Collector - November 2017 - 17

QUESTIONS FOR YOUR AGENCY

4

Have You Done Your Due Diligence?
"I happen to believe that legal services
are high risk," Hoffman said. "So a risk
assessment [of the law firm] is crucial."
Check into the firm's reputation, including
the number of complaints and lawsuits filed
against it. Hoffman said she uses WebRecon to
gather some of this information.
She also described how one of her
outsourced law firms started sending her an
email detailing each lawsuit filed against them,
including a copy of the suit, a breakdown of the
allegations and the related procedures the firm
has in place.
"They send it to me even though my client
is not involved in the suit," she noted. "It wasn't
something we required, but the firm said one
of their clients wanted a breakdown every
time the firm got sued so they decided to send
it to all clients. I thought that was very wise
of them to do that, and I'm going to make an
amendment to my contracts with other clients
asking them to do that. It allows me to see
trends of what consumer attorneys are looking
for and it gives me an opportunity to look at
the firm's internal processes."
You'll also want to look into the financial
stability and credit worthiness of the law firm.
If it fails to meet the terms of your contracts,
does it have the financial resources to pay the
court costs? Has it created a business continuity
plan in case of a disaster or unexpected
downtime? Ask to see information about its
licenses, insurance and compliance program.

5

Have You Drafted a Vendor
Management Policy?
The CFPB expects you to ensure your
vendors are delivering compliant services
that mitigate consumers' frustration and
protect their data.
Each third party you contract with must be
subject to rigorous oversight criteria to keep
you in compliance with federal regulators,
and you'll need a vendor management policy
specifically crafted for your outside counsel. Get
your board of directors, senior management,
compliance department and relationship
manager involved in the policy development,
and have someone review it annually.

Implement an audit schedule to determine
if vendors are complying with relevant laws
and regulations, as well as the terms of your
contract. On-site visits can be particularly
helpful, and give you a chance to tour the
office, speak to staff, listen to call recordings
and discuss complaint trends.
Post-audit, discuss the results with
company leaders and implement solutions to
mitigate any potential risks.
"All your employees have responsibility
to participate in vendor oversight," Hoffman
said-not just upper management. "If they see
something going on with one of your vendors,
law firm or not, you hope they will let you
know that something needs to be looked into."

6

Do You Trust the Firm to
Recommend Courses of Action?
All parties-the law firm, the collection
agency and the creditor-should understand
the full impact of deploying legal remedies
on each account.
"When you get a judgment, not only does
it get recorded in the courthouse, but it also
goes to the credit bureau and is now part of
public record and affects the consumer's credit
rating," Hoffman said. "So when you decide
to 'go legal' for a client, firms have to have that
conversation with the client and you have to be
aware of what's involved in the process too."
Each account should be reviewed on a
case-by-case basis. This is where trust and
communication become crucial. Are you and
the creditor open to hearing the law firm's
recommendations?
"If I'm telling you that I think it's a good idea
to close the account because of the consumer's
situation, I would hope the client would listen
to me because one, we work on a contingency
fee basis so I wouldn't recommend closing
an account if it wasn't necessary. And two,
I've had numerous judges here in Michigan,
which is where I practice, that I have great
rapport with because my clients have given
me permission to close the account when I
feel it's necessary. It's important to be able to
have that conversation."

Anne Rosso May is editor of Collector
magazine.

KEYNOTES

1

Ask how the law firm
defines "meaningful
attorney involvement," and
decide if that interpretation
fits with your risk tolerance.

2

Look into the financial
stability and credit
worthiness of the law firm.
If it fails to meet the terms
of your contract, does it
have the financial resources
to pay the court costs?
Has it created a business
continuity plan in case of a
disaster or data breach?

3

Implement an audit
schedule to determine
if vendors are complying
with relevant laws and
regulations, as well as your
contract.
17



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
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201910/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201909/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201908/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201907/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201906/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201905/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201904/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201903/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201902/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201901/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201812/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201811/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201810/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201809/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201808/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201807/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201806/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201805/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201804/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201803/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201802/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201801/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201712/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201711/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201710/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201709/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201708/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201707/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201706/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201705/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201704/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201703/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201702/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201701/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201612/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201611/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201610/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201609/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201608/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201607/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201606/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201605/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201604/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201603/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201602/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201601/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201512/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201511/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201510/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201509/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201508/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201507/
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com