DBA International, an association representing debt buyers, hosted its 2015 Executive Summit this week in Park City, Utah.

Those attending the event gained insights on how attorneys general, elected officials, regulators and creditors view the debt-buying industry. Speakers discussed the best way to interact with the various parties and the roles being taken to protect consumers.

"It's extremely valuable for our membership to learn from these experts how our industry is viewed, how it has changed and steps we can take to provide streamlined services and enhanced consumer protection," said DBA International Board President Kaye Dreifuerst. "This Summit gave our members an unprecedented opportunity to shake hands with decision makers and learn about the important steps we are already taking to improve an important industry."

The event focused on interactive discussions and included panelists covering the details of the Chase Consent Order; an in depth discussion of state collection laws adopted in 2015 as well as pending California legislation and New York’s most recent rule changes; top litigation risks for debt buyers featuring the Hanna and Crawford cases and the latest on the TCPA.  

Takeaways from panelists:

The debt collection industry creates opportunities to lower costs for consumers and increases access to credit supporting consumers and the economy. This industry creates more efficiency for companies and opportunities for the economy to grow.

- Jerry Moran, United States Senator, Kansas

 I compliment this association for creating a certification process that requires education and auditing. In many cases, your standards exceed state and federal regulations. If you aren't certified I urge you to do so.

- Lawrence Wasden, Idaho Attorney General

The best way to combat negative views of an industry is to have standards in place. These standards need to have widespread industry participation, active compliance monitoring, an effective enforcement mechanism, transparency, include robust education and training, data security and privacy protections and the principles need to be dynamic and responsive to industry changes and legal developments. 

- Reilly Dolan, Acting Associate Director, Federal Trade Commission

The DBA has put in motion a set of certification standards. We (creditors) are partners at the table in the entire process from A to Z. We have laid the foundation for a harmonious relationship moving forward. You need to be proud of the stance you have taken and continue talking about it.

- Steve Dostal, Corporate Development, Wells Fargo & Company

Self-regulation is a key component to DBA membership. For those who don’t get certified, I think they will remove themselves from the marketplace. We want you (the industry) to help educate us and work with us to mitigate the risk. We are going to look at organizations with the appropriate certification and look at complaints.

- Mike Ryan, Group Vice President, M&T Bank, Asset Management Group


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