Collector – July 2019 - 28

Insurance Against Risks

Diane Stamatelatos, CEO of Debt Co
Collections, used insurance and
licensing products from Collectors
Insurance Agency, a wholly owned
subsidiary of ACA, to help launch and
protect her company.

M

y business partner Paul and I both
come from the corporate world, but
we're new to owning a collection
agency. We were finalizing the acquisition
of our company at the beginning of the year
while we were applying for ACA membership.
It was a crazy time, and about three weeks
before we closed, I talked to Travis Coles
and Dereck Tessmer in Collectors Insurance
Agency and told them what was going on. I
had big strategic questions about what should
be covered as well as basic questions like,
"What does this mean?"
When I was shopping around for
insurance, I talked to two other providers

Learning and Growing

Bonnie Allen, president of Hawthorn
Recovery Services, has earned multiple
professional designations through
ACA and relies on the association's
educational products and services
to keep her team up with current
industry issues.

I

have the
benefit of
30 years of
experience in
this industry,
and I've been
educating
myself all
along. I once
sat down
to calculate
how much time I spend on continuing
education and between ACA and the
Healthcare Financial Management
Association-the two professional
organizations I belong to-I devote a full
calendar week each year to education!

28

and neither were able to even come
close to the help Travis and Dereck gave
us explaining everything. They really
understand the industry inside and out. Plus,
they got everything done in time for us to
close on our business.
We also chose to use ACA's licensing service.
There are a lot of ins and outs with licensing
and it all differs by state. Do I need to be
registered or do I need to be licensed? Can I
use an alias? Do I need to list all the employees?
We're registered in five states, and not
only were they able to help with all of them,
but because of our timing considerations
they completed each state as fast as possible.
It wasn't one lump project; it was actually
five different workstreams. That was crucial
because Arkansas requires bonding, which
I wasn't aware of, and we didn't get that
until three weeks after closing. If everything
had come as a huge package, I would've
had three weeks when I would have been
making no revenue.

Plus, through
ACA's Collection
Notice Review,
we found several
issues in our
letters (which
we were using
from the prior
owner), so we
were able to
identify and fix
things that could have gotten us in trouble.
I can't understate how much ACA
helped us. If we had done it on our own,
there would have been significant risks
and impacts: I would have missed my
closing date because I wouldn't have had
my insurance on time, I would've missed
revenue because I wouldn't have been
properly licensed and I couldn't collect,
and I would have had legal risks because
my letters weren't being done properly
from the get go.

I have all of my new hires take
ACA's FDCPA Essentials for Collectors
web course and HIPAA Essentials for
Collectors computer-based training, plus
they watch the Healthcare Collections
training video. That way I know they are
getting consistent training on the rules
and regulations, and it provides good
groundwork for the more robust and
customized training we provide next.
My collection manager and I attend ACA
webinars and seminars (though because
we're a small company, I make sure we're
not both out of the office at the same time),
and after employees have completed their
new-hire training, I'll have them participate
in webinars from time to time too.
Whenever I come back from a conference
or seminar, I always give my staff a rundown of
what I've learned, like the latest techniques being
used in bait calls, new legislation that could
potentially affect us or recent CFPB changes.
I was at the Campus ACA Academy at
Spring Forum in Las Vegas this year where
ACA unveiled its revamped curriculum,
and it was two of the most powerful days

I've ever spent in a classroom. There were so
many useful points-I took a lot of notes. For
instance, [ACA's Education and Membership
Development Director] Harry Strausser gave tips
for appreciating your employees and managing
staff, and I came back with so many good ideas
that I implemented right away. All the presenters
talked about ideas I'd never seen or thought of
before that I actually put to work in my office.
And the session that Michael Klutho
co-presented at ACA's Fall Forum last
year on how to fight back against litigious
consumer attorneys was both depressing
and encouraging at the same time. It's
depressing that this is the environment
now, but it's encouraging to see that we've
figured out how this is happening and
how we can combat it. It's so critical to
keep up with national litigation trends.
When we went through the last 10 years of
overregulation, compliance at my company
had been already built up enough that I
haven't been hammered by lawsuits. I've
been able to keep my head up, and now I
see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm
really optimistic for the future.

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector – July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – July 2019

Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
What you need to know about the CFPB’s proposed new rule for the debt collection industry
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve literally never received a telegram and wouldn’t even know how to send one.”
Celebrating 80 Years of Helping Members Succeed
How Does ACA Help Members Succeed?
A History of Advocacy
8 Decades of ACA’s Annual Convention
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Tell It Like It Is: Washington Hears From ACA Members
Collectors Challenge 2019: Getting Creative for a Good Cause
Balance it Out
Balance Billing Challenges Continue
It’s All About You: Helping Members Succeed
Sandbox Rules
What is a Product Sandbox?
in 11th Circuit Case Examining What Constitutes an ATDS
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – July 2019 - Cover1
Collector – July 2019 - Cover2
Collector – July 2019 - 1
Collector – July 2019 - 2
Collector – July 2019 - 3
Collector – July 2019 - Upfront
Collector – July 2019 - 5
Collector – July 2019 - Industry News
Collector – July 2019 - 7
Collector – July 2019 - 8
Collector – July 2019 - 9
Collector – July 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – July 2019 - 11
Collector – July 2019 - FYI
Collector – July 2019 - 13
Collector – July 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – July 2019 - 15
Collector – July 2019 - What you need to know about the CFPB’s proposed new rule for the debt collection industry
Collector – July 2019 - 17
Collector – July 2019 - “I don’t know about you, but I’ve literally never received a telegram and wouldn’t even know how to send one.”
Collector – July 2019 - 19
Collector – July 2019 - 20
Collector – July 2019 - 21
Collector – July 2019 - 22
Collector – July 2019 - 23
Collector – July 2019 - Celebrating 80 Years of Helping Members Succeed
Collector – July 2019 - 25
Collector – July 2019 - How Does ACA Help Members Succeed?
Collector – July 2019 - 27
Collector – July 2019 - 28
Collector – July 2019 - 29
Collector – July 2019 - A History of Advocacy
Collector – July 2019 - 31
Collector – July 2019 - 8 Decades of ACA’s Annual Convention
Collector – July 2019 - 33
Collector – July 2019 - 34
Collector – July 2019 - 35
Collector – July 2019 - Calendar
Collector – July 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – July 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – July 2019 - 39
Collector – July 2019 - Tell It Like It Is: Washington Hears From ACA Members
Collector – July 2019 - 41
Collector – July 2019 - Collectors Challenge 2019: Getting Creative for a Good Cause
Collector – July 2019 - 43
Collector – July 2019 - Balance Billing Challenges Continue
Collector – July 2019 - 45
Collector – July 2019 - 46
Collector – July 2019 - 47
Collector – July 2019 - It’s All About You: Helping Members Succeed
Collector – July 2019 - 49
Collector – July 2019 - 50
Collector – July 2019 - 51
Collector – July 2019 - What is a Product Sandbox?
Collector – July 2019 - 53
Collector – July 2019 - in 11th Circuit Case Examining What Constitutes an ATDS
Collector – July 2019 - 55
Collector – July 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – July 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – July 2019 - Membership
Collector – July 2019 - 59
Collector – July 2019 - Last Word
Collector – July 2019 - Cover3
Collector – July 2019 - Cover4
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