Two Debticated Attorneys: A Podcast for the ARM Industry
There’s a new podcast in town, and it certainly distinguishes itself from the rest. Two Debticated Attorneys, hosted by Kelly Knepper-Stephens (Stoneleigh Recovery Associates) and Nicole Strickler (Messer Strickler), is the first all-female hosted and produced podcast in the ARM industry, with Leana Lares (Stoneleigh Recovery Associates) as the moderator and producer of the show.
Two Debticated Attorneys is unique in the way it draws attention to the competing considerations of an in-house counsel and an outside defense counsel. Kelly and Nicole are both highly regarded lawyers in the industry, and their podcast sheds light on the importance of considering multiple perspectives when working in consumer finance.
“An outside counsel’s job is to provide guidance on changing caselaw, consumer theories, and new defense ideas while a general counsel’s job focuses on a company’s overall health as well as the needs and requirements of the company’s clients,” Kelly said. “The two roles face complex considerations that must be evaluated when confronting new issues. Our podcast offers those sometimes competing perspectives together in one show for listeners.”
Episode one dives into common letter dilemmas faced by businesses all over the industry.
“Letters are the main drivers of class action litigation in the credit and collection industry,” Nicole said. “Knowing the current litigation trends is invaluable.”
General Counsel & CCO Named One of “20 Most Powerful Women in Collections”
Stoneleigh Recovery Associates’ General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer Kelly Knepper-Stephens has been named one of Collection Advisor’s “20 Most Powerful Women in Collections” (2018). This is the second time Kelly has been recognized by Collection Advisor, as she was named one of the “25 Most Influential Women in Collections” in 2016 by the same publication.
You can read more about Kelly and her accomplishment here.
Annual Employee Picnic
Another year, another picnic! SRA employees enjoyed a Friday afternoon out of the office at our annual team-bonding picnic on Sept. 14. The team played bags, softball, volleyball and spades while enjoying hot dogs, burgers and other picnic treats.
California Governor Jerry Brown just signed into law Assembly Bill 1526 in part amending California’s FDCPA, the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as well as the California Code involving the statute of limitations for contracts and credit card accounts. There are two major changes, and both go into effect on January 1, 2019. SRA is already in compliance.
The amendments now officially require a debt collector to include a specific out of statute notices in the first written communication with a California consumer. There are two disclosures to choose from depending on the age of the account and the ability to credit report. California’s Debt Buyer Act from 2014 already required debt buyers to include these notices on their communications with consumers. SRA has been including this language for any of our debt buyer clients.
Below is the language of the statute. If an account meets the criteria, this language appears on a letter from our office:
- If the account can still be reported on the consumer’s credit, this notice must be included: “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it. If you do not pay the debt, [insert name of debt collector] may [continue to] report it to the credit reporting agencies as unpaid for as long as the law permits this reporting.”
- If the account can no longer be reported on the consumer’s credit, this notice must be included: “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it, and we will not report it to any credit reporting agency.”
Interestingly, the California law explains that the term “written” includes notices sent via email, fax, or by other means. So, California at least recognizes the demands consumers are placing on collection agencies for more immediate and modern forms of communication than just using the U.S. mail to send letters.
The new law also amends the California Code for the statute of limitations on written contracts and book accounts (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. 337). The change prohibits initiating a law suit on a time-barred debt. Normally, in a lawsuit the statute of limitations is a defense that is raised by the defendant to defeat a lawsuit (so the consumer would file a motion to dismiss the collection lawsuit because the statute of limitations had expired). The change actually prohibits a lawsuit to be filed at all. This rule already existed for debt buyers and is not applicable for SRA.
During our third quarter, SRA donated to:
If you have an organization that you would like to consider for SRA’s Charity Thursdays, please contact Keanna Ringer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Annual Employment Law Seminar @ Chicago, IL (October 25, 2018)
- 2018 ACA International Fall Forum & Expo @ Chicago, IL (November 7-9, 2018)