Flashback: 1978/79 by ProQuest


On the legislative front, the Federal Trade Commission was hard at work enforcing the new Fair Debt Collection Practices Act The flurry of legislative activity caused National Legislative Council members and ACA officers to conclude it would be wise for John Johnson, ACA's executive vice president, and I.D. "DempseywMortenson, ACAs public affairs director, to visit each of the 10 regional FTC offices to acquaint staff with ACA and its interpretations of the law. The objective was to set up channels of communication so that if and when complaints were received against collection services, ACA staff would be given the opportunity to resolve them before formal procedures were initiated.This effort by the FTC staff was an obvious attempt to circumvent the will of Congress, which prohibited the FTC from making rules regulating collection practices of professional collection services. ACA responded immediately with a written statement of its position, as well as of the intent of the new federal law. As a result, the FTC staff's recommendations were tabled and the FTC was on notice that ACA was closely monitoring its enforcement activities.

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									                            time capsule

Flashback: 1978/79
Collection professionals experienced several legislative challenges and association triumphs in the late 1970s

A          CA International’s 1978/79
           fiscal year was filled with
           several challenges and
achievements. One of 1978/79 ACA
President Leonard Rose’s earliest
                                              Time Capsule looks back at a different piece of ACA’s history. This month’s Time Capsule

                                              remembers ACA’s 1978/79 fiscal year.

concerns was the escalating costs
involved in operating a collection agency    operations of a collection agency in the           Additionally, another troubling trend
and the struggles many ACA members           1970s. Its intended audience included           was on the rise that threatened the health
experienced trying to cover expenses.        collection agency clients, business and         of many collection businesses. The FCC
Rose appointed a special Blue Ribbon         civic groups, government officials and          had been holding hearings on “junk”
Inflation Task Force to study how            consumer education classes. In June             telephone calls—recorded sales calls
members could increase the efficiency of     1979, after many months of hard work            automatically dialed into subscribers’
their operations, reduce the cost of every   by association members and ACA staff,           phones. To everyone’s astonishment, an
account processed and help decrease          the final version of The Problem Solvers        FTC attorney had written to the FCC
operating expenses.                          debuted at ACA’s 40th Annual                    and suggested that collection telephone
   ACA staff members also organized          Convention and received an enthusiastic         calls be included in a new rule
the association’s most comprehensive         response from attendees.                        prohibiting junk calls. The proposed rule
short- and long-range planning meeting           On the legislative front, the Federal       would have made it necessary to get
ever held. Rose, with input from other       Trade Commission was hard at work               consumers’ permission before
national officers, selected 55 members       enforcing the new Fair Debt Collection          telephoning them.
from across the country to attend a          Practices Act. The flurry of legislative           This effort by the FTC staff was an
special two-day and two-night retreat        activity caused National Legislative            obvious attempt to circumvent the will of
and planning session in Lake Bluff, Ill.     Council members and ACA officers to          
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