Collector - August 2017 - 14
TOOLS FOR SUCCESS
A CLOSER LOOK:
RICHARD PERR, ESQ.
Position: Partner at Fineman,
Krekstein and Harris, P.C., in
Previous Jobs: Associate at
Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C.;
Assistant county counsel,
Camden County, N.J.; Adjunct
professor of law at Rutgers
School of Law-Camden; Foreign
policy intern for then-U.S. Sen.
Education: Rutgers University
(B.A. in political science, English
and history), Rutgers School
of Law-Camden (J.D. with
international and foreign law
Professional Mentors: Firm
partners David Fineman and the
late Jay Harris.
Collection Industry Role Models:
2012/13 ACA President Tom
Stockton and Frank Roa, CEO
of Immediate Credit Recovery
Favorite Management Quote:
"Train people well enough so
they can leave, treat them well
enough so they don't want to."
Perr has received several recognitions
throughout his career, including being
honored as a New Jersey "Super Lawyer"
for his expertise in business litigation and
being named a "Lawyer on the Fast Track"
by The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania
Many of the qualities that make Perr
such a gifted attorney were evident in
his family upbringing and early years.
His father, Jerry, worked in sales-first
in the medical supply industry and then
in real estate-and his mother, Geri, was
a computer programmer, one of the first
women to be involved in the field.
In fact, computers were a big part of Perr's
childhood. Growing up in Cherry Hill, N.J.,
in the 1970s and 1980s, Perr and his younger
brother both tinkered with early Macs and
IBM PCs, playing games and experimenting
with programming languages. They even
entered-and won-a few countywide
This passion for math and science
continued through high school, after
which Perr was accepted into the honors
engineering program at Rutgers University
in New Brunswick, N.J., where he intended
to study genetics and biochemical
But at the end of his freshman year, fate
intervened in the form of a chance elective
course: American government. Much to his
parents' initial chagrin, Perr decided to leave
the science and technology field and pursue
a degree in political science. While still in
college, Perr worked as a foreign policy
intern for then-U.S. Sen. Al Gore, which
further stoked his passion for politics.
Perr graduated from Rutgers University
in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in English,
political science and history, and then dove
into law school, earning his Juris Doctor
with international and foreign law honors.
His career path took him to law offices
in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before he
landed at Fineman, Krekstein and Harris,
P.C., a firm with a broad litigation practice,
including commercial litigation, consumer
financial services and government relations.
Today he is a nationally recognized
authority on creditors' rights, representing
creditors, law firms and collection
agencies against individual and classaction allegations under federal and state
consumer protection laws, including the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair
Credit Reporting Act and Telephone
Consumer Protection Act.
He also advises entities and individuals on
matters related to compliance in the credit
and collection industry, including review,
implementation and auditing of policies and
procedures, especially in adherence with
governmental regulatory bodies such as the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
It's exactly this experience and
background that Steller believes will well
serve the association under Perr's leadership.
"Our industry is entering a time where
we all have hopes that the laws will change
in our favor, or at least not lean so far
against us, and having someone with
Rick's experience and education at the
association's helm while we're trying to
accomplish these goals is very exciting,"
Steller said. "Rick is the kind of leader who
will see the unintended consequence that
could result from proposed legislation
and will work early on to avoid that
outcome. One of the reasons I look
forward to his term as president is his
singular understanding of the law and his
uncommon attention to detail at a time
when both these qualities matter a lot."
Perr said he loves his clients and industry
peers, and is honored to represent their
interests in ACA.
"Our members are some of the most
talented, best and brightest Americans
who have really done just a wonderful
job building up their businesses," he said.
"It's the American dream in a lot of ways.
Having the opportunity to work with and
assist many of them in their success has
been a thrill for me, and I hope to be able to
continue to do that."
This respect for business owners bleeds
into his personal life too. When asked if
his children, Lindsay, 14, and Connor, 11,
want to follow in their parents' footsteps