we have a federal solution [to the problem] that would be best, but it doesn’t in any way slow down what’s going on in the states, and I think what’s happening in the states will have a bigger impact.”
  • Convention Session Web

  • Two cases dominated many of the convention discussions: Lavallee vs. Med-1 Solutions LLC and Saunders v. Dyck O’Neal, both of which deal with using current technology (email and ringless voicemail, respectively) in the collection process. Attendees packed a session on embracing new communication methods, grilling presenters on the compliance aspects of leaving voicemail messages, sending text messages and the E-Sign consumer rights disclosure requirements.
  • Millennials are changing the way debt collectors do business, according to David Glezerman, assistant vice president and bursar, Temple University in Philadelphia. Glezerman, along with Robbie Malone and Xerxes Martin, both attorneys with Malone Akerly & Martin PLLC in Dallas, tackled issues related to dealing with Millennials in a session focused on the widening generation gap. As most Silent Generation, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers realize, Millennials are tech savvy individuals who can run circles around their parents and grandparents on the internet. Thus, Malone said accounts receivable management industry professionals should be mindful that when Millennials get angry, they are more likely than elders to take their complaints to the internet (i.e., Yelp!)
  • The big takeaways from a session about state and federal investigations were “tell the truth, don’t destroy documents and remember that anyone you name will be disposed.” Attorney Justin Penn shared these words of wisdom during a session on state and federal investigations he led along with Alicia McKeighan, director of compliance with Afni Inc. in Bloomington, Ill. The two offered attendees’ agency and outside counsel their perspectives on state and federal requests for information and investigations. They highlighted the differences between civil investigative demands, multistate investigations and BCFP and FTC investigations. The engaging session seemed to emphasize the reality that the accounts receivable management industry is among the most heavily regulated industries in the country. To this point, Penn quipped that debt collectors are more heavily regulated than doctors or lawyers. Penn is an attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Chicago.
  • “Go with your gut,” was one tip Christopher Rickman and Kenneth Rubin offered accounts receivable management professionals who attended the session “Predicting the Future with Collection Forecasting.” If one can forecast collections based upon known placement volumes, realistically determined new business for the upcoming period(s), and actual or expected recovery rates―again realistically determined and using the appropriate “velocity curves” ―a professional can project revenue, staffing needs, and other associated expenses, according to Rickman and Rubin. But if you are missing one or more elements of data, you should feel comfortable tapping into your previous experiences and knowledge to make key decisions. “You will never be 100 percent accurate,” Rubin said. “But you have to trust that your information and data will evolve over time. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to collection forecasting. We’re all in the same business, but we may run not our businesses in the same way.” Rickman is president of Peak Revenue Learning in Columbia, S.C. and Rubin is President/CEO of Hollis Cobb Associates in Duluth, Ga.

The ACA International 2018 Convention & Expo is over, but it’s not too early to mark your calendar for next year’s convention, which will take place July 14-16, 2019, in San Diego. You won’t want to miss it.

Source: on 2018-07-26 09:30:00

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