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Education at ACA’s Fall Forum Brings Advocacy, Legal and Health Care Best Practices to the Forefront

From left to right, ACPAC Chair and President of Gulf Coast Collection Bureau Jack Brown III, Mindy Chumbley, owner and manager at Solverity, Kelsi Hamilton, director of compliance and legislative affairs, Dynamic Collectors, Inc., Jennifer McMullen, president, Arcadia Recovery Bureau LLC, and Andrew Madden, ACA’s vice president of state unit and government affairs, lead a health care advocacy panel.

The three-day conference features new education sessions developed by members, for members to help them head into 2023 with resources and ideas.

11/03/2022 4:00 P.M.

4 minute read

Education at ACA International’s 2022 Fall Forum turned a new leaf with sessions on Thursday ranging from grassroots advocacy in the health care space, building financial literacy resources for your frontline collectors and an overview of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s advisory opinions and supervisory highlights.

Fall Forum features three education tracks: health care, legal and a wild card track offering attendees information on hot topics in the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry.

In a health care session, a panel featuring David Kelley, CEO and president of The Preferred Group of Tampa, Jack Brown III, president of Gulf Coast Collection Bureau Inc., Andrew Madden, ACA’s vice president of state unit and government affairs, Jennifer McMullen, president of Arcadia Recovery Bureau LLC, Kelsi Hamilton, director of compliance and legislative affairs at Dynamic Collectors Inc., and Mindy Chumbley, owner and manager at Solverity, provided an interactive overview about building and participating in a grassroots advocacy program with your health care clients.

The panel discussed ways that agencies and their health care clients can work together on advocacy and education for regulators and lawmakers.

Session attendees also walked away with practical tips to build advocacy relationships across a spectrum of trade associations in health care and financial services.

“We have to have a culture of advocacy,” Chumbley said.

Key takeaways:

  • Encourage your clients to reach out to their lobbyists about issues of concern. Provide talking points or sample letters.
  • People working for health care providers and collection agencies can share their stories with legislators. If you’re in a meeting with a legislator and don’t know the answer to a question, consider it an opportunity to follow up for a second meeting or phone call.
  • If you’re new to advocacy with ACA, get involved with your state unit.
  • Never underestimate your ability to get involved. We all started somewhere.
  • Visit ACA’s online Advocacy Resource for more information on how to advocate for our industry.

    Attendees take in financial literacy training tips from a session by Greg Ruffino, director of training at Williams & Fudge Inc.

Turning to operations and training education, Greg Ruffino, director of training at Williams & Fudge Inc., shared tips to help collectors develop a well-rounded sense of financial literacy and share their knowledge with consumers.

This can help them work through stalls in conversations with consumers when setting up a payment plan or navigating their financial situation.

Ruffino suggested tools and systems to have in place during onboarding to set your new hires up for financial literacy success.

For example, ACA’s Know My Debt website, www.knowmydebt.com, is a great start and can be provided to consumers for answers to their questions. Know My Debt can also be used as a training platform and added to your consumer-facing website.

Lastly, Ruffino said, connect with others to help with your training, such as your local credit union, accounting firm or a financial planner. Outside groups like these may be willing to talk about personal finance strategies to help employees build out their financial literacy knowledge.

Regulatory matters and activity were also top of mind during Fall Forum, including during the session, “Guidance from the CFPB: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.”

Between January and October 2022, the bureau released over eight guidance bulletins and advisory opinions and initiated as many enforcement actions. Rozanne Andersen, vice president, chief compliance officer at Finvi, and John Bedard, owner of Bedard Law Group, P.C., provided a fast-paced look at the CFPB’s new rules for debt collection—not Reg F, but new, stringent rules dressed as helpful guidance.

This includes guidance documents, circulars and compliance bulletins on fees and credit reporting, among other topics.

What is a CFPB Circular?

In May, Chopra announced the bureau’s new enforcement strategy known as “Consumer Financial Protection Circulars.”

The circulars are “policy statements under the Administrative Procedure Act and will be released publicly to increase transparency for the benefit of the public and regulated entities,” according to the CFPB.

They are published on the CFPB website and in the Federal Register with Director Chopra’s authorization.

It’s another way for the bureau to promote consistency in enforcements, but also serves as another item for regulated entities to navigate without knowing how the circulars will be used for industry oversight.

Closing the session, attendees heard an update on the bureau’s supervisory highlights reports and how they are used to document enforcement actions.

Fall Forum ends Nov. 4 with another round of health care, legal and wild card sessions. ACA thanks its attendees and sponsors for making it a great event and speakers for bringing their knowledge to share.

Missed Fall Forum? Check out ACA’s events calendar online to see what’s coming up and subscribe to ACA Daily for more updates.

Thank you to Visionaries sponsors CCMR3 and Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber Schreck and Fall Forum sponsors: ProvanaMaurice WutscherInterProseBeam SoftwarePayscoutProdigalSkit.aiTEC Services GroupVoApps DirectDrop VoicemailSolutions by TextCompuMail, CWA Merchant Services, Nuvei, and RNN Group.

If you have executive leadership updates or other member news to share with ACA, contact our communications department at [email protected]. View our publications page for more information and our news submission guidelines here.

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