Credit and Collection Industry News - ACA International ACA International - An international trade association of credit and collection professionals. en-us Sun, 20 Apr 2014 04:00:00 GMT HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Rising Costs Change Options for Retiree Health Benefits Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:30:00 GMT Health Care Collections Fewer employers, especially new companies, are able to offer health care benefits to their employees when they retire. CREDITORS: Fewer Households Report Month-to-Month Credit Card Debt Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:57:00 GMT Creditors The overall percentage of adults carrying credit card debt from month to month has declined since 2009, but some report having balances of $2,500 or more on their cards. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Uninsured Rate Declines in States Embracing Affordable Care Act Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:05:00 GMT Health Care Collections States with Medicaid expansion and their own health insurance exchanges have more significant declines in their uninsured rate. Fines implemented under the Affordable Care Act could further reduce the rate. CREDITORS: Online Data Breach Reports Increase Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:12:00 GMT Creditors A survey from Pew Research Center finds that year-over-year reports of personal information thefts have increased, and more people are worried about how much of their information is available online. GOVERNMENT COLLECTIONS: Mandatory Income-Driven Repayment Could Increase Student Loans Over Time Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:45:00 GMT Government Collections Researchers and policymakers have proposed income-driven repayment as the only way for students to repay their loans, but the requirement could hurt some borrowers’ ability to pay. CREDITORS: Consumer Credit Defaults Continued to Decline in March Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:05:00 GMT Creditors Bank card and auto loan rates were at record lows, and the national composite posted its lowest post-recession rate of 1.20 percent. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Legislation Calls for Small Business Role in CFPB Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:19:00 GMT Government Affairs The bipartisan bill would create an advisory board of small business representatives to provide insight on regulations proposed at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Affordable Care Act Costs Projected to Decline Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:01:00 GMT Health Care Collections The cost estimates include spending for subsidies provided through health insurance exchanges and an increase in spending for Medicaid. CFPB: CFPB Updates Debt Collection Complaint Notification Process Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:05:00 GMT CFPB The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new notification method eliminates routine daily e-mails to complaint portal subscribers, but it is not flawless. NEWS: Ontario Systems Announces New Vice President of Marketing Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:00:00 GMT News ACA International member promotes industry veteran Casey Stanley, who has served as the company’s senior director of marketing for the past three years. GOVERNMENT COLLECTIONS: Borrowing by Graduate Students Increases Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:08:00 GMT Government Collections Borrowing by students in graduate and professional degree programs is increasing dramatically and may be contributing more to the nation’s overall outstanding federal student loans, according to a new report. CREDITORS: Spring Weather Causes Uptick in March Retail Sales Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:56:00 GMT Creditors Positive sales are expected to continue thanks to consumer spending for the Easter holiday and the arrival of tax refunds. NEWS: Support the ACA International Education Foundation and Win Great Prizes Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:00:00 GMT News Throughout April, ACA members are encouraged to hold Collectors Challenge events in support of the ACA International Education Foundation. Participating companies have a chance to win several great prizes. CREDITORS: Credit Card Delinquencies are Expected to Increase Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:41:00 GMT Creditors U.S. and Canadian bank risk professionals surveyed by FICO believe that delinquencies on credit cards and consumer loans will increase over the next six months. A separate survey finds that delinquencies increased at the end of 2013. CFPB: U.S. Senator Introduces Bills to Reform CFPB Fri, 11 Apr 2014 12:55:00 GMT CFPB The legislation, which includes reforms recently passed in the House of Representatives, calls for structural changes to enhance accountability of the CFPB. NEWS: ConServe Supports Local Blood Drives Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:29:00 GMT News More than 60 employees from the ACA International member in Fairport, N.Y., were donors for Unyts and the American Red Cross during the month of March. CFPB: ACA Member REMEX Hosts CFPB Fact-Finding Visit Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:10:00 GMT CFPB ACA Board member Keith Kettelkamp discussed industry practices and medical debt collection and provided representatives from the CFPB with a tour of an “average-sized” collection agency. NEWS: Deep Freeze Done, Thaw Coming? Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:01:00 GMT News Weather affected first-quarter growth, but the second quarter is poised for improvement. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Report: Fewer People Have Problems Paying Medical Bills Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:20:00 GMT Health Care Collections The National Center for Health Statistics finds improvements in families’ ability to pay bills from 2011 to 2013, including those with private and public health insurance. CREDITORS: Consumer Spending Holds Steady in March Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:05:00 GMT Creditors Average daily spending, at $87 per day, remains the same from February to March for the first time since the 2008 recession. NEWS: Professional Association of Customer Engagement Honors ACA Member Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:45:00 GMT News Contact Center Compliance receives award for innovation in compliance for its cloud-based training product. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Two Data Brokers Settle FCRA Charges with the FTC Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:30:00 GMT Government Affairs The Federal Trade Commission alleges that the companies sold consumer data but neglected to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. CFPB: CFPB Fines Bank of America $727 Million for Illegal Credit Card Practices Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:24:00 GMT CFPB The bank will pay financial relief to millions of consumers harmed by deceptive marketing and unfair credit card billing practices. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Uninsured Rate Reaches Lowest Level Since 2008 Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:55:00 GMT Health Care Collections The decline is consistent with the timing of Affordable Care Act requirements for people to purchase health insurance and expectations for young adults to enroll through state or federal insurance marketplaces. NEWS: ARMing Heroes Helps Single Dad Provide for His Daughters Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:15:00 GMT News Collection industry charity that helps U.S. veterans awards grant to ease financial strain. CFPB: Compliance Check: Reasonable Investigation of Disputes Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:01:00 GMT CFPB Data furnishers should take another look at their credit reporting practices to ensure that they measure up to the CFPB’s expectations. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: ACA Provides Testimony for House Financial Services Committee Hearing Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:27:00 GMT Government Affairs The committee invited the association to provide written testimony focused on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s impact on the collection industry. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: House Financial Services Committee Hearing Looks at Regulatory Red Tape Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:26:00 GMT Government Affairs The committee scrutinized the practices of several regulatory bodies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s lack of transparency, regulatory practices and messaging practices. NEWS: ACA International Consumer Financial Literacy Video Runs Nationwide Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:24:00 GMT News Association members are encouraged to share the video with contacts and post it to their websites. NEWS: West Virginia to Require New Disclosure for Out-of-Statute Debts Tue, 08 Apr 2014 11:03:00 GMT News Effective June, 6, 2014, debt collectors will need to update collection letters to comply with new notice requirements when pursuing debts that are beyond the statute of limitations, including informing the consumer that the creditor or collector cannot sue to collect the debt. CREDITORS: Auto and Student Loans Surge as Credit Card Use Drops Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:51:00 GMT Creditors Borrowing for auto purchases and student loans influenced the increase, while credit card spending continues to decline. CFPB: CFPB Announces Plans to Use Libraries as Financial Education Hubs Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:28:00 GMT CFPB Director Richard Cordray speaks to the Federal Reserve in Chicago about educating and empowering consumers to help them make responsible financial decisions. NEWS: KC & the Sunshine Band Headlines ACA Convention Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:20:00 GMT News The band’s funk and disco music will add to the celebration of ACA International’s 75th anniversary during the Annual Convention and Expo, July 23-25, 2014, in Chicago. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Medicaid Enrollment Grows by 3 Million Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:05:00 GMT Health Care Collections As of February 2014, 48 states have approximately 62.3 million people enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. There is currently no deadline for states to expand Medicaid coverage. GOVERNMENT COLLECTIONS: Higher Education Advocates Propose Student Loan Repayment Plan Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:09:00 GMT Government Collections Federal student loan borrowers would pay their loans based on their income upon leaving school, and the plan would act as a form of insurance against tough economic times. CFPB: Richard Cordray: CFPB Is Reimaging Its Rulemaking Process Fri, 04 Apr 2014 09:47:00 GMT CFPB Speaking to the American Bar Association, the CFPB director addresses the timeline of implementing rules and changing the way the bureau will communicate with consumers and small businesses. CREDITORS: Credit Card Spending Increases Along With Balance Payoffs Thu, 03 Apr 2014 13:50:00 GMT Creditors Discretionary spending with credit cards is becoming more common, and consumers are more likely to pay off or pay down their monthly balances. Credit availability remains constrained in certain markets. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Study: Employers Expect Significant Cost Increases From Affordable Care Act Thu, 03 Apr 2014 13:37:00 GMT Health Care Collections During the next decade, large employers in the United States are expecting increases in the cost of providing health care due to the Affordable Care Act. The result could be a more economical use of health care dollars, or the end of employer-sponsored health care. NEWS: FCC, CFPB Confirmed for ACA Legislative Conference; Join Key Members of Congress Thu, 03 Apr 2014 13:30:00 GMT News Tom Pahl, managing counsel, Office of Regulations at the CFPB, and Kris Monteith, FCC acting chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, have both been confirmed as speakers at ACA’s upcoming Legislative Conference. They join key members of Congress in participating in this important event on May 5-7 in Washington, D.C. CREDITORS: First Quarter Bankruptcy Filings Decrease 12 Percent From 2013 Thu, 03 Apr 2014 13:08:00 GMT Creditors Low interest rates and the high cost of filing bankruptcy contribute to the decrease in 2014. Declining year-over-year bankruptcy totals will likely extend through this year. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: FTC Announces $3.3 Million Debt Collection Settlement Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:40:00 GMT Government Affairs A California-based agency allegedly threatened that consumers had been sued or could be arrested over debts they often did not owe. The owners have been permanently banned from the debt collection business. NEWS: ACA Takes Consumer Financial Literacy Message to the Airwaves Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:41:00 GMT News Informational news segment sponsored by ACA International will air nationwide on 155 news programs with a reach of 77 million households. NEWS: Is Your Business Prepared for the Unthinkable? Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:12:00 GMT News Alliance ACA endorsed vendor Agility Recovery Solutions offers ACA members free preparedness checklists and educational events on business preparedness. CFPB: CFPB Culture of Discrimination, Retaliation Examined by House Subcommittee Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:01:00 GMT CFPB A bureau employee and independent investigator testified about the “toxic workplace environment” and inexperienced and unaccountable managers at the CFPB. NEWS: ACA International Requests Member Participation for Economic Impact Survey Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:05:00 GMT News Ernst & Young economic impact survey provides critical national and state data that is essential for telling the industry’s story to key stakeholders. CREDITORS: More Canadians Choose to Negotiate Debt Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:00:00 GMT Creditors Bankruptcy filings have declined in Canada after a change in the law made the process more expensive. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Senate Vote Delays ICD-10 for At Least One Year Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:42:00 GMT Health Care Collections The legislators’ vote counters plans by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Serves to move forward with implementation of the updated medical coding system this year. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Chamber of Commerce Supports ACA International Petition on TCPA Issues Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:20:00 GMT Government Affairs The chamber calls for action by the Federal Communications Commission to address the growing number of lawsuits related to the TCPA. The number of lawsuits filed increased by 69 percent from 2012 to 2013. NEWS: Changing a Preposition in a Validation Notice Does Not Violate FDCPA Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:05:00 GMT News Sixth Circuit held there is no difference in the use of the word “of” and “after” in a debt collection letter validation notice. NEWS: Update to Wisconsin State Special Text Requirement for Collection Notices Tue, 01 Apr 2014 00:01:00 GMT News New notice requirements effective April 1, 2014. CREDITORS: Retirement Confidence Increases for Americans With Plans and Savings Mon, 31 Mar 2014 14:00:00 GMT Creditors Workers who need to save for retirement face existing debt as an obstacle. Cost of living and day-to-day expenses are also reasons why workers do not save for retirement. CFPB: CFPB Report Shows Complaints Rose 80 Percent in 2013 Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:45:00 GMT CFPB Mortgages are the top source of complaints, followed by debt collection and credit reporting. To date, the CFPB has received more than 310,000 complaints. CREDITORS: Annual Decline in Bankruptcy Filings Expected to Continue Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:45:00 GMT Creditors The decline is supported by a receding unemployment rate and consumers are holding back on spending to repay existing debt. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: FCC Clarifies Prior Express Consent Under the TCPA May be Obtained by a Third Party Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:33:00 GMT Government Affairs The ruling expands upon the commission’s 2008 order relating to an ACA International TCPA petition. NEWS: Private Student Loan Defaults Continue To Decline Fri, 28 Mar 2014 13:00:00 GMT News Unemployment rates, while improving, are keeping the loan default rates higher than pre-recession levels. Higher student loan debt and lower earnings make loan repayment difficult. CREDITORS: Consumer Spending Increases in February Fri, 28 Mar 2014 12:30:00 GMT Creditors Economists predict the gross domestic product in 2014 could be the highest since 2005, and more spending between April and June will help boost overall economic growth. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Half of Uninsured Will Not Purchase Coverage Fri, 28 Mar 2014 11:20:00 GMT Health Care Collections A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that there are people who still plan to remain uninsured despite requirements of the Affordable Care Act to meet the March 31 open enrollment deadline or pay a fine. CFPB: CFPB Won’t Testify at House Hearing About Discrimination Allegations Fri, 28 Mar 2014 09:26:00 GMT CFPB Citing a confidential and ongoing grievance process, the bureau denied a request from a House Financial Services subcommittee to respond to allegations of discrimination and retaliation from an employee. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Financial Assistance for Affordable Care Act Enrollees Approaches $10 Billion Thu, 27 Mar 2014 13:19:00 GMT Health Care Collections A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that more than half the Affordable Care Act subsidies allotted so far will go to consumers in five states. A surge in enrollment by March 31 could boost premium subsidies significantly. CREDITORS: Mortgage Payments Overtake Credit Cards as the Top Payment Priority Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:27:00 GMT Creditors Payment hierarchy study shows consumers are relying less on the liquidity afforded by credit cards to make ends meet and therefore focusing more on paying home and auto loans. NEWS: Bill Kurtis to Kick Off ACA’s 75th Annual Convention Thu, 27 Mar 2014 11:05:00 GMT News Acclaimed documentary host, producer and broadcaster to present “Investigating History: How Entrepreneurs Built Chicago” on July 24, 2014. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: FTC Renews Call for Data Security Legislation Wed, 26 Mar 2014 13:30:00 GMT Government Affairs The commission recommends that Congress strengthen its authority to govern data security standards while requesting its own authority to seek civil penalties to deter unlawful conduct. NEWS: Consumer Confidence Rebounds in March Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:45:00 GMT News Although consumers expect business conditions and the labor market to improve in the months ahead, they are not as optimistic about their income growth. NEWS: Many Americans Hold Retailers Responsible for Data Breaches Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:30:00 GMT News Some have stopped shopping at the affected retailers, while others say they believe data breaches are an expected part of the experience when shopping with credit or debit cards. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: FCC Commissioner Writes Blog Post Advocating for Clarity on TCPA Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:03:00 GMT Government Affairs Citing an increasing number of lawsuits and petitions for clarity, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly writes that it’s time for the Federal Communications Commission to answer important questions and provide much-needed guidance on a variety of issues involving the TCPA. CREDITORS: National Credit Default Rates Decreased in February Tue, 25 Mar 2014 13:27:00 GMT Creditors First and second mortgage and auto loans declined, while the bank card rate reached a new historic low. NEWS: Account Control Technology Announces New Vice President Tue, 25 Mar 2014 11:58:00 GMT News ACA International member hires Michael Magarrell as vice president of strategic accounts to oversee auto, financial, commercial, telecom and utility verticals. CFPB: CFPB Will Issue Regulations For Payday Lending Market Tue, 25 Mar 2014 10:44:00 GMT CFPB The bureau is in the late stages of formulating rules for the payday lending market. Research shows the majority of payday loans are made to borrowers caught in a revolving door of debt who pay more in fees than the amount of money they originally borrowed. NEWS: ACA Member Obituary: Robert R. "Bert" Musick Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:25:00 GMT News Attorney member from Richmond, Va., recently passed away after a brief illness. CFPB: CFPB Complaints Drop 19 Percent Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:15:00 GMT CFPB Consumer complaints about debt collection declined in February from the previous month, according to new data from WebRecon. FDCPA and TCPA lawsuits increased in February while FCRA lawsuit filings declined slightly. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Court Ruling Keeps Debit Fees Intact Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:15:00 GMT Government Affairs Despite protest and a lawsuit filed by representatives of the retail industry, an appeals court judge ruled to keep transaction fees set by the Federal Reserve in place. NEWS: What Does the Future Hold for Collections? Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:00:00 GMT News ACA International CEO Pat Morris will present the “State of the Industry” keynote address to credit, debt collection and compliance leaders at the Collections & Operational Risk Conference. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: U.S. Chamber Outlines Goals for Financial Regulation Fri, 21 Mar 2014 11:00:00 GMT Government Affairs Chamber president and CEO speaks about strengthening the country’s financial system and recommendations for financial regulators to consider during rulemaking processes. NEWS: Keeping Score Fri, 21 Mar 2014 10:41:00 GMT News Managing an agency’s health care account inventory requires significant analysis and can frequently benefit from a combined internal and external scoring and segmentation program. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: A Collaborative Approach to Provider / Collection Agency Relationships Fri, 21 Mar 2014 10:21:00 GMT Health Care Collections Health care providers offer insight into successfully working with collection agency vendors for effective, long-term success. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: What’s Next for the Affordable Care Act? Fri, 21 Mar 2014 10:10:00 GMT Health Care Collections With several areas of health care reform already in place, 2014 is a big year for additional implementation. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: What Does 501(r) Mean for Providers and Agencies? Fri, 21 Mar 2014 10:01:00 GMT Health Care Collections While the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate is receiving substantial attention, proposed 501(r) requirements are also impacting charitable care hospitals and their collection agency vendors. CFPB: ACA International Responds to CFPB’s Report on Debt Collection Complaints Thu, 20 Mar 2014 18:01:00 GMT CFPB The association has identified several key points missing from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s analysis, including the subjective definition of a complaint, challenges communicating with consumers and the voice mail “catch-22” that encourages more calls. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: House Bill Calls for Full Transparency at CFPB Thu, 20 Mar 2014 13:22:00 GMT Government Affairs The legislation, if passed, would apply the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 to the bureau’s meeting policies. CFPB: CFPB Reports on Debt Collection Complaints Thu, 20 Mar 2014 12:19:00 GMT CFPB The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report includes top complaints from consumers received by the bureau since July 2013. Companies have already responded to 82 percent of the complaints. NEWS: Business Associates and HIPAA Thu, 20 Mar 2014 12:11:00 GMT News Where business associates’ responsibilities under HIPAA were previously dictated by contracts, many aspects of the law now apply directly. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Taking on Legislative and Regulatory Challenges Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:41:00 GMT Government Affairs ACA International CEO Pat Morris and Vice President and General Counsel Rob Föehl updated Spring Forum attendees on the association’s work on the latest legislative and regulatory challenges facing the collection industry. NEWS: ACA Members Hit the Links to Support the ACA Education Foundation Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:21:00 GMT News ACA International Education Foundation Golf Tournament supports foundation initiatives, including financial education and the Loomer-Mortenson Scholarship. NEWS: Improving Practices and the Bottom Line with Speech Analytics Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:01:00 GMT News Speech analytics technology gives collection agencies the ability to objectively analyze 100 percent of their collection calls, identify problems and improve practices. NEWS: Sharpening the Corners of Management Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:45:00 GMT News Understanding and addressing the factors that make managers unproductive can help them gain more control of each day. NEWS: Karl Rove Signs on as ACA Convention Keynote Speaker Thu, 20 Mar 2014 03:01:00 GMT News Iconic political strategist leads a lineup of illustrious presenters at ACA International’s 75th Annual Convention and Expo in Chicago. REPORTERS: ACA International Responds to CFPB’s Report on Debt Collection Complaints Thu, 20 Mar 2014 00:01:00 GMT Reporters Data analysis fails to identify underlying public policy concerns. NEWS: ACA Debuts New Supervisory and Compliance Training Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:15:00 GMT News New supervisory skills series and reimagined compliance management series provide fundamental, industry-leading training for collection supervisors and compliance officers. NEWS: ACA International Education Foundation Offers Free Collectors Challenge Planning Teleseminar Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:51:00 GMT News Get helpful tips for a successful Collectors Challenge Month event by participating in the foundation’s March 26 teleseminar. NEWS: ACA International’s 2014 Spring Forum & Expo Begins Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:45:00 GMT News Annual Spring Forum features health care sessions, in-depth educational seminars, vendor expo and networking events. CREDITORS: Millennials Demonstrate Problematic Financial Behaviors Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:45:00 GMT Creditors The youngest generation, known as Millennials, has more financial struggles in the post-recession economy and joins Generation X in engaging in costly credit card behaviors. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Survey: One-Third of Uninsured Will Not Purchase Coverage Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:20:00 GMT Health Care Collections Respondents to a survey said health insurance is too expensive. The results show others are not aware of the March 31 Affordable Care Act enrollment deadline and of tax credits that would reduce the monthly price of insurance. NEWS: Federal Reserve Examines the Economics of Debt Collection Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:05:00 GMT News New working paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia looks at creditors’ use of third-party collection agencies, the influence of reputational concerns and decentralization of the industry. NEWS: Technology is Killing Personal Checks Tue, 18 Mar 2014 00:01:00 GMT News Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents report writing a check just once a month or less often, with 38 percent abandoning paper checks entirely. CFPB: House Financial Services Committee Calls for Greater CFPB Transparency Mon, 17 Mar 2014 13:50:00 GMT CFPB Chairman Jeb Hensarling asks CFPB Director Richard Cordray to open the bureau’s advisory council meetings to the public. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Obama Administration Targets For-Profit Colleges Over Student Debt Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:15:00 GMT Government Affairs Proposed regulations would require institutions to disclose information about the program costs, debt and performance of their gainful employment programs so that students can make informed decisions. NEWS: Datamax Achieves PPMS Designation Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:01:00 GMT News ACA International member in Winston-Salem, N.C., earns the collection industry’s premier agency certification. NEWS: ACA Seeks Member Award Nominations and Applications Mon, 17 Mar 2014 00:01:00 GMT News Annual awards honor members for their achievements and contributions to ACA International and the credit and collection industry. NEWS: Bull City Financial Solutions Achieves PPMS Designation Fri, 14 Mar 2014 13:02:00 GMT News ACA International member in Durham, N.C., earns the collection industry’s premier agency certification. CREDITORS: Canadian Consumer Credit and Mortgage Debt Increase Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:15:00 GMT Creditors Both sectors reported increases at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013, while the household debt service ratio remained at a record low. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: ACPAC Hosts Rep. Lynn Westmoreland Fundraiser Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:01:00 GMT Government Affairs The longtime congressman from Georgia held a campaign event at ACA International’s Washington, D.C., office. NEWS: Plan Today for Collectors Challenge Month Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:13:00 GMT News In April, ACA International members are encouraged to hold workplace events in support of the ACA International Education Foundation. GOVERNMENT COLLECTIONS: GAO Report: Federal Oversight of Debt Management System Is Weak Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:07:00 GMT Government Collections The Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Education was unable to process some loan rehabilitations for eight months, and its monitoring of collection agency performance is weak. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: At the FTC’s Request, Court Shuts Down Collection Agency, Freezes Assets Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:24:00 GMT Government Affairs Allegations of violating the Federal Trade Commission Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by misrepresenting government affiliation and threatening arrest lead to charges against two people and 13 companies. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: FTC and CFPB File Amicus Brief on Collection of Time-Barred Debt Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:42:00 GMT Government Affairs The Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau believe the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court erroneously dismissed a class-action lawsuit against a collection agency. CREDITORS: Consumers’ Credit Card Debt is Rising Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:20:00 GMT Creditors An analysis of yearly data shows that credit card debt increased in 2013 and is expected to rise in 2014 as well. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: U.S. House Approves FCC Process Reform Act Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:05:00 GMT Government Affairs The legislation, in the works for more than a year, aims to increase transparency at the Federal Communications Commission. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Surpasses 4.2 Million Wed, 12 Mar 2014 08:10:00 GMT Health Care Collections Enrollment among adults ages 18-34 has remained strong in the last five months but is falling short of administration goals. NEWS: ARMing Heroes Celebrates Five Years Helping Veterans Tue, 11 Mar 2014 11:11:00 GMT News Collection industry charity has donated more than $100,000 to military veterans in need since its inception in 2009. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Continues to Increase Tue, 11 Mar 2014 11:01:00 GMT Health Care Collections The new health care law is driving more previously uninsured people to enroll. Perceived affordability challenges remain the top reason preventing some from signing up. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Increased Costs Lead Many Employers to Shift Health Care Burden Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:30:00 GMT Health Care Collections Employers are committed to offering benefits, but significant plan changes are in the works to transfer more costs to employees and their spouses. CFPB: CFPB Plans Consumer Survey about Debt Collection Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:57:00 GMT CFPB The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau survey will request information about consumers’ experiences when contacted by collectors. The bureau plans to use the information gathered from the survey as part of its rulemaking for the industry. CREDITORS: Consumer Borrowing Increases by $13.7 Billion Mon, 10 Mar 2014 08:00:00 GMT Creditors Student and auto loans caused an uptick in nonrevolving credit while credit card debt declined in the first month of the year. ASSET BUYERS: New Jersey Appellate Court: Electronic Records Are Enough Proof for Debt Buyers Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:30:00 GMT Asset Buyers State appeals court held that debt buyers do not have to provide notice to consumers when their debt obligations are purchased and assigned. However, they must prove they own the debt and the amount of the debt before they can collect, and they can use electronic business records to do so. NEWS: Loraine Lyons Joins Optimized Legal Solutions Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:15:00 GMT News ACA International member company in Escondido, Calif., announces the addition of Houston attorney and industry veteran Loraine Lyons. NEWS: Is Your Business Prepared for Severe Spring Weather? Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:00:00 GMT News Alliance ACA endorsed vendor Agility Recovery Solutions offers free educational events on business preparedness. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Report: Millions Enroll In Medicaid Through Affordable Care Act Thu, 06 Mar 2014 13:09:00 GMT Health Care Collections Between 2.4 and 3.5 million people enrolled in Medicaid during the last five months, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicates nearly 9 million people are eligible for the program. CFPB: CFPB Recovers More Than $1 Million for Servicemembers Thu, 06 Mar 2014 12:17:00 GMT CFPB The bureau is working to ensure servicemembers receive unique protections they have under federal laws and to address complaints about debt collection, credit cards, mortgages and other financial services. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Missouri Collectors Association Holds Successful Capitol Day Event Thu, 06 Mar 2014 11:00:00 GMT Government Affairs More than 30 attendees heard updates on bills impacting the collection industry and met with lawmakers from the Missouri House and Senate. CFPB: CFPB Continues its Focus on Credit Reporting Thu, 06 Mar 2014 10:26:00 GMT CFPB Bureau highlights data furnisher’s obligations to investigate disputed information. NEWS: ACA International Education Foundation Offers Annual Loomer-Mortenson Scholarships Thu, 06 Mar 2014 10:02:00 GMT News Individuals employed by or affiliated with the collection industry and their dependents are eligible to apply for one of four college scholarships. NEWS: ConServe Supports Local Community Through New Matching Gift Program Thu, 06 Mar 2014 09:45:00 GMT News ACA International member in Fairport, N.Y., is growing its Jeans for Charity program by matching donations from employees to support local nonprofit organizations throughout 2014. NEWS: ACA International Member Plans 2014 Philanthropic Efforts Thu, 06 Mar 2014 08:37:00 GMT News Minnesota-based J.C. Christensen and Associates Inc. is an active participant in Adopt-a-Highway, United Way, Toys for Tots, Catholic Charities, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a local food drive. CFPB: ACA International Research Analyzes CFPB Consumer Complaints Thu, 06 Mar 2014 04:01:00 GMT CFPB The new ACA Research Department reviewed 14,328 complaints to determine trends, provide an analysis of the information behind the numbers, and share recommendations for improvement. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Old Health Plans May Be Allowed For Several More Years Wed, 05 Mar 2014 11:30:00 GMT Health Care Collections Health insurance policies missing mandated benefits included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act could continue to be sold in some states. NEWS: ACA Member Obituary: Jerry Markham Sr. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 11:08:00 GMT News Longtime ACA International member from Arkansas with a distinguished career of more than 60 years in the collection industry passed away on March 4. CFPB: CFPB Deputy Director Discusses Debt Collection Focus Wed, 05 Mar 2014 11:00:00 GMT CFPB Speaking at a conference examining consumer issues, Steve Antonakes addressed the CFPB’s work on debt collection regulation, including the need for accurate documentation throughout the collection cycle. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: FTC Highlights FDCPA Enforcement Actions Wed, 05 Mar 2014 10:20:00 GMT Government Affairs A letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray provides an overview of the commission’s debt-collection-related work in 2013. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Half of Americans Believe the Affordable Care Act Contributes to Rising Health Care Costs Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:45:00 GMT Health Care Collections Despite reports of declining health spending growth, many people believe their costs are increasing more rapidly as a result of health care reform. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Obama Budget Includes Treasury Calls to Consumers’ Cell Phones Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:18:00 GMT Government Affairs The 2015 budget sent to Congress includes items aimed at decreasing the federal deficit, including the ability for the Treasury Department to contact delinquent consumers via their cell phones using autodialers—a change ACA International supports for both the public and private sectors. CREDITORS: Consumer Spending Rebounds in February Mon, 03 Mar 2014 13:45:00 GMT Creditors Consumers spent an average of $87 per day last month, up from $78 in January, according to Gallup. This represents the highest daily discretionary spending average for the month of February since 2008. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: A.B. Stoddard Announced as Keynote Speaker for ACA’s Legislative Conference Mon, 03 Mar 2014 13:00:00 GMT Government Affairs Columnist for The Hill leads a lineup of political experts and senior regulatory officials at ACA International’s all-new Legislative Conference, May 5-7 in Washington, D.C. CFPB: AHA Urges CFPB to Consider the Unique Nature of Medical Debt Mon, 03 Mar 2014 12:10:00 GMT CFPB In response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the American Hospital Association has asked the bureau to consider the difference between medical debt and other consumer debt when setting policies. NEWS: Atlantic Credit & Finance Charity Golf Tournament Breaks the Half-Million-Dollar Mark Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:50:00 GMT News Through its annual ACF Skins Game, ACA International member Atlantic Credit & Finance has raised more than $500,000 in eight years for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia. CREDITORS: Home Finance, Credit Card Balances Increase for Third Consecutive Month Fri, 28 Feb 2014 13:20:00 GMT Creditors Although consumers have decreased their debt since the start of the financial crisis, balances for home and credit card accounts are again growing. NEWS: ACA Seeks Photos and Videos for 75th Anniversary Fri, 28 Feb 2014 13:16:00 GMT News Association members are invited to send photos, videos and written memories for use in commemorating the association’s history. REPORTERS: National Consumer Protection Week is a Reminder of Important Rights in Debt Collection Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:33:00 GMT Reporters Consumers have important rights under federal and state law HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: CMS Won’t Delay ICD-10 Deadline Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:30:00 GMT Health Care Collections After several delays in use of the coding system for patient diagnoses, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expects ICD-10 to be in place in approximately eight months. CFPB: ACA International Member Portfolio Recovery Associates Hosts CFPB Visit Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:15:00 GMT CFPB PRA provided representatives from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a firsthand look at how their company operates and discussed industry practices and public policy. NEWS: ACA Files Comments With Federal Advisory Committee Seeking Amendments to Discovery Rules Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:00:00 GMT News Taking the lead for the industry, ACA International asks the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules to amend discovery rules to reduce its members’ litigation costs and burdens so that they are not forced to settle frivolous and feeble claims simply because of the high costs of discovery. NEWS: Slow Economic Growth Reported in Fourth Quarter Fri, 28 Feb 2014 10:50:00 GMT News Weak consumer spending contributed to the state of the economy in 2013, but economists predict growth will improve this year as debt is paid and there are gains in housing recovery. CFPB: U.S. House Passes CFPB Oversight Legislation Thu, 27 Feb 2014 17:35:00 GMT CFPB H.R. 3193, aiming to increase oversight of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and reestablish the bureau as an independent agency funded by Congress, is not expected to be considered by Senate Democrats. CFPB: CFPB Warns Data Furnishers Not to Avoid Investigating Disputes Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:26:00 GMT CFPB In response to consumer complaints, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also called on credit card companies to make credit scores available to consumers. CFPB: ACA International Submits Comprehensive Response to CFPB’s ANPR Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:01:00 GMT CFPB Broad ACA member input was integral to the association’s submission on likely new rules that will dramatically impact the future collection of consumer debt. NEWS: Identity Theft and Debt Collection Top FTC’s Annual Top Complaints List Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:37:00 GMT News Federal Trade Commission’s annual list of top complaint categories is led by identity theft, debt collection, banks and lenders, and imposter scams. NEWS: AllianceOne Names Chief Compliance and Quality Officer Thu, 27 Feb 2014 08:11:00 GMT News ACA International member announces the addition of Michael Hollerich to its executive team to oversee the company’s compliance, licensing, quality assurance and compliance audit functions. CFPB: Cordray Discusses "Most Significant Changes" in Debt Collection Law Since 1977 Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:00:00 GMT CFPB Speaking to the National Association of Attorneys General, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director addresses the organization’s work in preparation for collection industry rulemaking. CFPB: CFPB Sues For-Profit College Chain For Predatory Lending Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:06:00 GMT CFPB The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes its first public enforcement action against a for-profit college, alleging students were misled and pressured into predatory loans with a high projected default rate. CREDITORS: Savings Challenges Continue for Many Americans Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:01:00 GMT Creditors Despite the economic recovery, many survey participants report having a difficult time saving after they have paid bills. CREDITORS: Consumer Debt in Canada Remains Flat Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:21:00 GMT Creditors Canadians depended less on credit during the holiday season, a time of year when debt usually increases, and delinquency rates are declining. NEWS: Small Companies Will Likely See Rising Health Premiums Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:07:00 GMT News A new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects that insurance premiums will increase for more small businesses with 50 or fewer employers under the Affordable Care Act. CREDITORS: Consumer Confidence Declines Slightly Tue, 25 Feb 2014 13:11:00 GMT Creditors Although consumers’ assessment of current business and labor conditions has improved, their outlook for the future isn’t quite as strong. NEWS: Account Control Technology Foundation Accepts Scholarship Applications Tue, 25 Feb 2014 13:01:00 GMT News Fifty $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors and first-year college students. NEWS: FDCPA Lawsuits Decline, While FCRA and TCPA Filings Increase Tue, 25 Feb 2014 11:45:00 GMT News District courts see a 26 percent decrease in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act filings, a 19 percent increase in early Fair Credit Reporting Act filings and a 30 percent jump in Telephone Consumer Protection Act filings, according to January data from WebRecon. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: ACA Participates in State Attorneys General Events Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:50:00 GMT Government Affairs ACA International representatives attended events in Washington, D.C., held by the three largest associations of state attorneys general. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: FTC Approves Final Consent Settling Charges with Accretive Health Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:31:00 GMT Government Affairs Billing and revenue management firm accused of failing to adequately protect consumers’ personal information will be required to establish a comprehensive security program, which will be evaluated every two years for two decades. CFPB: CFPB Takes Action Against Mortgage Lender for Illegal Payments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:21:00 GMT CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau orders Connecticut lender that self-reported violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act to pay an $83,000 civil penalty. CFPB: U.S. House Reschedules Vote on CFPB Legislation for Feb. 27 Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:01:00 GMT CFPB The GOP-controlled House is expected to pass the legislation this week, but Senate Democrats likely will not consider the proposals aimed at increasing oversight and accountability of the bureau. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: CMS Agrees to Test New ICD-10 Codes Fri, 21 Feb 2014 13:01:00 GMT Health Care Collections In response to pressure from trade groups and members of Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services tests are intended to help ensure preparedness to accept Medicare claims using the new codes before October’s planned conversion date. NEWS: ACA Encourages Members to Complete 2014 Agency Benchmarking Survey Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:00:00 GMT News Third-party collection agencies in the United States that are ACA members are invited and encouraged to participate in this important research. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: ACA Representatives Lead Panel at NMLS Conference Fri, 21 Feb 2014 10:31:00 GMT Government Affairs Panelists representing the association educated state and federal regulators and other attendees at the National Mortgage Licensing System Conference about the unintended consequences of regulations and legislation, escalating lawsuits and other state and federal trends. NEWS: ACA International Announces Creation of a Research Department Thu, 20 Feb 2014 11:01:00 GMT News With credit and collection industry data playing an increasingly important role in ACA’s public affairs, media outreach and advocacy work, the association has hired Monika Fellmer to drive its research efforts. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Continues to Lag Thu, 20 Feb 2014 10:54:00 GMT Health Care Collections Technical problems with caused a slow start to enrollment, and registration has not picked up enough to meet the March 31 goal of 7 million enrollees set by the Department of Health and Human Services. CFPB: CFPB Gets Tough with Mortgage Servicers Thu, 20 Feb 2014 10:41:00 GMT CFPB Deputy Director Steven Antonakes tells the mortgage servicing industry it has had plenty of time to implement compliance efforts, making it clear the bureau is planning to crack down. NEWS: RevSpring Announces Executive Changes Thu, 20 Feb 2014 07:31:00 GMT News ACA International affiliate member announces the promotion of Robert Flynn to chief operating officer and the hiring of John Carson as chief financial officer. NEWS: Americans Plan to Use Tax Refunds to Bulk Up Savings and Pay Down Debt Wed, 19 Feb 2014 11:15:00 GMT News Nearly half of Americans expecting a tax refund plan to use it to boost their savings, while more than one-third plan to pay down debt. CREDITORS: Credit Card Delinquency Rates Remain Low Wed, 19 Feb 2014 11:00:00 GMT Creditors Despite a slight increase at the end of 2013 due to holiday spending, the number of delinquent borrowers and the size of their balances continue to decline. NEWS: Forecasters Expect Three Years of Economic Growth Tue, 18 Feb 2014 13:33:00 GMT News The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Survey of Professional Forecasters predicts above average growth in the gross domestic product, and a declining unemployment rate through at least 2016. NEWS: Consumer Debt Sees Biggest Increase Since 2007 Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:48:00 GMT News A jump in mortgage debt leads the $241 billion increase in consumer debt in the fourth quarter. However, overall household debt remains 9.1 percent below its peak in 2008. CREDITORS: Student Loan Debt is Unlikely to Derail the Economy Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:43:00 GMT Creditors Experts say growing student loan figures are unlikely to impact the overall economic stability in the United States, but the debt of college graduates could limit their ability to invest in the housing market. CREDITORS: Only Half of Americans Have More Savings Than Credit Card Debt Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:00:00 GMT Creditors Stagnant incomes, long-term unemployment and high household expenses are among the factors hampering Americans’ financial progress, according to CFPB: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Outlines CFPB Concerns Mon, 17 Feb 2014 11:01:00 GMT CFPB The Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness sent a lengthy letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, taking issue with the bureau’s work on indirect auto lending, abusive practices and liability for the acts of service providers. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Public Views About the Affordable Care Act Remain Negative Mon, 17 Feb 2014 10:50:00 GMT Health Care Collections Despite the public’s unfavorable views of the law, a majority of people surveyed feel it should stay in place, desiring improvements rather than a total repeal. NEWS: Small-Business Credit Conditions Improve for Fourth Consecutive Quarter Mon, 17 Feb 2014 10:41:00 GMT News Credit balances grow as financial institutions loosen credit terms and nonfinancial lenders open more accounts for small businesses. However, delinquency rates worsen as a result of an increase in 30- to 60-day delinquent balances. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Poll: Uninsured Rate Declines Fri, 14 Feb 2014 12:03:00 GMT Health Care Collections The Affordable Care Act requirements are likely prompting more young adults to purchase insurance, and more Americans are paying for their own plans in full. The total uninsured rate so far this year is 16 percent, and it is the highest among people age 26 to 34. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Wisconsin Collectors Association Gets Its Floor Vote Fri, 14 Feb 2014 11:01:00 GMT Government Affairs Letter writing campaign conducted through ACA International’s grassroots software led to a vote and subsequent passage by the state assembly of a bill to restore the interest rate on small claims court judgments. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Medical Identity Theft Is On The Rise Thu, 13 Feb 2014 13:08:00 GMT Health Care Collections Identity thieves are increasingly looking beyond stealing identities to open credit card and other financial accounts. In recent years, using stolen identities to obtain medical treatment, prescription drugs and insurance reimbursements has become a growing trend. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Senate Bill Targets Data Brokers Thu, 13 Feb 2014 11:06:00 GMT Government Affairs Legislators seek accountability from data brokers regarding the information they collect and sell, and aim to prevent brokers from identifying consumers who are financially at risk. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Surpasses 3 Million Thu, 13 Feb 2014 09:51:00 GMT Health Care Collections In January alone, 1.1 million people signed up for health insurance plans through state and federal marketplaces. NEWS: Members Declare Candidacy for ACA International Board of Directors Wed, 12 Feb 2014 14:01:00 GMT News Council of Delegates will elect five new board members in July. CREDITORS: Bankruptcy Decline Trend is Expected to Continue Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:09:00 GMT Creditors Influenced by decreasing unemployment and an improving economy, the downward trend of consumer bankruptcies seen in the past several years is expected to continue this year with a projected rate of 8 to 10 percent. CREDITORS: Mortgage Delinquency Rate Drops Below 4 Percent Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:10:00 GMT Creditors Decline represents the biggest drop since 2008, according to new data from TransUnion. CFPB: CFPB Announces Consumer Advisory Board Meeting Wed, 12 Feb 2014 09:58:00 GMT CFPB The public is invited to provide feedback during the event, which will include a discussion about the consumer experience in the credit reporting market. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Study: Massachusetts Health Care Reform Led to Declines in Bankruptcy, Debt and Collection Balances Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:33:00 GMT Health Care Collections Examining the Massachusetts health care model, which served as the basis for the Affordable Care Act, researchers concluded that reform reduced the amount of past-due debt and decreased third-party collection balances. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Affordable Care Act Mandates for Businesses Delayed Again Tue, 11 Feb 2014 09:44:00 GMT Health Care Collections The final regulations, which will go into effect in 2015 and 2016, give mid-size companies more time to offer insurance for their employees. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: ACA Briefs State Attorneys General Staff on TCPA Petition Mon, 10 Feb 2014 14:43:00 GMT Government Affairs As the credit and collection industry’s leading advocate, ACA International held an online seminar to inform staff in state AG offices about the TCPA petition ACA recently filed with the FCC in search of clarity on behalf of association members. CFPB: House Vote on CFPB Legislation is Scheduled for Feb. 12 Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:02:00 GMT CFPB The GOP-controlled House is expected to pass the legislation, but Senate Democrats likely will not consider the proposal, which is aimed at increasing oversight and accountability of the bureau. CREDITORS: Consumer Debt in Canada Grows to More Than $1.4 Trillion Mon, 10 Feb 2014 11:02:00 GMT Creditors The 2013 fourth-quarter increase occurred at the same time the national loan delinquency rate reached a record low. NEWS: NACS Supports National AHA Go Red for Women Heart Challenge Mon, 10 Feb 2014 09:58:00 GMT News ACA International member in Chattanooga, Tenn., participated in annual American Heart Association program in support of heart health. CREDITORS: Consumer Borrowing Increases with End-of-Year Spending Fri, 07 Feb 2014 14:41:00 GMT Creditors New Federal Reserve data shows increases throughout the final months of 2013, with a 10-month high of about $18.8 billion in December. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Highest Uninsured States Shun Health Care Reform Law Fri, 07 Feb 2014 13:55:00 GMT Health Care Collections Medicaid expansion and state health exchanges are minimal in states with high rates of uninsured residents since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Wisconsin Collectors Association Demands a Floor Vote Fri, 07 Feb 2014 11:00:00 GMT Government Affairs State unit calls on all ACA International members in Wisconsin to contact members of the state legislature and demand a floor vote on A.B. 523. CFPB: CFPB Aims to Improve Mortgage Market Information Access Fri, 07 Feb 2014 09:33:00 GMT CFPB As the first step in its rulemaking process, the bureau is convening a group of small business representatives to provide feedback on information reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. CREDITORS: Retail Sales are Positioned for Growth Thu, 06 Feb 2014 13:50:00 GMT Creditors Economic growth, declining unemployment and housing sector improvements are contributing factors to the increase, according to National Retail Federation projections. NEWS: Federal Reserve Banks Pursue Faster Payment System Thu, 06 Feb 2014 13:16:00 GMT News The Fed is moving ahead with plans to improve the nation’s payment system after receiving nearly 200 responses about its ideas from representatives of the bank and finance industry, trade associations and consumers. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Florida Collectors Association Members Rally Before Committee Hearing Thu, 06 Feb 2014 11:00:00 GMT Government Affairs Members using ACA’s innovative grassroots software sent more than 1,500 letters in support of H.B. 413, which was subsequently passed by the Florida House Insurance and Banking Committee. CFPB: U.S. House May Consider Legislation Targeting the CFPB Wed, 05 Feb 2014 15:41:00 GMT CFPB The U.S. House of Representatives is poised to consider legislation as early as next week aimed at substantially altering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, adding greater oversight and accountability. NEWS: Court: FDCPA Violation Occurs if Collection Notice Requires Written Dispute Wed, 05 Feb 2014 14:21:00 GMT News The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the FDCPA does not impose a writing requirement for a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt and, to the extent a collection notice states such a requirement, it is violation of the FDCPA. CREDITORS: January Bankruptcy Filings Decrease 13 Percent from Previous Year Wed, 05 Feb 2014 13:06:00 GMT Creditors Year-over-year decrease in total bankruptcy filings marks the 38th consecutive month of such declines, despite a 3 percent increase from December 2013. GOVERNMENT COLLECTIONS: Report: Government Costs Cannot Influence Student Loan Interest Rates Wed, 05 Feb 2014 11:02:00 GMT Government Collections The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports it’s not possible to determine an interest rate that will offset expenses without bringing in profit for the government. CFPB: CFPB Reviews Private Student Loan Practices Wed, 05 Feb 2014 10:54:00 GMT CFPB The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a new report examining whether student loan servicers intentionally hinder borrowers’ ability to pay off loans ahead of schedule. NEWS: ARMing Heroes Honors Coast Professional Wed, 05 Feb 2014 09:36:00 GMT News Collection industry charity recognizes ACA International member company for its support of military veterans. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Data Security Hearings Include Calls for Updated Legislation Tue, 04 Feb 2014 14:21:00 GMT Government Affairs Congressional hearings in response to data breaches at major U.S. retailers accompany calls by the Obama administration, members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission for revised laws and penalties related to the theft of personal information. NEWS: Praxis Financial Solutions and Credit Systems International Achieve PPMS Designation Tue, 04 Feb 2014 13:41:00 GMT News ACA International members in Lincolnwood, Ill., and Arlington, Texas, earn the collection industry’s premier agency certification. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Affordable Care Act May Lead to More than 2 Million Fewer Workers Tue, 04 Feb 2014 13:01:00 GMT Health Care Collections A new report from the Congressional Budget Office suggests the new health care law will lead to a reduction in the number of hours worked, totaling about 2.5 million full-time-equivalent workers by 2024. NEWS: TCPA Class Action Dismissed Because Consumer Gave Prior Express Consent Mon, 03 Feb 2014 13:51:00 GMT News Federal judge found single text message not actionable and dismissed the case because the consumer provided her express consent to be contacted on her cellphone number when she gave the number as contact information while making a flight reservation. CREDITORS: December Consumer Spending Increases Mon, 03 Feb 2014 13:28:00 GMT Creditors Despite consumer spending and gross domestic product growth, some economists warn that loss of unemployment benefits and equity market turmoil could hinder spending this year. NEWS: Banks Ease Lending Limits for Consumers and Businesses Mon, 03 Feb 2014 13:16:00 GMT News Predictions of an improving economy have prompted lenders to create more options for borrowers. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Florida Collectors Association Members Launch Grassroots Effort Mon, 03 Feb 2014 11:00:00 GMT Government Affairs ACA International’s innovative grassroots software provides the infrastructure for members to act quickly, sending more than 1,300 e-mail letters in support of H.B. 413 in just three days. NEWS: RevSpring Announces New Vice President Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:27:00 GMT News ACA International member names Rick Regan as vice president of national accounts/first party. NEWS: Merger and Acquisition Activity Hits Six-Year High Fri, 31 Jan 2014 12:22:00 GMT News Accounts receivable management transactions reached $2.1 billion last year—a 33 percent increase from 2012 and the first time the total value exceeded $2 billion since 2007. NEWS: ACA Affiliate Member Honored for Support of ARMing Heroes Fri, 31 Jan 2014 12:18:00 GMT News The collection industry charity for military veterans recognized Tech Lock Inc. for its commitment to donate a portion of proceeds from clients in 2014. CFPB: House Financial Services Committee Urges CFPB Feedback Thu, 30 Jan 2014 13:48:00 GMT CFPB ACA International encourages members to share their experiences. CFPB: CFPB Report Highlights Mortgage Servicing Problems Thu, 30 Jan 2014 13:04:00 GMT CFPB The quarterly supervisory report also reviews past Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidance, including bulletins related to debt collection practices and data furnishing. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Activism by ACA International Members in Indiana Halts Bad Bill Wed, 29 Jan 2014 16:30:00 GMT Government Affairs Proposed medical debt legislation S.B. 290 doesn’t advance. NEWS: State of the Union: President Barack Obama Supports Helping Student Loan Borrowers Wed, 29 Jan 2014 16:25:00 GMT News Plans include setting payments based on income and a “shake up” of the higher education system. CFPB: Richard Cordray Challenged about Work of the CFPB at House Hearing Wed, 29 Jan 2014 16:12:00 GMT CFPB Legislators questioned rules of the bureau, data collection and its spending to renovate its Washington D.C. headquarters. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Medical Bills are a Financial Burden for More Than One in Four U.S. Families Wed, 29 Jan 2014 13:53:00 GMT Health Care Collections Medical bills are often large, unexpected expenses that can send individuals as well as their families into debt. Access to health insurance, which may differ among family members, is one way for families to offset the financial risk of medical bills. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: ACPAC Hosts Rep. Lacy Clay Fundraiser Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:53:00 GMT Government Affairs ACA’s political action committee welcomes senior member of the House Financial Services Committee to the association’s Washington, D.C., office. CREDITORS: Consumer Confidence Increases Again Wed, 29 Jan 2014 08:04:00 GMT Creditors Consumers’ assessment continues to improve, with those claiming business conditions are “good” increasing to 21.5 percent and those claiming business conditions are “bad” edging down to 22.8 percent. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Obama is Willing to Circumvent Congress On Policy Objectives Tue, 28 Jan 2014 23:15:00 GMT Government Affairs White House officials said the president is planning to offer proposals that can be pursued using executive orders. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: ACA Members in Indiana Rally to Show Opposition to Bad Bill Tue, 28 Jan 2014 14:14:00 GMT Government Affairs Proposed medical debt legislation S.B. 290 would have a negative impact on the credit and collection industry. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Arizona Unit President Testifies Before Arizona House Committee Tue, 28 Jan 2014 13:56:00 GMT Government Affairs H.B. 2099 would provide needed clarity to current licensing renewal deadlines. The bill passed on a 7-0 vote and now heads to the House Rules Committee. CFPB: House Financial Services Committee Seeks Public Comment about the CFPB Tue, 28 Jan 2014 12:18:00 GMT CFPB Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling calls for greater CFPB accountability as Director Richard Cordray reviews the bureau’s progress during a hearing. NEWS: Court Rules That Collectors Must Comply with Both the Bankruptcy Code and the FDCPA Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:53:00 GMT News Third Circuit Court of Appeals rules that a consumer can bring Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims in a bankruptcy proceeding. CFPB: CFPB Participates in Feb. 12 Online Town Hall Meeting Mon, 27 Jan 2014 13:30:00 GMT CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray will field questions about federal financial consumer protection during a free online session hosted by the National Credit Union Administration. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: ACA International Participates In DAGA Winter Meeting Mon, 27 Jan 2014 10:13:00 GMT Government Affairs Democratic Attorneys General Association winter meeting covers privacy and security, board governance and the political outlook for upcoming state level elections. CREDITORS: Credit Card Spending Limits Reach Highest Level Since 2008 Mon, 27 Jan 2014 08:05:00 GMT Creditors Growth indicates more stable borrowing behaviors among consumers as debt levels have declined since the recession. HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: ICD-10 Readiness Lags Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:20:00 GMT Health Care Collections With the Oct. 1, 2014, ICD-10 transition date approaching, many in the health care industry have not yet adequately prepared for the new coding system. NEWS: About That Strong Economic Growth… Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:02:00 GMT News United Nations report paints a more conservative picture of the 2014 U.S. economy than other recent projections. NEWS: Deadline Reminder: ACA International Seeks Board Candidates Fri, 24 Jan 2014 07:41:00 GMT News The deadline to apply for five open board seats is Jan. 31, 2014. NEWS: Lender Tracking of Customers’ Social Media Use Raises Concerns Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:20:00 GMT News Consumer regulators are reviewing the practice of basing loan decisions, in part, on use of sites such as Facebook and Twitter. CFPB: CFPB Proposes Rule to Oversee International Money Transfer Providers Thu, 23 Jan 2014 12:57:00 GMT CFPB The bureau would have new jurisdiction over nonbank international money providers to protect consumers transferring money abroad. CREDITORS: Debt Increases For Seniors As They Enter Retirement Thu, 23 Jan 2014 12:09:00 GMT Creditors Fewer seniors have guaranteed incomes while their credit card balances and mortgage loan expenses continue to grow. CREDITORS: New Auto Loans Increase At Record Levels Wed, 22 Jan 2014 13:04:00 GMT Creditors Credit for auto purchases is more available as loan delinquencies are declining and consumers seek more value for their dollar. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: FTC Settles with Collection Agency, 11 Others for False International Privacy Claims Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:00:00 GMT Government Affairs The Federal Trade Commission complaints allege the companies claimed to hold current certifications under the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework after the certifications had lapsed. NEWS: Graduates in Northeastern States Carry the Most Student Loan Debt Wed, 22 Jan 2014 09:15:00 GMT News Recent graduates with student loans owe an average of nearly $30,000, with those from Delaware, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania racking up the largest debts. NEWS: Economists Anticipate Stronger Economic Growth in 2014 Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:15:00 GMT News Projected gains in spending and employment contribute to the most optimistic economic growth forecast from the American Bankers Association’s Economic Advisory Committee since 2005. CREDITORS: Survey: Wall Street Experts and Consumers Agree That Debt Will Level Off in 2014 Tue, 21 Jan 2014 10:51:00 GMT Creditors Data also shows different predictions on spending, income and debt payment trends. CREDITORS: National Credit Default Rates Decreased in December Tue, 21 Jan 2014 10:21:00 GMT Creditors First and second mortgage and auto loan defaults declined, while bank card defaults increased only slight from a record low in November.