Collector - October 2017 - 3
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Patrick J. Morris
Anne Rosso May
The YGS Group
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The Room Where it Happens
ACA International is your tireless advocate in federal and state legislatures.
By Rick Perr, Esq.
n the Broadway musical "Hamilton," Aaron Burr, then just a Revolutionary War hero,
observes one of the most iconic moments in American history: when Thomas Jefferson
and James Madison agree to secure votes in Congress for Alexander Hamilton's
groundbreaking financial system in exchange for support in moving the nation's capital from
New York City to a spot on the Potomac River.
Hamilton, Jefferson and Madison make this arrangement in a private dinner. Burr observes them
going into the home, and by the time the trio emerges, a deal has been struck. Burr vows to ensure
that he will acquire a seat at the table and never again be left out of the "room where it happens."
ACA International has long made it a priority to be in the "room where it happens" in
Washington, D.C., to make sure our members are not forgotten in the legislative and regulatory
process. Some of this labor takes months or years to reach fruition. But when we see the results,
it encourages us to continue to play the long game.
ACA's efforts over the past five years are beginning to take hold. We have strengthened our
relationships with many members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican. We have
developed ties to many regulatory bodies, including the Federal Communications Commission
and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We even have relationships with a few individuals
in the administration. This doesn't equate to automatic success, but we cannot begin to achieve
accomplishments without laying the foundation.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it was putting an end to Operation
Choke Point, the misguided bureaucratic shadow program that encouraged financial
institutions to withhold banking services from law-abiding businesses simply because of the
nature of their business. Collection agencies were frequent targets.
The end of Operation Choke Point can be directly attributed to the undying efforts of U.S.
Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., and Brad Sherman, D-Calif., who have been relentless in
making sure that this wholly un-American initiative was put to rest permanently. ACA has
worked extensively with Luetkemeyer and Sherman and we thank them for their advocacy
on our behalf.
There are many more items on ACA's agenda that we continue to push. ACA is tirelessly
advocating to ensure that the CFPB's rulemaking is fair and just. ACA is the leading warrior
against the FCC's 2015 TCPA Declaratory Ruling and has enlisted the aid of the now-majority
of the commission in that fight. We also will make our voices heard when the administration
considers a new director for the CFPB-a person who understands that the CFPB must protect
consumers while providing a fair marketplace for business.
Rest assured, ACA will continue to be in the "room where it happens."
Rick Perr, Esq.
is a partner at the firm Fineman,
Krekstein and Harris, P.C., in
Philadelphia. He can be reached
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