Collector - November 2017 - 16

1IN 6

Law firms have experienced data breaches that caused
them to lose important files and information.
Source: American Bar Association

2

Can We Talk About Your
Work Standards?
Run through your expectations of how
you want accounts worked and ask what
the firm may require of you. Get everything
clearly defined in the statement of work,
and make sure nothing conflicts with the
master agreement.
Find out what services the firm offers. Is
it litigation-driven, and does this fit with
what your clients expect? Does it initiate
outbound calls to consumers? How are costs
handled? Which calls are recorded? Will the
firm skiptrace the accounts? Do you want
the firm to check with you before proceeding
on a writ of execution or post-judgment?
How long does it take for an attorney to
review the account and related documents
before sending the demand letter? Are you
allowed to sweep the firm's account after the
consumer makes a payment?
"There is sometimes a big divide between
practical business and how law is practiced,"
noted Doreen Hoffman, partner at Brock &
Scott PLLC, and she encourages agencies to
explain the work standards they require-as
well as what creditors expect-and find out
what the firm is willing to do to meet those
expectations.
If the firm's business practices are in
conflict with the way your agency works,
it might be helpful to bring in your own
defense or compliance counsel to explain
why you do things a certain way.
Ask about the firm's typical workflow.
Will the amount and rate of accounts you

16

hand off meet its work expectations or will a
sudden influx of accounts one month throw
it off? Making sure both parties are on the
same page from the beginning can help
prevent problems down the road.

3

Can I See Your Written Policies and
Procedures?
You'll want to review the firm's policies and
procedures, as well as its schedule for reviewing
and updating them due to legal changes.
One in particular to note is the firm's
data breach prevention safeguards and
mitigation policy. The American Bar
Association found that more than one
quarter of firms with more than 500 lawyers
had experienced a data breach in 2016,
with about one in six reporting the loss of
important files and information.
What is the firm's data breach response
plan? Does it have cyber liability insurance?
Who is on the hook if a breach occurs?

Another important policy to review is
the firm's interpretation of "meaningful
attorney involvement." Does it have an
attorney review the summons, complaint
and underlying documentation?
"I know at least four law firms that
have gotten hit hard by the CFPB on lack
of meaningful attorney involvement,"
Hoffman said. "For instance, the CFPB
wants to know: How can one firm file
60,000 complaints in one year [and claim
an attorney was meaningfully involved in
each case]? So you really need to ask them
to define their policy there."
This is a tricky area because there is not
one universal definition of meaningful
attorney involvement, and each law firm
will have its own interpretation of the
term. However, through court cases and
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
consent orders and enforcement actions
you can glean what does not constitute
meaningful involvement, and that may be
what you use to determine if the law firm's
interpretation fits with your risk tolerance.
You'll likely expect attorneys to approve
demand letters and lawsuits-if so, ask the law
firm how this is documented and tracked.
Record-keeping policies should address
what's protected by the attorney/client
privilege.
"If your agency is asking an attorney for
legal advice, you'll want to know if that is
discoverable," Hoffman said. "If you ever go
through a CFPB audit, will you need to turn
those records over, or just what's in your
system relating to the consumer?"

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - November 2017

Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Making the Right Choice
Getting Your Ducks in a Row
Highlight Reel
Putting it all Together
Calendar
Honor Roll
On Call
Hire Purpose
CFPB Pursues Two Student Loan Servicers
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - November 2017 - Cover1
Collector - November 2017 - Cover2
Collector - November 2017 - 1
Collector - November 2017 - Upfront
Collector - November 2017 - 3
Collector - November 2017 - Industry News
Collector - November 2017 - 5
Collector - November 2017 - 6
Collector - November 2017 - 7
Collector - November 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - November 2017 - 9
Collector - November 2017 - FYI
Collector - November 2017 - 11
Collector - November 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - November 2017 - 13
Collector - November 2017 - Making the Right Choice
Collector - November 2017 - 15
Collector - November 2017 - 16
Collector - November 2017 - 17
Collector - November 2017 - Getting Your Ducks in a Row
Collector - November 2017 - 19
Collector - November 2017 - 20
Collector - November 2017 - 21
Collector - November 2017 - 22
Collector - November 2017 - 23
Collector - November 2017 - 24
Collector - November 2017 - 25
Collector - November 2017 - Highlight Reel
Collector - November 2017 - 27
Collector - November 2017 - 28
Collector - November 2017 - 29
Collector - November 2017 - 30
Collector - November 2017 - 31
Collector - November 2017 - Putting it all Together
Collector - November 2017 - 33
Collector - November 2017 - 34
Collector - November 2017 - 35
Collector - November 2017 - Calendar
Collector - November 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - November 2017 - On Call
Collector - November 2017 - 39
Collector - November 2017 - Hire Purpose
Collector - November 2017 - 41
Collector - November 2017 - CFPB Pursues Two Student Loan Servicers
Collector - November 2017 - 43
Collector - November 2017 - Compliance
Collector - November 2017 - 45
Collector - November 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - November 2017 - 47
Collector - November 2017 - Last Word
Collector - November 2017 - Cover3
Collector - November 2017 - Cover4
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