Collector - November 2017 - 20

If that happens to you, the best course of
action is to call the regulator immediately
and explain. Bender said she was honest
with the regulators, telling them: "I apologize
that this happened, but I just took over the
licensing function and see we should have
sent in our paperwork 30 days ago. I wanted
to make sure that's still the requirement and
to find out if there's anything I can do."
Owning up to the mistake immediately
buys you some credibility, and in most cases
the regulator is likely to be understanding
(though you still may have to pay a late fee).
Some states send out a notice in advance
of licensing renewal dates, but they may
not be obligated to do so and these notices

probably aren't reliable reminders. "I didn't
get the renewal notice!" is not going to get
you in regulators' good graces-submitting
everything complete and on time, however,
might.
Be mindful of licensing material
processing dates too. "Some states are very
strict about this," Bender said. "It's not just
when it's postmarked. Sometimes you have
to take into account lead times for them to
have opened and processed the documents."

KEEP IN TOUCH
Speaking of reaching out, it might be
tempting to try to fly under the radar with
state regulators. Don't.

3 WAYS ACA Helps You

Keep Up with State Regulations
* ACA International's Guide to State Collection Laws & Practices,
available in multiple formats, provides a comprehensive summary
of the laws and regulations that apply to collection practices. With
the electronic version, you can subscribe to a single state, a few
states or all 50 states, including the District of Columbia and U.S.
territories-plus you'll receive monthly updates as laws change.
Get it here: www.acainternational.org/shop.
* Attending ACA's state and regional unit meetings puts you in
the same room with local agencies so you can learn about state
trends and confer on shared regulatory issues. This is also a good
place to discuss members' experience with state regulators: Will
they give you legal interpretations of the rules when you have
questions? If not, where should you turn for this information?
Connect with your unit here: www.acainternational.org/units.
* ACA's Attorney State Chair Program provides ACA members
access to an attorney licensed to practice law in their state.
Attorney participants have volunteered to take calls from
members and make themselves available as legal resources
and referral attorneys as their schedules permit. Log in to
ACA's website to find your Attorney State Chair here:
www.acainternational.org/units.

20

If you have a question about the scope of
an audit or want to clarify how a requirement
should be interpreted, call and ask. While
regulators will not give you legal advice, they
may be willing to explain their interpretation
of the regulation or requirement.
"Otherwise you might spend a lot of time
preparing for something that never comes to
pass," Bender said. "It's critically important
to verify your interpretation of the scope
of the audit before you get started pulling
things and preparing your office."
If possible, try to get these clarifications in
writing so they can't be used against you at a
later date.
For the most part, regulators would rather
address questions up front rather than later
in the process. No matter what, don't wait
until you get notice of an audit to start a
relationship with your state regulator.
"They are busy people so they don't want
to just have a chat with you, but if you can
find a reason to make a call, do so," said
Debra Ciskey, chief compliance officer for
Wakefield and Associates Inc. "For example:
When you respond to a complaint, you
could call the regulator and say: 'I sent you
that response last week and I just wanted to
follow up and see if there was anything that
was missing. Is everything all right?' They
appreciate that and will understand your
sincerity. If there ever is a problem, they may
be more open and helpful if they've already
talked to you."

THINK BIG
Some states audit agencies annually as
a matter of course, while others audit at
random or are prompted to investigate your
company due to a history of discrepancies
or complaints.
If the regulator is interested in your
company because of the latter, be aware that
the audit won't just be limited to the issue in
question-it will likely be a comprehensive
review of your company's practices.
"It's not uncommon for us to receive a
complaint and to have no action on the
specific complaint that came in, but in our
investigation we find other violations that
took place and take action there," said Rick

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


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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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