At a glanceWednesday, June 19, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - June 19, 2019
Wednesday June 19, 2019
Mid Week Newsletter:
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Our legal strategies and outsourcing panel is making its way back to DCS2019, to be held September 10 - 12, 2019 at the Red Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Join Manny Newburger, Dave Snyder, and Brian Winn for a panel on optimizing the legal collection strategy for your company. Hear how you and your clientele can have a positive relationship and productively collect on legal accounts. This 45 minute glimpse into the inner workings of a successful legal operation will be a great learning experience for all!

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Fort Worth firm to pay back $39.7 million on payday loans that charged 375% interest

A Fort Worth financial firm will cancel its outstanding loans and pay nearly $40 million to consumers after engaging in an alleged payday lending operation that used Native American tribes as shields from state laws.   Think Finance Inc. serviced loans that charged interest rates over 375% and locked borrowers into plans in which paying off the loan was nearly impossible, according to a 2016 complaint filed in Vermont.

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Fintech algorithms discriminate 40% less than traditional lenders

Algorithmic fintech lending is less discriminatory against minorities than traditional loan officers, according to a recent study of US mortgages. The findings signal hope that technology could provide financing that’s more fair, but the research also underscores how widespread discrimination remains. The US housing market has long been prejudiced against minorities. When Latino and Africa-American borrowers are looking to buy a home, they usually end up paying 7.9 basis points (0.079 percentage points) more than whites to take out the mortgage, and 3.6 basis points more when they refinance the debt, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper published this month. That comes to $765 million in additional interest costs each year. The researchers also estimated that discrimination may have resulted in as many as 1.3 million mortgage applications being rejected between 2009 and 2015. Algorithms tend to have a better record. Online financial technology companies discriminate, too, but 40% less than loan officers who make decisions face-to-face, the NBER researchers found. They also found no discrimination from the robots when it comes to loan approvals.

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In major economies around the world, such as in the U.S. and U.K., small businesses employ about half of the working population. Their impact—financially as well as culturally—is enormous. But due to their lack of collateral and limited credit histories, small businesses don’t get the same opportunities to acquire funding as big corporations, or even individuals looking for personal loans. There has long been a disconnect between new, innovative small businesses and the financing they need to help them grow. Dubbed the Macmillan gap, this inability to bring together finance and industry was again exposed in the wake of the financial crisis.

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HSBC launches digital mortgage platform with help from Roostify

One of the world’s largest banks is about to join the digital mortgage revolution, as HSBC Bank USA, the U.S. arm of HSBC Group, announced that it is partnering with Roostify to launch a digital mortgage platform.   Roostify, a multiple-time HousingWire Tech100 winner and leader in the digital lending space, uses technology that streamlines the mortgage process but also provides consumers with a human-centric approach.

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NEAR THE END of 2017, on a Dominican Republic beach with his family, Facebook executive David Marcus wrestled with a question he’d been pondering since his previous job as president of PayPal. How would you build the internet of money? A friction-free global digital currency would be a boon for the many people with mobile phones but no access to banking. And who better to develop something like this, he wondered, than Facebook, with its global reach and massive user base? Marcus, then head of Facebook Messenger, thought he had an answer. He texted his boss and told him it was time to talk about Facebook creating a cryptocurrency, saying that he had a clear view of how to do it, in a way that would earn trust even from those skeptical of Facebook. Marcus spent the next few days writing a memo that laid out his ideas. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg quickly endorsed the plan, saying the approach synced with his ideas.

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CFPB chief’s equal-opportunity calendar

In her first four and a half months on the job, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger was no stranger to Capitol Hill, holding in-person meetings with lawmakers more than twice as often as her predecessor did during a similar time frame. Kraninger, who has been at the helm of the agency since December, met in person with 16 members of the House or Senate from Dec. 11 through the end of April, most of them in the lawmaker's office. The meetings, posted as part of her public schedule that is available on the CFPB website, were held with 10 Republicans and six Democrats. Yet her schedule, part of a planned "listening tour" to hear from various stakeholders, suggests a concerted effort to meet with members from both parties, as well as a diverse array of consumer advocates, bankers and trade group representatives.

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NY Attorney General Urges CFPB to Dismiss Proposed HMDA Rule

New York State Attorney General Letitia James urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) not to adopt its recently-proposed rule that would undermine the ability to enforce fair lending laws and prevent discrimination in the mortgage lending market.

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Debt Collector Goes Bankrupt After Health Care Data Hack

(Bloomberg) -- Retrieval-Masters Creditors Bureau Inc., whose business was blamed for a large-scale data breach that affected millions of Quest Diagnostics Inc. customers, filed for Chapter 11 protection, citing fallout from the security issue.   The company, which collects patient receivables for medical labs under the name American Medical Collection Agency, listed assets and liabilities of as much as $10 million in its bankruptcy petition filed in the Southern District of New York. It’s aiming to liquidate, the company said.

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Bank of America offers down payment, closing cost help for prospective home buyers.

Bank of America will provide down payment and closing cost grants for prospective home buyers in Charlotte, the bank announced. Clients could receive up to $17,500, including up to $10,000 toward a down payment and $7,500 for closing costs. Nearly 70% of prospective buyers identified saving enough for a down payment and closing costs as the biggest barriers to home ownership, according to a Bank of America consumer insight report.

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Cortez Masto, Schumer, Klobuchar and Hassan Introduce Legislation to Deter Illegal Robocalls

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today introduced the Deter Obnoxious, Nefarious, and Outrageous Telephone (DO NOT) Call Act of 2019 with Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). This legislation will improve enforcement and enhance penalties for violations made under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Though the current statute outlaws initiating a robocall without the consent of an individual, these calls continue to surge. In 2017 alone, over 30.5 billion robocalls were initiated. These calls are generally illegal and are frequently used to defraud and scam elderly Americans. In 2015, Americans lost $7.4 billion to telephone scams.

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DCM Services names Dereck Eastman as Chief Technology Officer

Minneapolis, MNJune 17, 2019 — DCM Services, LLC (DCMS) the industry leader in estate and specialty account recovery solutions, announced today the promotion of Dereck Eastman to Chief Technology Officer.   Eastman, who most recently served as Vice President of Information Technology, will continue to oversee all application and development support as well as the IT infrastructure area. Eastman joined the organization in 2006 and has nearly 2 decades of experience architecting and developing software. He has been the premier software developer at DCMS and has led the development of several technologies including Probate Finder®, Probate Finder OnDemand®, DCMS ServiceLink® and many other industry leading tools.

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Idaho Attorney General announces debt relief for former ITT students

Boise, Idaho- Idaho's Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced that his office has secured an agreement to obtain $1.86 million in debt relief for 215 former ITT Tech (“ITT”) students in Idaho. The agreement is part of a settlement involving 43 states and the District of Columbia. The settlement will result in debt relief of more than $168 million for more than 18,000 former ITT students around the nation. The settlement is with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC (“CUSO”), which offered loans to finance students’ ITT tuition. ITT Tech was a for-profit college that filed bankruptcy in 2016

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Top U.S. B-School Students Pile on Debt to Earn MBAs

For aspiring executives, the truism that’s held constant for a generation probably has been that there’s no faster way to advance up the corporate ladder than to go back to school and get an MBA. For many, it’s also been the quickest way to pile up a mountain of debt. New data from a Bloomberg Businessweek survey of more than 10,000 MBA graduates from the class of 2018 at 126 schools around the world suggest that nearly half the students at some of the best business schools are borrowing at least $100,000 to finance their master’s degree in business administration.

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Quicken Loans to pay $32.5 million to resolve mortgage suit

After years of legal haggling, Quicken Loans has agreed to pay $32.5 million to resolve a case brought by the federal government accusing the big mortgage lender of fraud relating to FHA-mortgages made several years ago.    In the agreement, Quicken, which made no admission of wrongdoing, will continue to participate in the Federal Housing Administration loan program, a key part of its business. 

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AG Rutledge settles with group over student debt defaults

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge reached a settlement with Student CU Connect LLC (CUSO) for former ITT Tech students resolving a multi-state investigation which alleged that ITT and CUSO used high pressure tactics to accept CUSO loans. These student loans carried higher interest rates than federal loans, ultimately resulting in a high number of loan defaults. The settlement includes $1,073,688.40 in debt relief for 128 Arkansans. “ITT and CUSO deceived Arkansans by using illegal and high pressure tactics and they must be held responsible for their actions,” Rutledge said. “This settlement provides relief to Arkansans who attended ITT Tech and incurred debts for a questionable education that they could neither repay nor discharge.”

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PayThink Bot fraudsters give human ones a run for their money

With artificial intelligence added into the mix, bots are now able to mimic humans with greater accuracy, and make it look like someone is actually interacting with a form on a web page, creating a greater fraud risk.   The cybercrime economy is estimated to reap $1.5 trillion in profits a year, according to a Bromium/Ponemon study. Those profits are in part achieved by bots and botnets, the automated workers of the internet.

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This big bank is eliminating all fees on checking and savings accounts

Discover is doing away with fees of any kind on its checking, savings, money market and certificate of deposit accounts.  The move would be a first for a large bank and comes as smaller online fintechs offer no-fee options and high-yield savings to woo younger and more price-conscious Americans.  Going forward, Discover won’t charge fees for monthly maintenance, checkbook orders, replacement debit cards, insufficient funds, excessive withdrawals, falling below minimum balances and stop-payment requests.

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Senators urge CFPB not to reduce reporting requirements for HMDA

A coalition of U.S. senators recently demanded that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rescind its proposal to reduce reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). HMDA requires financial institutions to report and publicly disclose mortgage data, which is used by Federal regulators, local governments, and advocates to ensure that all markets have access to mortgage credit and monitor compliance with fair lending laws. However, a proposal to further reduce HMDA data collection would undermine fair lending enforcement and monitoring at the national, local, and institutional level, the senators stated.

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Agencies Release List of Distressed or Underserved Nonmetropolitan Middle-Income Geographies

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today announced the availability of the 2019 list of distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies, where revitalization or stabilization activities are eligible to receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration under the community development definition.


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Google and PayPal explored OCC’s fintech charter, then walked away

Google, PayPal and dozens of other technology and fintech companies have visited with officials at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency during the past year to explore whether to obtain the agency's new special-purpose national bank charter, according to sources familiar with the matter. But both Google and PayPal, as well as several others, have since backed off over fears that they could harm existing relationships with state regulators and concerns about whether the OCC will prevail in a legal challenge to its authority to create the fintech charter. Many technology and fintech companies “operate under a national network of state licenses, so they don’t want to jeopardize that relationship as they shift to a national bank charter, especially if it’s unclear where the litigation will end up,” said Thomas Curry, a partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP and the former comptroller who initially called for the creation of the limited-purpose charter.

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PayThink Bot fraudsters give human ones a run for their money

With artificial intelligence added into the mix, bots are now able to mimic humans with greater accuracy, and make it look like someone is actually interacting with a form on a web page, creating a greater fraud risk. The cybercrime economy is estimated to reap $1.5 trillion in profits a year, according to a Bromium/Ponemon study. Those profits are in part achieved by bots and botnets, the automated workers of the internet. Bots are expected to account for more than 50% of all internet traffic by the end of the year. With 1.9 billion records exposed during the first three months of 2019, not counting the 275 million records recently exposed on the internet, there is a tidal wave of personal information for cybercriminals to launch nonstop credential stuffing and brute force attacks.

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Predatory lending rates: Commissioner wants to halt pay-day loan permits

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A Caddo Commissioner wants the City of Shreveport to temporarily suspend all permits to new pay-day loan shops and pawn shops. Commissioner Steven Jackson filed the proposal, according to the work session agenda. The commission plans to discuss the matter at Monday’s work session meeting at 3:30 P.M. Resolution No. 50 says payday loan shops offer predatory lending rates that are dangerous to lower income people. It suggests that high-interest loans contribute to poverty. It also takes aim at pawn shops. The resolution seeks to encourage other city leaders against issuing permits until there’s a plan to address poverty.

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Google and PayPal explored OCC’s fintech charter, then walked away

Google, PayPal and dozens of other technology and fintech companies have visited with officials at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency during the past year to explore whether to obtain the agency's new special-purpose national bank charter, according to sources familiar with the matter.

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This big bank is eliminating all fees on checking and savings accounts

“What we keep hearing resoundingly – and not just from Millennials and Gen Z – is that there's been a fundamental change in how people think about fees," said Arijit Roy, vice president of deposits at Discover. "They create a very negative emotion, so we thought we take the next step to eliminate all fees." The average fee banks charge to maintain a checking account is $13.58 per month, or $162.96 a year, according to a February survey. The percentage of checking accounts without monthly fees dipped to 30.40 percent, down from 31.78 percent six months ago, the survey also found.
Online banks are more likely to offer free checking. Almost two-thirds of online checking accounts have no monthly fees compared with just a quarter of traditional, branch-based accounts. When online checking accounts charge monthly maintenance fees, they are often lower than those charged by branch-based accounts, MoneyRates found.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Settles with Student CU Connect CUSO over ITT Private Loan Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today announced a settlement with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC (CUSO), a company set up to hold and manage private loans for students at ITT Technical Institute.    The Bureau filed a complaint and a proposed stipulated judgment in federal district court for the Southern District of Indiana alleging that CUSO provided substantial assistance to ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ITT) in engaging in unfair acts and practices. ITT operated ITT Technical Institute until it filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in 2016. The Bureau’s complaint alleges that CUSO was actively involved in the creation and the implementation of the CUSO loan program. The complaint alleges that ITT induced its students to take out the loans by a variety of means, and that CUSO knew or was reckless in not knowing that many student borrowers did not understand the terms and conditions of the CUSO loans and could not afford them.

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AG Yost Announces $6.8 Million in Debt Relief for ITT Tech Students

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Attorney General Dave Yost today announced a multi-state settlement that will provide $6.8 million in debt relief to about 870 former ITT Tech students in Ohio. Nationally, the 43-state settlement will result in debt relief of $168 million for more than 18,000 former students. 
The settlement is with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC (CUSO), which offered loans to finance student tuition at ITT Tech, a failed for-profit college. ITT filed for bankruptcy in 2016 amid investigations by state attorneys general and following action by the U.S. Department of Education to restrict ITT’s access to federal student aid. CUSO’s loan program originated about $189 million in student loans to ITT students between 2009 and 2011.

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Attorney General James Urges CFPB To Dismiss Proposed Rule That Leaves Consumers Vulnerable To Discrimination And Unfair Lending

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) not to adopt its recently-proposed rule that would undermine the ability to enforce fair lending laws and prevent discrimination in the mortgage lending market.   On May 13, 2019, the CFPB announced that it intended to raise the reporting threshold for mortgage lenders under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), a 1975 law that requires mortgage lenders to make certain mortgage data publicly available as a check to ensure compliance with fair lending laws. Some of this data includes information, which lenders already collect to comply with other regulations as well as their own underwriting standards, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, census tract, credit score, total cost of the loan, any non-amortizing features, and property value, and whether the application was accepted or denied.

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Resource Management Services, Inc. supports the concepts of benchmarking and best practices through our continued education and research projects.  We’ve kept these short, but meaningful.  All responses are confidential, and can be anonymous.  All participants can receive a copy of the results by providing their contact information to us.  No individual company information or contact information will be provided in the analysis and results.

Audit oversight survey for creditors
To participate in the Creditor Audit Oversight Survey, please use the link below

Audit oversight survey for agencies, attorneys and specialty vendors
To participate in the Agency Audit Oversight Survey, please use the link below:

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Warren bill would wipe out nearly all student debt in US

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday announced a bill that would forgive billions of dollars in outstanding student loans and wipe out almost all student debt held in the U.S. Warren’s bill would forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt for anyone with a total household income below $100,000. Debtors with between $100,000 and $250,000 in total household income would have less of their debt eliminated the closer they are to the upper limit on eligibility for forgiveness. "The student debt crisis is real and it’s crushing millions of people -- especially people of color,” Warren said in a statement. “It’s time to decide: Are we going to be a country that only helps the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful, or are we going to be a country that invests in its future?”

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FDIC’s Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today issued the new Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights publication. The purpose of this publication is to enhance transparency regarding the FDIC's consumer compliance supervisory activities and includes a high-level overview of consumer compliance issues identified during 2018 through the FDIC's supervision of state non-member banks and thrifts.   This issue of Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights also includes a "Resources & Information for Financial Institutions" on page 6 and an appendix of "Most Frequently Cited Violations and Enforcement Actions" to support supervised institutions' efforts to manage consumer compliance responsibilities effectively.


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CFPB to Hold June 25 Symposium on Abusive Acts or Practices

Having announced in April 2018 that it would be holding a symposia series, the CFPB has now set a date for the first symposium of the series.  The first symposium, to be held on June 25, 2019, will focus on the Dodd-Frank Act’s prohibition of abusive acts or practices, specifically the meaning of abusiveness.  It will be webcast on the Bureau’s website. The Dodd-Frank Act does not authorize state attorneys general to bring claims against national banks or federal savings associations to directly enforce Dodd-Frank’s UDAAP provisions.  However, under Section 1042(a)(2) of Dodd-Frank, a state attorney general can bring claims against national banks or federal savings associations “to enforce a regulation prescribed by the Bureau under a provision of [Title 10].”  Thus, this enforcement authority would presumably be triggered if the Bureau were to adopt a rule regarding what is an “abusive act or practice” under Section 1031 of Dodd-Frank.

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SunTrust and BB&T merger: Here’s the name of the new bank

The biggest bank in Atlanta is getting a new partner — and a new name.
combined SunTrust and BB&T will be known as Truist Bank, officials announced Wednesday. Expect to see that name (pronounced TRUE-ist) splashed across the region in the next year or so, from the Braves stadium in Cobb County to one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers.

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FTC Releases Agenda for PrivacyCon 2019

The Federal Trade Commission today released the final agenda for the fourth annual PrivacyCon, which will take place on June 27, 2019 and focus on the latest research and trends related to consumer privacy and data security.  FTC Chairman Joe Simons will provide opening remarks for PrivacyCon 2019, which will be followed by four sessions of presentations and discussions on research submitted for the event.

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CRA feedback published; NAFCU maintains opposition to CU inclusion

The Federal Reserve Thursday published a summary of feedback from various roundtable discussions on ways to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). NAFCU has strongly opposed extending CRA regulations to credit unions and will continue to advocate against additional constraints on credit unions.   The CRA was enacted in 1977 to encourage banks to meet the financial needs of the communities they serve. Since consumer safeguards and fair lending are already a part of credit unions' statutory and regulatory fabric, the CRA does not apply to the industry.

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Warren asks financial regulators for information about discrimination in algorithms

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in a letter on Wednesday called on the heads of financial regulatory bodies to provide information on reports that automated lending algorithms may produce discriminatory outcomes. In the letter, Warren referenced a recently published analysis that found financial technology (fintech) companies’ algorithmic models may lead to discriminatory outcomes or overcharges to borrowers. Warren submitted the letter to the heads of the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "While some FinTech products have the potential to expand access to financial services for underserved populations, we believe these new business models and products also present new challenges for regulators," Warren wrote.

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Third Circuit Interprets “Debt Collector” to Include Debt Buyer

Earlier this year, on February 22, 2019, a three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling that debt-buying businesses could be liable for violations under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (the “FDCPA”).   The FDCPA’s purpose is to protect consumers from deceptive or unfair debt collection practices and applies to “debt collectors,” which is defined as those engaged “in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts” and those “who regularly collect” debts “owed or due another.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692(a).  The underlying case involves Crown Asset Management, LLC (“Crown Asset”), which is a purchaser of charged-off consumer debt.  After purchasing an account, if the consumer has not filed for bankruptcy, Crown Asset will refer the matter to a third-party service for collection or hires a debt collection law firm to file a lawsuit on its behalf.  Barbato v. Greystone Alliance, LLC, 916 F.3d 260 (3d Cir. 2019).  In 2014, Mary Barbato sued Crown Asset for violations under the FDCPA, due to Crown Asset’s alleged failure to identify itself as a collection agency. 

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Returning to the stage – Mark Naiman, Absolute Resolutions Corp. and Manuel Newburger, Barron and Newburger. Joining them in the debate will be Christopher Mitcham, SNAAC and Thomas Nusspickel, American First Finance.  Topics are sure to be diverse – as we make plans now – we can take your recommendations as well. I’m sure you’ll see some operational debate on how to proceed with technology do’s and don’ts, regulations and of course, compliance concerns. Don’t miss this session – and the rest of Debt Connection Symposium & Expo. We’ll also have more sessions on Skip, Regulatory, Debt Settlement, Legal, Training and AI too! 

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Credit Service of Logan, Inc.

(435) 752-2660

   Debt Buyer 

Medical Debt Forgiveness Network

(847) 275-9001


Industry Events

PrivacyCon 2019

Federal Trade Commission

400 7th St., SW
Washington , DC
June 27 - 27 , 2019

(202) 326-2222

NACTT 54th Annual Seminar Registration Open


JW Marriott Indianapolis 10 S. West Street Indianapolis, IN 46204
Indianapolis , IN
July 16 - 19 , 2019

800-445-8629 | 803-765-0860

ACA International 2019 Annual Convention & Expo

ACA International

Event Location TBA

July 17 - 16 , 2019


Debt Connection Symposium & Expo 2019

Resource Management Services, Inc.

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
11011 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, Nevada

September 10 - 12 , 2019

(562) 906-1101

National Creditors Bar Association 2019 Fall Conference

National Creditors Bar Association

Marriott Marquis
Washington, Washington, DC

October 16 - 19 , 2019


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