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.
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
In the beginning of July, the new California Consumer Privacy Act (Act) made national headlines as the strictest privacy law in the United States. It provides consumers with the following rights: 1) the right to know and request that a business discloses what types of personal information is collected about the consumer, how it is collected, how it is used, and who it is disclosed to; 2) the right to direct a business not to sell the consumer’s personal information; 3) the right to request that a business deletes the consumer’s information, with some exceptions; and 4) the right not to be discriminated against because the consumer exercises their rights under the Act.
Default legal services and collection law firms are provided with confidential information during the normal course of their business. In light of California’s new law, should these firms start modifying their internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance with this Act?
Not quite - the firms are not required to comply with this Act directly, unless a client chooses to enhance their privacy policies nationally and requires firms to comply with the Act’s provisions through retention agreements.
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.”
BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), nearly two million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. There are currently no federal laws which establish a duty for employers to prevent workplace violence against employees; however, employers – including law firms - have a duty to provide a safe working environment under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Statistics show that about 43% of corporate executives believe that workplace violence is not an issue; an even higher percentage believes that it shouldn’t impact their budget.
Despite these numbers and the lack of federal law, employers should be aware of the risks of workplace violence and how they can work to mitigate those risks. These risks include:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2018
[DALLAS, TX] Today a360inc announces the launch of the organization’s new website, a360inc.com. The all-new, solutions-centric website is now the online home for well-known default servicing industry brands including CaseAware, the industry’s most prominent case management software system for creditors rights’ law firms, and Firm Solutions, the industry’s leading practice management, outsourcing, and consulting services provider.
CaseAware and its parent company KMCIS were acquired by a360inc in September 2017. Firm Solutions was acquired in 2016, the same year a360inc purchased C2C Title, rounding out the employee-owned company’s suite of law firm practice management, outsourcing, technology, title, consulting, and compliance solutions utilized today by over 250 leading creditors rights’ law firms.
“Since our formation as an Employee Owned Company in January 2017, a360inc has been intensely focused on the execution of our strategy to become the industry’s premier technology and outsourcing provider for law firms and their business partners. The recent consolidation of our brands and go-to-market initiatives under the a360 banner (www.a360inc.com) is a major milestone for the group and further refines how our clients, markets and business partners view and understand our value proposition. Through our acquisitions over the last few years, we have built a meaningful suite of solutions in the technology, outsourcing (LBPO), title search, compliance, and general consulting arenas.” said Chief Executive Officer Scott Brinkley.
Brinkley continued, “If a law firm’s focus is to optimize their operational model, reducing costs through best-in-class software and technology delivery as well as outsourcing solutions, the suite of services provided by a360inc is a great place to start that journey!”
CaseAware and Firm Solutions support protocols for existing clients remain unchanged by the website move. “For our existing clients, this simply means that you can now see the bigger picture and share in the vision,” said Chief Operating Officer Jan Duke. Duke added, “Our focus on service will only be supported by having all of our tools to build your business and improve efficiencies in one place now.”
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. Download and share the release.
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