Celebrations are in order!
SRA reached a decade of business this past August. We have been honored to have you as our clients and will continue to strive for excellence in the years to come.
Hurricane Harvey and Irma
In our efforts to send support to those affected by Harvey and Irma, SRA temporarily suspended collection calls and communications to those in the affected areas. Our hearts reach out to the thousands displaced, including Stoneleigh Recovery’s family members and friends.
Quarterly Ethics and Compliance Training
General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer Kelly Knepper-Stephens just completed quarterly ethics and compliance training for our recovery team.
Due to the rising number of consumers who prefer modern forms of communication, SRA will be offering more contact options for consumers in the near future. These options will include enhanced email, text messages and online chat. We understand that many of our clients have prohibitions on certain forms of omnichannel communications, therefore we will only use a certain communication tool if permitted.
If you would like to set up a time to discuss these options and the compliance guidelines we are establishing to control their use, please contact Kelly Knepper-Stephens: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debt Connection Symposium and Expo 2017
We had a great time at the DCS conference in Tucson, AZ. From reconnecting with old friends to meeting new potential partnerships—thank you to all who were a part of the event. We look forward to connecting with you at future events.
SRA will be exhibiting at the Auto Finance Summit from October 25 – 27. If you are attending the conference, please stop by our booth and say hello.
SRA had Kirkpatrick Price onsite performing our annual SOC audit. We should be receiving the report soon.
SRA Welcomes Leana Lares as Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Stoneleigh Recovery Associates is proud to welcome Leana Lares as our company’s new marketing and communications coordinator.
Leana graduated from Texas A&M University and recently moved to the Greater Chicago Area. With a degree in journalism and communications, her experience includes working with CBS Radio in Houston, SCTV in Jakarta and NBC Sports in Stamford for the Emmy award winning digital coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Her unique background has already proven valuable at SRA, and we are grateful to have her join the SRA team.
Leana can be reached at: email@example.com
West Virginia’s New Pre-Suit Grievance Requirement
West Virginia now requires plaintiffs to file a pre-suit grievance before filing a lawsuit against any creditor or debt collector, which came into effect July 5. This amendment was made to West Virginia’s FDCPA. Once served, the defendant will have 45 days to respond with an offer to cure the grievance. If not accepted, the offer to cure can be introduced as evidence against the plaintiff.
Legal Victory for Illinois Collection Agency
LTD Financial Services was victorious against a lawsuit in early August in which the plaintiff sued for alleged FDCPA and ICAA violations. The case (Moses v. LTD Financial Services I, Inc. et al.) argued that LTD threatened to file a 1099-C, which the plaintiff claimed LTD did not actually intend on doing. The case also claimed that because LTD did not detail exceptions to a 1099-C trigger, the statement was false and deceptive. The court ruled in favor of LTD, saying that LTD used accurate language and described a “possible” 1099 scenario.
Thanks to the ACA’s financial assistance, SRA is able to fight a case filed in the Eastern District of New York. The case, McAdams and Russo v. Stoneleigh Recovery Associates, LLC, 2:16-cv-05517 (E.D.N.Y. filed November 2016), alleges that it is an FDCPA violation to fail to inform consumers in a collection letter that the balance due will not increase due to interest or other charges because no interest is accruing on the account. While the FDCPA does require agencies to notify consumers that the balance due may increase due to interest or other fees, there is no requirement that an agency do the opposite and inform consumers that the balance will not change. The case is currently pending the court’s ruling on our Motion for Summary Judgment.
Several states have recently passed and signed into law rules that impact both debt collectors and debt buyers. We wanted to make sure that we brought these to your attention:
The Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has a new definition of a “debt buyer,” as well as new requirements for filing legal actions to collect debts owned by debt buyers.
Bonds will not be required of a debt buyer as long as the debt buyer does not also provide third-party debt collection.
The state also increased the statute of limitations for bringing violations of the CFDCPA to two years from the date on which the violation occurs.
Please make sure to review the full Colorado outline of changes.
Debt buyers, including passive debt buyers, operating in Oregon will be required to obtain an Oregon collection agency license. Debt buyers that are not already licensed should submit a license application to ensure they are in compliance with the new licensing requirements when they go into effect.
The new law will require debt buyers and debt collectors to provide certain Oregon consumers documents proving the existence and assignment of the debt and the itemized account balance within 30 days of the consumer’s request.
Similar to Colorado and Maine, debt buyers and collection law firms filing suit against Oregon consumers on purchased debt will be required to include certain information and documentation to maintain a cause of action. For example, a lawsuit must establish the existence and assignment of the debt, as well as itemizing the account balance in the collection complaint.
Please make sure to review the full outline of changes.
Every month, SRA donates all proceeds from our Charity Thursday fundraiser to organizations in need. This quarter, our company donated to Save the Children, United Way of Greater Houston and the Houston Food Bank.
If you would like to participate or suggest a particular non-profit organization, please contact our program coordinator, Keanna Ringer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
· NARCA Fall Conference @ Washington, D.C. (October 11-14)
· Auto Finance Summit @ Las Vegas, NV (October 25-27)
· ACA International Fall Forum & Expo @ Chicago, IL (November 1-3)
This October, SRA’s General Counsel, Kelly Knepper-Stephens, is presenting at the North American Collection Agency Regulator’s Conference on the unintended consequences of certain debt collection regulation. Kelly will also be at the NARCA Fall Convention presenting on ways to combat frivolous litigation.
On November 9, Kelly will be discussing the top 10 debt collection updates from 2017 for an AFSA Webinar.