The National List® of Attorneys (The NL) held a drawing for a free registration to the Debt Connection Symposium and Expo (DCS2018) Conference in Austin, and the winner was Keith Wier of Maurice Wutscher. Keith has been with Maurice Wutscher for about three years. They have offices in 13 states and Washington D.C. “We have a national presence for most of our clients because we know someone almost everywhere. We have also used The NL to help us find an attorney in another state.” Keith does work in both the Austin and Dallas offices. He enjoys helping people recover money owed to them.
Even though Keith lives in a suburb north of Austin, this is the first time he has been to the DCS Conference. “I was impressed. I’ve been to a lot of other conferences, so I saw a few folks I know, but I also met a lot people I didn’t know. I participated in their well-known Speed Networking activity and collected cards from quite a few people that I will probably contact again. I also met new people at the pre-conference cocktail reception, and the breaks and receptions in the exhibit hall.”
Keith attended several helpful sessions. Two that stand out in his memory are back-to-back panels. The first was Thursday morning’s “Ask the Regulators.” “I like to keep my eye on regulators and learn all that I can about changes in the rules and regulations. The Q & A directed at the CFPB, FCC and other regulators was very helpful.” This session was followed by “The Great Debate: Collection Effectiveness and Compliance.” It included panel members representing five parts of industry who talked about relevant topics of the day based on attendee requests. Keith remembers that there was a lot of discussion on the future of the industry, specifically related to artificial intelligence. “One panelist was an ‘old-school’ owner of a debt collection agency who made the argument that there ‘will always be a place for humans. There’s no way debt can be collected without personal contact.’ Another panelist saw technology as taking over everywhere, starting with the use of email and text. Even though there is lots of risk associated with communicating that way, there is hope that the regulations will ease up, because the CFPB is becoming more collection-friendly, and people are looking for ways to cut cost.”
In the Exhibit Hall Keith also saw a predominance of technology companies specializing in analytics and data mining, similar to The NL’s latest product for attorneys, NL Advocate™. “This could be useful in Texas, one of the most difficult states in which to collect debt. There is no wage garnishment, and there are generous exemptions that will require a vote of the people to change. Consumer debt is the hardest to collect. People are more educated and not as worried about what collectors will do to them. It seems there’s less moral obligation. There is more clout with a law degree and the ability to go court and sue.”
Keith says, “I really appreciated the Free Registration offer, because it got me to go to a conference I might not have gone to otherwise. It was enjoyable, informative, with great education and networking opportunities.”
Heather Goldberg attended from The National List. She summed up her experience by saying, “DCS is a valuable experience for both attorneys and forwarders that offers business development opportunities for industry professionals in the NL network. We look forward to attending future events and making new connections with those we have yet to meet.”
DCS2019 has already been announced for September 10-12, 2019, at the Red Rock hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Early registration is now available online.