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.
Case Law Updates
SMITH V. SELECT PORTFOLIO SERVICING, INC.
The plaintiff alleged that Select Portfolio Servicing Inc. (“SPS”) violated FDCPA 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e) by providing her with 10 “subsequent communications” stating “This is an attempt to collect a debt. All information obtained will be used for that purpose.” and did not state that the “communication was from a debt collector.”
Risk of the Affiliated Vendor Engagements
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
On May 25, 2018 the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York heard the oral arguments for defendants’ motions to dismiss in a case referred to as being “about banks and law firms fleecing the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA”[Case 1:12-cv-07199-JSR, Third Amended Complaint]. The plaintiff alleged violations of several provisions of the False Claims Act. [Violations referenced in the case relate to the following provisions of the False Claims Act: 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1)(A); 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1)(B); 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1)(C); 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1)(G).] The action was brought by the Unites States of America against over 15 mortgage servicers, as well as 2 default services law firms and their affiliated process serving and title companies. The allegations are based on improper invoicing practices implemented by the law firms; during the foreclosure process, the firms submitted to the servicers marked-up invoices from their affiliated title and process serving vendors. This resulted in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA providing reimbursements to the servicers based on the “false and fraudulent”[Case 1:12-cv-07199-JSR, Third Amended Complaint] foreclosure claims which included those marked-up costs. The court has not yet issued any orders in this case; however, we would like to remind firms about the applicable requirements and what practices need to be considered to ensure compliance with those requirements.
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VA provided clarification on the regulatory requirement that all VA guaranteed loans, including Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans, require lender certifications. Please see VA Circular 26-18-14 for more information.
Document Retention and Destruction Practices
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
Firms handle an overwhelming number of documents daily, most of which fall into one of these four categories: client legal files; firm financial records; firm business records (ex. internal policies, procedures, compliance programs, quality control reviews, etc.); and firm HR records.
In accordance with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, “upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as …
State Law Updates
Tennessee has enacted the bill that pertains to the regulation of electronic notarization for Notaries Public.
Maryland bills were enacted to amend several provisions related to SCRA, debt collection, and loan updates. (HB-1297) (SB-1068)
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR): Law Firm Considerations
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
The European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR provides for a stricter set of legal privacy standards than the current U.S. laws and is applicable to companies that collect, process, or transfer personal data of EU citizens regardless of their location. a360inc previously provided a high-level overview of the GDPR requirements and indicated that many firms’ clients may enhance their own privacy requirements; however, due to the fact that the GDRP is still so new, there are many areas which still remain unclear.
Sharing trends and best practices to help you improve your processes and maximize your profitability.