Our Tampa office is now located in Suite 130. Please update our contact info to 1715 N. Westshore Boulevard, Suite 130 | Tampa, FL 33607
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
as seen in Issue-36 of a360inc's Compliance Newsletter
By now, it’s clear that social media and electronic communications are not novelties. Instead, they have become mainstream staples that are used for a large portion of communications, advertising, commerce, and news. Despite all this, it may still surprise some that social media and emails can be used for service of legal process. In August 2018, the Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee advised that it is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the amendment of Pa.R.C.P. No. 430, which governs service by order of the court. This would allow service via email or social media account upon receipt of the court’s order and if service cannot be made under any other rule. Pennsylvania is not the first state in the country to modify its service rules to adapt to technology changes and platforms.
Alternative means of service have been used more consistently and for a longer time than you may realize. Mostly, they have been used by courts in different jurisdictions to effectuate service of foreign defendants based on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 4(f)(3).
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
as seen in Issue-35 of a360inc's Compliance Newsletter
In August, the American Bar Association (ABA) amended the Model Rules of Professional Conduct related to legal advertising. The purpose of the modifications is to modernize and simplify the advertising rules for lawyers to reflect changes in the existing legal landscape. In recent years, individual states have modified the advertising rules and this has caused a significant discrepancy in approach to this complex area. In this article, we will summarize the adopted modifications and share some compliance considerations related to legal marketing.
Prior to the 1977 Supreme Court decision in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, lawyers were not allowed to advertise their services. In Bates, the court ruled that a lawyer advertising is considered commercial speech, which is entitled to the protections of the First Amendment. The decision allowed lawyers to advertise in a manner that is not misleading to members of the general public. The decision also rejected the prohibitions of advertising by lawyers as “an antiquated rule of etiquette.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2018
[DALLAS, TX] CourtXpress, an e-filing service of a360inc, announced today that the organization has expanded its e-filing service to include the state of Illinois. a360inc launched CourtXpress in 2012 in the state of Florida and has since conducted over 1.2 million filings.
CourtXpress is a certified Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP) through eFileIL. With the certification comes an assurance that CourtXpress’ integration with the state’s central electronic filing manager service (EFM) is compliant and that all filings and documents use established standards for uniform filings. Additionally, it completely transforms the way that law firms handle the filings of their pleadings today.
“Ensuring that our technology solutions address the needs of our law firm and mortgage industry clients is a core objective for a360inc. And the convergence of these solutions into one technology platform ecosystem enables our clients to leverage one vendor relationship to achieve a variety of operational benefits. The expansion of CourtXpress into the Illinois market is part of our strategic expansion in the e-filling arena,” said a360inc CEO Scott Brinkley.
“Our core objectives are focused on improving the efficiency and profitability of law firms while ensuring they meet or exceed their clients’ expectations. Every product and service we introduce, including this new service to firms in Illinois, are focused entirely on achieving that objective,” said a360inc COO Jan Duke.
Concierge e-Filing with CourtXpress includes eService, detailed confirmation, receipt documents, and reporting, splitting and organizing filings in accordance with individual clerk requirements, along with expert quality control review. CourtXpress also provides direct integration to a law firms case management system and service of process vendors, eliminating the need to re-key pertinent data. CourtXpress’ Illinois e-filing service is available immediately. Contact Jan Duke for details on single service or bulk discounts for your entire portfolio.
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
as seen in Issue-34 of a360inc's Compliance Newsletter
Up until recently, the default legal services industry was used to seeing information security laws and regulations that provided for specific actions that needed to be taken or for penalties for non-compliance with the specific requirements. This month, Ohio passed a state law (Bill SB 220) that took a different approach and encourages businesses to establish stronger information security controls through providing a safe harbor protection to tort actions alleging that failure to implement security controls resulted in a data breach. The new law does not create minimum cybersecurity standards that must be achieved, nor does it imposes any liability on businesses that fail to meet any legal requirements. Instead, the Act enables businesses to use implemented internal cybersecurity programs as an affirmative defense in tort actions raised out of data breaches.
BY EVAN D'ABROSCA
as seen in Issue 1-33 of a360inc's Compliance Newsletter
Foreclosure, bankruptcy, and debt collection law firms may often see requirements related to compliance with the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) in their client retention agreements. In this article, we will clarify whether the EFTA requirements apply to default legal services law firms and what internal procedures firms should be implemented to ensure compliance with this federal and client-mandated requirement.
The EFTA, 15 U.S.C. § 1693 et seq, was enacted in 1978 to protect consumers engaged in the transfer of funds through electronic methods.
Under the EFTA, an electronic fund transfer means any transfer of funds, other than a transaction originated by check, draft, or similar paper instrument, that is initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer, or magnetic tape that instructs a financial institution to debit or credit an account.
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
as seen in Issue 1-32 of the a360inc Compliance Update
Recently, the mortgage industry has seen an uptick in litigation and discussions regarding HOA super-priority lien foreclosures and their hidden threats. Currently, most cases related to this topic are filed in the 9th Circuit District due to the court’s decision in Bourne Valley Court Tr. v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA, 832 F.3d 1154, where the constitutionality of the state HOA lien foreclosure notice requirements included in NRS 116.3116 was raised. The decision was questioned, and the Nevada Supreme Court accepted a certified question about the interpretation of NRS 116.3116. On August 2, 2018, the Nevada Supreme Court, to answer the question, ruled that an HOA is required to give notice to all subordinate interest holders even when such persons or entities did not request a notice. (SFR Invs. Pool 1, LLC v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon, No. 72931, 2018 Nev. LEXIS 63 (Aug. 2, 2018))
The Nevada court decisions raised concerns amongst mortgage lenders that they may lose their interest in the secured property in the face of the HOA lien foreclosure.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 2018
[DALLAS, TX] Today a360inc, a leading technology and outsourcing solutions company, and National Creditors Bar Association (NCBA) are pleased to announce a national partnership designed to provide access to compliance training programs for the bar association’s 500+ law firms and their staffs, as well as NCBA’s in-house counsel members.
The customized online portal, hosted by a360inc and available to NCBA members, currently offers ten compliance training courses specific to the practice of creditors’ rights law. The initial course offerings include compliance training covering topics such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, among others. Each course includes several modules and knowledge assessments which must be completed in order by the user, to complete and successfully finish a course. Additional courses will be introduced periodically.
“Compliance is critical in today’s environment and at a360inc we’re focused on helping firms transform their businesses into efficient, compliant, and operationally sound enterprises. Our exciting new partnership with NCBA is an example of how we approach that transformation holistically,” said Scott Brinkley, CEO, a360inc.
Mark Dobosz, Executive Director of NCBA added, “We’re continuously scouting the industry for great partners who can add value to the NCBA membership experience. That’s why we’re excited about this new offering from a360inc and the value it brings to our members.”
The online portal is now open and accessible to NCBA members. Member firms can access a dashboard that shows courses completed, in progress, or not yet viewed by their staff members. Modules may be revisited and completed at the user’s pace. NCBA members should login to their NCBA online accounts to access the portal.
a360inc is a 100% employee-owned holding company that provides industry-leading technology, practice management, outsourcing, title, compliance, and consulting solutions for the legal and mortgage servicing industries. a360inc is based in Carrollton, TX with offices in Tampa, FL; Colorado Springs, CO; Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; New London, CT; Jacksonville, FL; and St. Louis, MO. Led by industry experts, a360inc is the industry’s single point solution center for all of your back office needs to grow, optimize, right-size, or refit your practice, your people, and your position in the market. Learn more at a360inc.com.
About National Creditors Bar Association (NCBA)
National Creditors Bar Association (NCBA) is a nationwide bar association of over 500 creditors rights law firms and in-house counsel of creditors. National Creditors Bar Association members are committed to being professional, responsible, and ethical in their practice of creditors rights law. Learn more at creditorsbar.org.
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
as seen in Issue-31 of a360inc's Compliance Newsletter
In the United States charitable organizations make significant contributions to society. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S. This number includes public charities, private foundations, and other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations, and civic leagues. These organizations operate on charitable contributions which are tax-exempt and are supervised by a board of directors. Serving as a board member for any of those organizations is a rewarding experience which entails many obligations stemming from the owed fiduciary duty to the nonprofit organizations to manage and preserve the organization’s charitable assets that serve the organization’s mission.
Before getting involved with a nonprofit organization, attorneys should consider the following:
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
as seen in Issue-30 of a360inc's Compliance Newsletter
A reverse mortgage is a loan for older homeowners which allows them to borrow against the home equity and requires no monthly payments. Firms often receive referrals for completing reverse mortgage foreclosure actions, but what are the unique issues that firms should consider when proceeding with these actions and what laws and regulations apply?
The majority of reverse mortgages are insured by FHA under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, which provides maximum loan amounts, borrower eligibility requirements, and servicing standards. Some lenders offer proprietary mortgage products typically designed to offer borrowers the protections similar to those allowed by the FHA HECM program. In light of this, Fannie Mae implemented Reverse Mortgage Servicing Manuals to provide servicing guidelines with regards to this mortgage type.
Sharing trends and best practices to help you improve your processes and maximize your profitability.