Hitting the Hill by ProQuest


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									government affairs
 By Nick Morgan and Mark Schiffman

 Hitting the Hill
 More than 200 ACA members visited with members of Congress during ACA’s Annual Convention & Exposition

 A           s part of ACA International’s
             71st Annual Convention &
             Exposition in Washington,
 D.C., more than 200 ACA members
 participated in 170 meetings with
 members of Congress and their staff—
 representing 38 states and more than
 100 congressional districts. This record
 turnout by ACA members as grassroots
 advocates was an important show of
 solidarity in helping share with
 Congress critical issues facing the debt
 collection industry. It also reinforces the
 importance of ACA members having a
 sustained presence in Washington,
 D.C., with your federal government                                                      Top left: 2008/09 ACA President Jay Gonsalves,
 affairs office.                                                                         IFCCE, with Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.)
    Prior to “hitting the Hill,”                                                         Top right: Staff members for Rep. John Spratt (D-
 participants took part in a grassroots                                                  S.C.) spoke with ACA member Niel Welborn.
 advocacy training session, led by ACA
 Federal Government Affairs Director                                                     Left: Federal Government Affairs Director Adam
 Adam Peterman.                                                                          Peterman (right) discusses the association’s
    ACA members focused on three key                                                     government affairs initiatives with Legislative Day
 issues in their meetings:                                                               attendees.
 • Updating the Telephone
    Consumer Protection Act
    (TCPA)—There is an urgent need
    to modernize and update the TCPA
    to allow businesses to contact
    consumers on their cell phones using
    modern technology.
 • Improving debt media and the                   eliminate the requirement that            “We will now build upon these new
    information provided to third-                companies that do not share            and renewed relationships to move
    party debt collectors—A need exists           information with third parties must    forward ACA’s agenda in both the
    for legislation that includes a               provide a privacy notice to            House and Senate,” Peterman said.
    common-sense list of informational            consumers. The House recently             Following visits on Capitol Hill,
    items that lenders must be able to            passed H.R. 3506 to eliminate such     ACA members, several members of
    provide their third-party debt agents         requirement, and attendees strongly    Congress and their staff were invited to
    and potential purchasers of that debt         urged the Senate to pass this          a reception to learn how Ask Doctor
    to help consumers with verification           noncontroversial, common-sense         Debt (http://www.askdoctordebt.com) can
    requests.                                     legislation.                           be an important resource for
 • Removing the duplicative and                   Feedback from participants indicated   consumers. ACA members were
    unnecessary privacy notice                 that members of Congress and their        honored to be joined by Rep. Erik
    requirements from the Gramm-               staff were responsive to ACA members      Paulsen (R-Minn.), Rep. Allen Boyd
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