The North Carolina Dept. of Insurance (N.C. Dept. of Insurance oversees collection agencies) settles with agency for charging transaction fees:
In April 2014, the Commissioner of the North Carolina Department of Insurance (“NCDOI”) brought an action against a debt collector after receiving a complaint from a consumer about a $10.00 transaction fee. NCDOI discovered that the company collected $20,912.50 in such fees from North Carolina consumers, between June 1, 2010 and June 5, 2013, where the individual fees ranged from $5.00 to $10.00.
Rather than face an administrative hearing to determine whether charging the fees was in violation of state law, the collector voluntarily agreed to stop collecting transaction fees from North Carolina consumers and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $21,412.50 for the fees collected.
The collector also agreed to fully reimburse any North Carolina consumer who paid the company a processing fee between June 1, 2010, and June 5, 2013 upon receipt of written request from the consumer within one year of the settlement.
The NCDOI’s position on the application of N.C. Gen. Stat. Section 58-70-115(2) should cause collection agencies doing business in North Carolina to carefully analyze the assessment of any “collection fee” including fees assessed for processing certain types of payments.
If you would like more information on this settlement or its impact on your business, please contact the firm.
The Echols Firm, LLC is excited to announce that
Robbie Malone is now serving as “of counsel” to the firm. Robbie’s
significant trial experience and specific focus on the credit and collection
industry will strengthen the services provided by the firm and increase our
geographical reach. On top of its general business practice, the firm
remains focused on the needs of creditors, debt purchasers, and debt
collectors. You may find out more information on Robbie Malone by
clicking here: www.theecholsfirm.com/our-firm/robbie-malone/
Chad will lead a session on recent litigation on collection fee assessment.
Chad to speak at the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Conference Thursday April 24th
Chad will be discussing current issues and cases related to bankruptcy and student loans, how to protect institutions’ debt from discharge, the current legal status of the collection industry, and litigation and trends affecting the industry.
Chad is now a member of ACA International’s Judicial Committee. The purpose of the Judicial Committee is to establish, oversee and support the Association’s litigation support agenda.
Chad will be in Anaheim on March 9th and 10th presenting at the 2014 Student Financial Services Conference of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).
Topics will include:
- Bankruptcy and collection law changes and learning how institutions will need to adapt in order to comply
- Updates on what agencies, including the CFPB, have been up to and how they can affect collections
- Round table discussion on collections challenges and solutions
Webinar: Update on a Critical Development Regarding Collection Fees on Institutional Loans and Student Receivables
On January 2, 2014, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on the assessment of percentage based borrower paid collection fees on institutional loans and student receivables by Colleges and Universities.
Chad Echols, Outside General Counsel for Williams & Fudge, will discuss the Bradley v. Franklin Collection Services, Inc. ruling and how it will impact the current assessment of collection fees. Join us for a free webinar on Thursday, February 6, 2014 beginning at 2:30 to 3:30 PM EST to provide valuable information on the recent court case opinion.
Chad was recently re-appointed to continue his service as the 2013-2015 State Compliance Chair for South Carolina, by the Members’ Attorney Program Committee of ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA).
Through its state compliance chairs, ACA provides members with access to an attorney licensed to practice law within their state and to other non-resident members seeking assistance with state law questions.
As a state compliance chair, Chad serves as a volunteer liaison between the national attorney membership and ACA members within the state, by taking member calls and serving as a legal resource, speaking at ACA International unit meetings and writing articles for ACA International unit publications.
With nearly 5,000 members in the U.S. and 60+ countries throughout the world, ACA is the knowledge-based resource for success in the credit and collection industry. ACA brings together third-party collection agencies, attorneys, creditors and vendor affiliates, establishes ethical standards, provides a wide variety of products, services and publications, and articulates the value of the industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers.
For more information on ACA International or the State Compliance Chair Program, contact ACA at (952) 926-6547 or visit http://www.acainternational.org.
On October 15, 2013, Chad led a workshop discussion focusing on bankruptcy and the legal aspects of collections at the annual Texas BUC$ conference in Houston. Topics addressed current issues and cases relating to bankruptcy and student loans, how to protect institutions’ debt from discharge, the current legal status of the collection industry, and litigation and trends affecting the industry.
The Echols Firm, LLC is proud to announce the addition of Bette S. Bronson to the firm.
Bette has extensive experience in project management. She will be focusing her work on the organization and litigation management for some of the firm’s regional and national clients.