Just like it takes a whole team—and not simply one super star player—to win the game, it takes the whole industry to successfully address current and future compliance issues. Recently I’ve noticed three examples of people working together in compliance efforts, which I share below.
CFPB and ACA International:
If we want clear, fair rules we must continually communicate our story and suggestions with politicians and key industry regulators, especially our newest regulating body, the CFPB. From what I’ve observed at conferences and other meetings, particularly at the recent ACA International Conference, it definitely appears the CFPB is working with and listening to ACA International. When you talk with ACA leadership and listen to CFPB representatives you readily recognize both sides know each other personally, meet regularly and discuss our industry’s story and concerns.
I am confident that with ACA International developing these strong lines of communication—and the CFPB hopefully continuing to listen—we can more optimistically hope for fair, clear rules. Thank you ACA for working hard to make and keep this relationship!
Agency, legal counsel and clients
I frequently mention the importance of involving your legal counsel in compliance related issues. What I don’t always think about is explaining that advice to your customers and then asking for help. I think that will go a long way toward adapting to regulations. For example, in a recent newsletter one of my customers explained to their clients that the use of an important contacting tool—the automated dialer—was potentially threatened by a recent federal court ruling. If the ruling became applicable to his collection efforts, my customer would no longer be able to contact cell phones using a dialer unless he had express written permission.
My customer counseled with his attorney, determined the best solution and then presented his clients with a suggested action: Obtain written express permission for contacting a cell phone. He even provided clients with a form they could use to get this permission. (It’s interesting to note that my customer suggested his customers also consult their own attorney before using the form.)
Being proactive and explaining the problems (and solutions) to your clients makes collecting under changing regulations easier.
Columbia Ultimate and Ontario Systems
I hadn’t thought about competing vendors working together on compliance issues until Columbia Ultimate and Ontario Systems announced they were teaming up to provide the ARM industry with compliance solutions, including consulting services, management systems, ongoing training and compliant resolution programs. I think this is fantastic! Even competitors can work together on challenging industry issues.
As Mr. Fred Houston, Columbia Ultimate President/CEO stated about the partnership, “These are very challenging times in the ARM industry. Meeting those challenges means maintaining compliance, and we want to ensure our clients have the resources they need to do just that.”
I applaud Ontario Systems and Columbia Ultimate for putting the competition aside and working together for the good of the industry.
This article was written by Dave R