What Happened at RMAI Shouldn’t Stay at RMAI
Last week’s Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) annual conference in Las Vegas was without a doubt one of the most successful conferences I have attended in years — including those that preceded COVID.
So, what exactly defines a successful conference? For me, a conference is successful if it receives an “A” in educational content and an “A” for networking opportunities. Few would disagree, the RMAI 2022 conference earned an “A+” in both categories.
From the opening keynote speaker to the last session of the conference, content was substantively rich. Whether due to the change in the administration, the Democrat majority party in the House of Representatives, or the party tie in the Senate, the country’s return to an era of consumer protection is driving change for credit issuers, debt buyers, debt collection agencies and collection law firms. Topics including Regulation F, new legal issues such as those presented in Hunstein, state legislation driving new rules for the collection of medical debt and new litigation strategies dominated the discussions.
Here are some of the highlights:
- FDCPA claims shifting from Federal to state court – Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) plaintiffs who cannot prove they have sustained injury from the debt collector’s alleged violation have retreated from filing Federal court lawsuits. Instead, plaintiffs are filing FDCPA claims in state court. Defense attorneys warned attendees of the risks they assume by not taking state court actions seriously, advising them to retain counsel as soon as possible to avoid unexpected decisions and damage awards.
- Insurance policy protection from data breaches – The increasing frequency of data breaches drove an interesting discussion that left attendees questioning whether their insurance policies adequately protected them from this type of loss. Seasoned legal and insurance experts encouraged attendees to review their policies, driving home that exposure to litigation, financial loss and reputational loss resulting from a data breach is a real possibility they could encounter.
- Making ethics the cornerstone of your CMS – No RMAI conference is complete without Don Maurice’s annual update on ethics as the cornerstone of a robust compliance management system. Don and co-presenter Kelly Knepper-Stephens emphasized the reasons why attendees must incorporate the principles of business ethics in all aspects of their operation including but not limited to operations, sales, marketing and even contract negotiations.
- RMAI advocacy program – RMAI has one of the strongest advocacy programs representing members of the credit and collection industry in the United States. The association retains federal, state and attorney general advocates who tirelessly represent the interests of the membership.
- Innovative topics for expanding businesses – Fascinating sessions on artificial intelligence, fintech lending practices and emerging markets are just a few of the many topics presented by experts in their field. These sessions are of increasing value to attendees who seek opportunities to expand their business into new markets.
Equally impressive were the various networking opportunities sponsored by RMAI, vendors such as Finvi and numerous law firms. The Exhibit Hall served as a hub of activity and was filled with attendees hungry to make new connections and resume long-time friendships. Breaks, lunches, receptions, dinners and impromptu meetings bookended each segment of the conference while private meetings filled the RMAI conference rooms.
As one of my first in-person conferences since the pandemic began, I can say, not only did RMAI hit it out of the park, but it was a welcome reminder of just how valuable it is to attend these live events again. I am excited for the opportunity to connect with colleagues and customers at Finvi’s PowerUp conference in New Orleans this June!
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