ACA International 2021 Accomplishments Report: Helping Members Succeed

A look back, and ahead, at ACA’s federal, state and judicial advocacy work as well as education opportunities and events resources.

12/03/2021 2:00 PM

6 minute read

As ACA International and its members have adapted to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and achieved key victories across internal departments, we are proud of where we stand today and are looking forward to a promising future.

These efforts, as well as resources for members, are detailed in ACA’s 2021 Accomplishments Report: Helping Members Succeed.

Highlights from the report include updates on judicial and federal advocacy, state and unit affairs, compliance, communications, meetings and events and ACA’s accomplishments under the leadership of the Board of Directors.

Judicial Advocacy

Perhaps the most notable and difficult Industry Advancement Fund matter presented to ACA’s Judicial Committee this year has been the effort to obtain a rehearing of the panel opinion issued in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services Inc.

ACA coordinated with a coalition of amici to ensure that the 11th Circuit would hear all arguments relevant to rehearing despite the strict constraints on word counts for amicus briefs. In addition, through the IAF, ACA provided direct financial support to its member, Preferred Collection, for its effort to seek a plenary rehearing before the 11th Circuit.

Compliance

In 2021, the compliance team reinvented the Daily Decisions news library, a section that appears every day in the ACA Daily newsletter. Under the new approach, ACA’s compliance team increased coverage of judicial decisions threefold and adopted a new format that offers readers a more streamlined case summary and takeaways to focus on the key compliance concern, legal consideration or judicial trend reflected in each decision.

Additionally, the compliance team created the curriculum for ACA’s Reg F “How Series” and provided feedback to ACA’s education department on the modules that ACA content contributors recorded for the first-of-its-kind Reg F educational offering.

Federal Advocacy

Since the beginning of the year, ACA’s federal advocacy team has continued to lead the ARM industry through transitions at regulatory agencies in Washington, D.C., including meeting several new staff members and leaders at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Communications Commission.

ACA launched several grassroots initiatives, including both email and video campaigns, that have connected hundreds of ACA members with their elected officials to help elevate the voice of the ARM industry in Washington, D.C.

ACA’s virtual Washington Insights event in April included the most diverse group of lawmakers ever, with Republican and Democrat senators, a U.S. House member representing the new Democrat coalition, lawmakers discussing the largest group of Republican women ever to serve in the U.S. House, as well as representatives from the CFPB, FCC and Federal Trade Commission. ACA members met with more than a dozen members of Congress on both sides of the aisle in October in Washington, D.C. for the first in-person fly-in event in more than a year since the pandemic began.

State and Unit Affairs

The 2021 state legislative sessions have been busy as all 50 states’ legislatures met this year. ACA and its 34 state and regional units identified and tracked more than 890 state-level bills in 2021 that would impact the ARM industry if enacted.

In addition to lobbying for ARM industry priorities as legislation is introduced, our state legislative teams—led by more than 30 contract lobbyists—implemented new advocacy techniques to adapt to the various COVID-19 restrictions at state capitols and the remote nature of committee meetings, testimony and votes.

Communications

In July 2021, ACA launched a redesign for Collector magazine. The award-winning 87-year-old magazine, a publication that predates ACA itself, was last redesigned in 2015. In addition to a fresh new appearance, Collector started publishing six issues a year instead of 12, beginning with its July/August issue.

Other highlights include:

  • An increase in subscribers of ACA Daily (over 7,200)
  • 45,000-50,000 visitors to ACA’s website every month
  • An 11% increase in unique visits to online Collector compared to last year
  • An increase in social media engagement on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Education and Events

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels were shut down, flights were not in the air and entire cities banned events. This did not stop the ACA team from delivering exceptional member experiences. From a virtual 2020 Annual Convention to an in-person 2021 Annual Convention, members gathered for all of ACA’s main events over the last year.

Additionally, ACA’s education staff and Financial Literacy Committee focused on

developing the new Know My Debt website—a reimagined version of ACA’s previous Ask Dr. Debt. The committee launched Know My Debt on Oct. 7, 2021.

Member Services

In 2020, the member services team responded to nearly 5,000 phone calls, over 9,000 email requests and over 1,200 online chat messages. So far in 2021, the member services team has responded to about 4,000 phone calls, 7,900 email requests and 750 online chat messages.

Collectors Insurance Agency

Collectors Insurance Agency (CIA), with over 50 years of experience serving ACA members, created a new strategic plan for 2021/22, which is focused on  marketing awareness, exploring new markets and operational efficiencies. CIA continues to meet the risk management, bond and licensing needs of the ARM industry.

These accomplishments, and many more, are all due to the association’s strong leadership, skilled staff and dedicated members.

Tune in to hear ACA’s leadership present the State of the Association Quarterly Address and Accomplishments Report during the Dec. 22 ACA Huddle.

ACA’s Accomplishments Report is produced annually and updated throughout the year. View a copy of the report here.

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