Use and Admission of Records in Collection Cases
Participants: Karen L. Jones and Christopher K. Durso, Evans & Dixon, LLC
On a contested matter, a collection attorney must not only have the documentation needed to prove the case at trial, but must also ensure that the documentation will be admitted into evidence. In some states, this is not as simple as one might expect. Our presentation will provide an overview of evidentiary issues faced by collection attorneys at trial. We will discuss what elements of a case particular documents should be used to prove, the foundation that must be laid, common objections that are raised by opposing counsel, and arguments in response to those objections. We will also discuss some of the documents that may be required and the unique issues that arise in proving the chain of title for an account.
Use of Wireless Communications, Autodialers, Email & Social Networking in Collections Process
Panel Members: Scott Paris, Keith D. Weiner & Associates Co., L.P.A.; Thomas L. Canary, Jr., Mapother & Mapother, PSC; Keith D. Weiner, Keith D. Weiner & associates Co., L.P.A.
The FDCPA was enacted by Congress in 1977 to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices, chiefly via land-line telephones and U.S. Mail.. Since then, technology has expanded to include email, the Internet, social networking and extensive mobile communications. The FDCPA has not been amended to address any of these new forms of communication. In light of court decisions during the past decade, it is clear that contacting debtors by any of these means constitutes a communication for FDCPA purposes. To date, courts have provided little guidance to help collection firms utilize more contemporary communication methods.
This issue is at the forefront of changes to come in enforcement and application of the FDCPA. The panel will discuss these changes in technology and how they relate to compliance under the FDCPA. They will explore many of the pitfalls inherent in utilizing these newer forms of communication, as well as legitimate, compliant and helpful ways to use them.
Billion Dollar Decisions: Protecting your Client’s Brand
Speakers: Kenneth Wake, Blatt, Hasenmiller, Leibsker & Moore, LLC; Donald Maurice, Maurice & Needleman, P.C.
Compliance is the “hot” topic in the industry with a “new normal” being set by regulators, courts and creditors. This session will provide attendees with take-away policies and procedures that enhance their ability to manage the heightened expectations of clients as they relate to compliance. It will delve into the details of developing internal programs to manage TCPA regulations & autodialing cell phones, call monitoring & recording, file review, post judgment execution no-no’s, web payment portals, use of email in collections and the safeguarding of customers’ personal information.
Client Panel Discussion of Audit Preparedness
Panel Members: Tina Thomas, Asset Acceptance; Missy Massey, Portfolio Recovery Associates; Matt Russell, TRAKAmerica
Preparation for a client audit can be daunting, especially if it is your first time being audited or the first time for this particular client. Even veterans of the audit process sweat a little. This session on Audit Preparedness, presented by a panel of three forwarders, will address how to prepare for an audit. It will offer tips on what documents to review in preparation, how to prepare audit binders, questions to ask the client and timelines for the audit and audit responses. Most forwarders will have a pre-audit meeting discussing what they will be auditing and whether the audit will be on-site or off-site. Unless there are critical issues that have arisen and there is concern on the part of the client, most auditors will give a three to four week lead time in scheduling the audit which should give you ample time to begin the review in preparation for the actual audit. Plan to attend this seminar so you are as cool as a cucumber the next time the client utters the word, “Audit”.
Look for articles enlarging on some of these topics in The National List eNewsletter.
By Beverly Unrath, Director of Business Development