Randy Nicola, Vice President of the National List of Attorneys and a strong supporter of the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys, first takes us back in time. “NARCA held their first conference in 1993, in Las Vegas, NV. NARCA Founder and then Acting President was attorney Don Kramer, of St. Louis, MO. I was not able to attend this first meeting, but I was able to attend the following year, and I have not missed a NARCA conference since.
“NARCA has been a very beneficial association for attorneys and forwarders that have dedicated the majority of their practice, if not all, to retail collections. The association, has two major meeting a year, spring and fall, and they are never in the same city in consecutive years. The most recent meeting was held In Washington, D.C., October 16-19, 2013.
“I have developed lasting and rewarding relationships with attorneys and forwarders, due to this wonderful association. Getting to see and visit with NL members and friends, clients and prospective clients is something I always look forward to.
“I would like to thank Lou Freedman, former president of NARCA for a job “well done.” I would also like to congratulate Joann Needleman, who is taking over the reins as president for the next two years. Knowing Joann, she will do a fantastic job. NARCA’s tag line is: “NARCA Works,” and it does!”
To begin this fall’s conference, NARCA took advantage of relatively new technology and live-streamed their Oct. 15th opening Symposium on Consumer Debt Collection for those who were unable to attend. Leslie Herr, NL Systems Administrator was able to “tune in” to part of it. NARCA members everywhere could join Legal Symposium Master of Ceremonies Dr. Wayne Babovich, Keynote Speaker Judge Joseph F. Murphy, Jr., and FDCPA authority Manny Newburger as four panels consisting of nationally-recognized members of the debt collection industry explored the role of collection attorneys in the “credit ecosystem.” Leslie encourages everyone who can’t attend the opening day of the next NARCA conference to follow what they can via the live-streaming link. You’ll need a NARCA member user name and password.
Attendee, Katie Stromstad, Director of the National List Appearance Counsel (NLAC), reports, “The NARCA conference was as busy and beneficial for me as always. Client meetings, educational sessions and networking were the top focus of my days there. I had a great time representing NL and NLAC, seeing familiar faces and meeting new people.
“One of the sessions that was most interesting to me was the NARCA Defense Bar Education Session: Responding to and Dealing with the CFPB Complaint Portal. I encourage all of our law firms and clients to sign up at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/company-signup/ to view all consumer complaints. If any complaints are against your firm, you have a chance to respond to the complaint. It is very important to stay up-to-date on what people are complaining about. The CFPB Consumer Complaint submission process is as follows:
• CFPB review and routing
• Company response
• Consumer review & response
• CFPB review & investigation
“I also attended the NARCA business meeting, where Louis Freedman, with Freedman Anselmo Lindberg LLC, passed the role of president to Joann Needleman, with Maurtice & Needleman, P.C. The NARCA Community Service Award winner was Glasser & Glasser in Virginia.”
You can almost hear Kacey Rask, NL Account Executive, say breathlessly, “My conference experience seemed like a million mini-meetings with NL clients, attorney members and prospects! I literally ran between appointments. Even though I was really busy, it was great to be able to talk with so many people. Through my conversations, I found that many firms are joining forces in the new “compliance industry.” Most clients want to manage a smaller attorney network and are looking for firms that have a regional footprint. NL Members need to be aware of the importance of having listings in all the regions and states where they practice.”
We encourage all NL members and clients to attend the NARCA Spring Collection Conference, May 15-18, 2014, in Miami Beach, Florida. We look forward to seeing you there!
By Marti Lythgoe, NL Editor