Jay Winston, President of CCEF
Empower your staff to succeed. Knowledge is power. Having access to the relevant case law is essential to success. Strengthen your emerging talent by educating them about their careers and providing them with the tools to succeed. Our mission is to provide dedicated support, education, hands-on guidance, and industry-leading materials to our members to assist their staff in optimizing their business practices in the area of credit and collection. Those who know Jay, president of the Credit and Collection Education Forum (CCEF) and co-author of The Complete Guide to Credit and Collection Law, published by Wolters Kluwer (Aspen Publishers), know he has a track record for providing well-reasoned, detailed content and proactive solutions.
CCEF is an education company that can provide the information creditors, agencies, and attorneys need to succeed without the fear of legal malpractice that hinders trade associations. CCEF provides the information. You decide how to use it to serve your business.
1) To become the leading education and support resource for creditors, agencies, attorneys, and others engaged in the business of credit and collection. CCEF will support the diverse needs of entities that handle commercial, bankruptcy and consumer/retail matters. (One-stop Shopping).
2) To be the go-to resource for creditors to learn about best practices and obtain information about vendors, agencies and law firms.
3) To provide highly practical resources that will maximize both long-term profitability and day-to-day productivity, including:
• Detailed information on law firms, collection agencies, and vendors;
• Authoritative best practices;
• Updates on new case law and statutes;
• Certification, training, CLE and testing;
• Business development and networking opportunities; and
• Access to Jay, a leading professional practicing in credit and collection law.
BENEFITS AND FEATURES OF MEMBERSHIP:
The materials provided by CCEF are accessible online and customized to each membership group. There are five categories of membership: creditors, law firms, in-house counsel for creditors, collection agencies/debt buyers, and governmental employees. Each category receives materials specific to their practice areas.
1) Memoranda of best practices. Procedures, compliance guides, checklists and discussions of business practices addressing the actual situations encountered when working as an attorney, creditor, banker, or other player in the credit and collection industry. Each is prepared and written by leading authorities and practitioners in the area of credit and collection law. A copy of The Complete Guide to Credit and Collection Law, updated annually since 1996 (over 2000 pgs) is available to all members at a 50% discount ($100) plus shipping/handling and sales tax (and in the future we expect to provide it as a part of membership).
2) Drafting an affidavit or assignment that will withstand a court challenge requires compliance with numerous federal and state statutes and court procedures. When generating a referral to a vendor, it is difficult to know just what information to provide, and in what format. CCEF will provide each membership group with proven samples of frequently-needed documents and forms which you can customize to your needs. Members will be able to obtain form polices (ex: Privacy, Disaster-Continuity, Email) that can be customized to their own business practices. Desktop manuals will be developed.
3) Vendor directories. CCEF will develop, organize and maintain a comprehensive directory of all the businesses that you are likely to use in this industry: law firms, collection agencies, software companies, skip tracing, and others. The directories will identify whether the members maintain documented policies as required by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or your internal compliance departments.
4) Updates on legal developments by topic/sub-topic. A library of useful and relevant cases will be provided and regularly updated on topics that affect your business practices.
5) Training, Testing, and Certification. FDCPA tests and other training tools will be available. Tests will be customized by job description. Training will initially be by telephone and slideshow, and in the future through live presentations. On-site training is available for an additional fee. Training videos and certification programs are planned as the forum attracts sufficient membership levels.
6) Continuing Legal Education for Attorneys. Obtain CLE credits in your specific practice area.
7) Business development and networking. A yearly education conference is planned. Committees of your peers will be created to work together on projects to benefit the industry as a whole as well as add to your resume and help you to become an industry leader in your state. Resume Builder: Membership will provide credibility to you and your company. CCEF is not a political organization or trade association. Companies will use the database when seeking out new vendors, agencies or law firms. Members will learn how to improve and document their business practices to attract new clients.
8) Access to Jay. Jay, president of CCEF, is the author of a leading treatise on credit and collection law, and runs a successful law practice in Manhattan. He will be available for non-legal educational and business consultation to members at a reduced rate, and to initial members for free on a limited basis (letter review excluded). He will also answer members’ specific questions not covered elsewhere on the site and add them to an FAQ accessible to the whole membership group.
9) Technology. A section will be created for vendors to offer technology services to the members. Opportunities will be available for vendors to receive feedback about their products, and to learn more about the requirements of their end-users with respect to security, privacy, and efficiency.
WHAT MAKES CCEF DIFFERENT:
1) CCEF aims to educate - a surprisingly novel approach. Due to malpractice fears, trade organizations in the credit and collection industry actually offer very little practical advice and problem-solving solutions. As an educational company with a clear purpose of providing education, rather than legal advice, CCEF avoids this problem.
2) An acknowledged industry leader provides the information found on CCEF. Listservs are inherently flawed: the quality of answers depends on who is available or interested, and adverse attorneys known and unknown are watching. Many conference speakers are selected based on non-performance-based criteria. Some use outdated material or fail to provide useful takeaways. You want to learn effective solutions in real time, before your procedures are attacked – not hear a recitation of why a case was lost a year ago. Jay will do his best to be available on a limited or reduced-fee basis to answer quick questions (letter review excluded) in a non-legal business orientated capacity, as an instructor.
3) No other organization tailors its overall content to the true needs of law firms, collection agencies, banks, debt buyers, small businesses and other entities that handle commercial, bankruptcy and consumer/retail matters. CCEF strives to be the Walmart (price and content) as opposed to other topic specific groups. Other groups continue to increase their membership fees, but do not increase their services. Less is more. Most members of these organizations see little tangible improvement to their business. CCEF is focused on providing the kind of practical education that will deliver real results. CCEF offers the membership rates that other organizations were offering in 2008. If you refer new members, membership and other fees should stay the same or decrease. Services should continue to increase.
4) Our dynamic directory of law firms, agencies, and vendors moves beyond the mechanical description of services provided by other organizations. Members may distinguish themselves to potential clients, and in turn, clients can find the firms and vendors best suited to their needs. Learn how to improve and document your business practices to attract clients. Networking opportunities will develop.