Collector – January 2020 - 34

EDUCATIONSPOTLIGHT

Meet Your Certified Instructor
How does your background as an
agency owner and attorney inform
your work as a CI?
I think it helps me define how the rubber
meets the road-how compliance practices
and legal processes will actually be carried
out in a day-to-day way with the agency's
staff. It gives me a holistic understanding of
how agencies work and the problems that
are likely going to present themselves when
you make changes to things. The law of
unintended consequences definitely comes
into play.

Why do you think professional
development is important?
The landscape of this industry is changing
rapidly. As the courts get more involved,
regulators get more aggressive and
consumer attorneys get more litigious. They
are looking everywhere for any kind of
mistake. It absolutely behooves all collection
professionals to make sure they understand
their compliance responsibilities and
operational duties. You need to do things the

right way the first time. If you're not doing
that, you are now the low-hanging fruit
that will be picked from the tree. That's why
industry professionals must be engaged and
continuously learning.

What's a recurring source of stress
for ACA members?
I think all ethical debt collectors want to
know what they have to do to be compliant
under the law. As a Certified Instructor,
I don't like telling people that we don't
categorically know the answer to a question.
For instance, I'm often asked, "Which
message should I leave, Foti or Zortman?"
Unfortunately I have to say essentially, "Well,
it's six of one, half a dozen of the other." I
want to give people safe harbor language so
they can insulate themselves from litigation,
but no one from legislature has given us this
so we're all left in the dark on what we should
be doing.

For example, when I teach compliance
topics I often quote my fellow instructor John
Bedard, who says, "Don't tell me about your
compliance program; put it in my hands.
Show it to me. I want to see the policies and
procedures and work instructions." That
brings it home that this is a work product
you must be able to show someone. Almost
every agency I come into has been doing
things right forever, but some have never
taken the time to sit down and write out those
processes. I use the analogy of a bakery that
does not write down its recipes. That's where
the value of the agency is. Those policies,
procedures and work instructions are your
recipes. Anybody can buy ovens, but it's the
recipes that are worth the money. You want
to be able to document what you do not only
for regulators, but also to someday sell
the agency or pass it down to the
next generation.

When have you learned something
new at a class you were teaching?
I learn something every single time I teach a
class, either about the topic I'm teaching or
how to teach a class in a better way. I learn
a lot from my fellow instructors on how to
present material so it's both understandable
and comprehensive.

Number of
Seminars Taught:

190+
32+

Company:
The O'Meara Law
Office, P.S.
Title:
President

34

Name:
Michael
O'Meara

Years as a
Certified Instructor:

6

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector – January 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – January 2020

Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Radical Redesigns
Four State Legislative Trends to Watch
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Our International Reach
Tech Times are Changing
Exceptional Programming and Speakers Pay Off
Looking Forward to Monday Morning
Contextualizing Consumer Complaints
Another Look at Written Disputes
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – January 2020 - Cover1
Collector – January 2020 - Cover2
Collector – January 2020 - 1
Collector – January 2020 - 2
Collector – January 2020 - 3
Collector – January 2020 - Upfront
Collector – January 2020 - 5
Collector – January 2020 - Industry News
Collector – January 2020 - 7
Collector – January 2020 - 8
Collector – January 2020 - 9
Collector – January 2020 - 10
Collector – January 2020 - 11
Collector – January 2020 - Best Practices
Collector – January 2020 - 13
Collector – January 2020 - FYI
Collector – January 2020 - 15
Collector – January 2020 - Collection Tips
Collector – January 2020 - 17
Collector – January 2020 - 18
Collector – January 2020 - 19
Collector – January 2020 - 20
Collector – January 2020 - 21
Collector – January 2020 - 22
Collector – January 2020 - 23
Collector – January 2020 - Radical Redesigns
Collector – January 2020 - 25
Collector – January 2020 - 26
Collector – January 2020 - 27
Collector – January 2020 - Four State Legislative Trends to Watch
Collector – January 2020 - 29
Collector – January 2020 - 30
Collector – January 2020 - 31
Collector – January 2020 - Calendar
Collector – January 2020 - Honor Roll
Collector – January 2020 - Education Spotlight
Collector – January 2020 - 35
Collector – January 2020 - Our International Reach
Collector – January 2020 - 37
Collector – January 2020 - Tech Times are Changing
Collector – January 2020 - 39
Collector – January 2020 - 40
Collector – January 2020 - 41
Collector – January 2020 - Exceptional Programming and Speakers Pay Off
Collector – January 2020 - 43
Collector – January 2020 - 44
Collector – January 2020 - Looking Forward to Monday Morning
Collector – January 2020 - Contextualizing Consumer Complaints
Collector – January 2020 - 47
Collector – January 2020 - 48
Collector – January 2020 - 49
Collector – January 2020 - Another Look at Written Disputes
Collector – January 2020 - 51
Collector – January 2020 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – January 2020 - Ad Index
Collector – January 2020 - Membership
Collector – January 2020 - 55
Collector – January 2020 - Last Word
Collector – January 2020 - Cover3
Collector – January 2020 - Cover4
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