Collector - March 2018 - 38
An Inside Look at ACA's Judicial Advocacy Efforts
ACA's corporate counsel answers frequently asked questions about the association's
groundbreaking Industry Advancement Program.
By Karen Scheibe Eliason
udicial advocacy is a key part of
ACA International's mission to
contribute to its members' success.
But do you know what that means, and how
ACA is working on your behalf?
Here, ACA Corporate Counsel Karen
Scheibe Eliason provides answers to some of
our members' most commonly asked questions
about the association's judicial advocacy
initiatives made possible through ACA's
Industry Advancement Program.
WHAT IS ACA'S INDUSTRY
In response to intensifying credit and
collection industry litigation trends, ACA's
Board of Directors approved initiatives
to protect the long-term viability of the
industry. In doing so, the board has
chosen to aggressively pursue a proactive
approach to combating encroachments
against the industry in litigation,
regulatory and state legislative arenas
on behalf of ACA members through
the Industry Advancement Program,
which is funded by an ongoing Industry
Advancement Fund assessment.
WHAT IS ACA'S JUDICIAL
The judicial advocacy component of the
Industry Advancement Program advances
ACA's policy objectives in the courts by
strategically taking on important legal
battles that threaten the industry's ability
to compete and succeed, while also
safeguarding the rights of our members
to advocate for the interests that make the
credit and collection industry strong.
ACA provides judicial advocacy support
to ensure that court cases, especially at the
appellate level, result in judicial decisions
that are governed by common sense, are
clear and consistent, and do not unfairly
impede legitimate business activity.
ACA's Industry Advancement Program
can help defray high litigation costs for
members who are involved in cases of
national or regional significance to the credit
and collection industry. ACA also regularly
provides "friend of the court" briefs when
an issue on appeal has important potentially
precedent-setting industrywide implications.
independently reviews and considers Industry
Advancement Program involvement and
amicus curiae support of court cases identified
as having an important, potentially precedentsetting impact on ACA's members or the credit
and collection industry in general.
ACA's Judicial Committee also meets
regularly to consider Industry Advancement
Fund applications received from members
requesting monetary awards related to litigation
matters or requesting that ACA authorize
Industry Advancement Fund resources for
ACA to file an amicus curiae brief in support of
member litigation matters on appeal.
ACA encourages its members to submit
Industry Advancement Fund applications to
ACA if they believe they are a party to a case
involving significant industrywide issues.
WHY DO WE FIGHT?
Not even close. Just because the country
has a pro-industry administration and
Congress, that does not mean ACA's
Industry Advancement Program legal
advocacy will stop. Our opponents,
and even some states, are suing the new
administration to stop it from overturning
many of the costly regulations that have been
issued over previous years. ACA's Industry
Advancement Program will continue to be
there to advocate for its members and to
protect its members' interests.
For more information about the Industry
Advancement Program or to obtain an
Industry Advancement Fund application,
visit www.acainternational.org/iap. Be sure to
log in with your ACA password to see all of
the available information.
All over the country, in state supreme
courts, federal district courts and even the
U.S. Supreme Court, when there is a case
to be made to protect hard-won legislative
or regulatory gains or to push-back
against unclear or inconsistent consumer
protection case law-along with meritless
claims that continue to soar against the
credit and collection community-we
will be there, and we will win. To date,
ACA's Industry Advancement Program has
helped achieve 33 industry-favorable court
decisions for its members.
HOW IS A CASE SELECTED FOR
JUDICIAL ADVOCACY SUPPORT?
ACA's corporate counsel closely follows
judicial matters across the country to ensure
that the industry's position is considered
and represented. ACA's Judicial Committee
IN LIGHT OF THE CURRENT
ADMINISTRATION, IS THE FIGHT
Karen Scheibe Eliason is ACA International's