• Robby H. Birnbaum
    Robby H. Birnbaum
    AFCC President & Partner at the law firm of Greenspoon Marder
  • Bob Linderman
    Bob Linderman
    AFCC Vice President & Legal, transactional and regulatory expert
  • Andrew Housser
    Andrew Housser
    Co-founder and Co-CEO of Freedom Financial Network, LLC
  • Teresa Dodson
    Teresa Dodson
    Founder and President of Greenbacks Consulting
  • David Leuthold
    David Leuthold
    Executive Board Member, AFCC
  • Daniel Kwiatek
    Daniel Kwiatek
    Co-Founder and COO of DMB Financial, LLC.
  • Bradley Smith
    Bradley Smith
    CEO and Co-Founder of Rescue One Financial
  • Ryan Sasson
    Ryan Sasson
    Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Timberline Financial
  • Kristie L Medlen
    Kristie L Medlen
    Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Global Client Solutions

The AFCC Board at Large


The Board at Large can consist of no more than 30 people representing debt settlement companies, vendors, attorneys, creditors and certified financial planners. The purpose of the Board at Large will be to provide further insight into social and industry issues. They will also have a primary responsibility to support the Executive Board in moving the direction of AFCC towards its mission.

Robby H. Birnbaum
AFCC President & Partner at the law firm of Greenspoon Marder

Robby H. Birnbaum serves as AFCC President and is a partner at the law firm of Greenspoon Marder in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is the nation’s leading legal expert on debt settlement companies. Mr. Birnbaum’s practice focuses on regulatory compliance and lawful operation of debt settlement companies. He has extensive experience representing all types and sizes of settlement businesses in front of states attorneys’ general, state banking and credit regulators, and federal agencies. He has earned the trust and respect of these regulators and his clients through tireless, honest and aggressive work efforts.

Mr. Birnbaum’s firm represents over 150 debt settlement companies, nationally and internationally, that require in depth state and federal regulatory compliance services, marketing and advertising review, licensing, startup and business planning, and overall legal support. Mr. Birnbaum has worked on debt settlement issues in every state in the US, representing companies in both proactive compliance planning and assistance, and defense of regulatory claims and actions. Mr. Birnbaum is backed up by a team of eight attorneys and five paralegals that eliminate the “learning curve” and deliver immediate, accurate and efficient information, representation, and answers that companies need to run their businesses.

Mr. Birnbaum has represented clients in front of state banking and financial commissions, Attorneys’ General, the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and various other regulatory bodies.

For over 20 years, the firm’s licensing division has processed thousands of state and federal applications, many for debt adjustment companies. Relating to the more recent licensing laws enacted in Pennsylvania, Texas, Maryland and elsewhere, the firm maintains extensive resources, client checklists and charts, and compliance tracking systems to relieve companies of the burdens their requirements impose. All of these services are available electronically to our clients.

Greenspoon Marder Law, on an annual basis, publishes the most comprehensive guidebook for business owners in the debt settlement industry. Throughout the year, Mr. Birnbaum updates the materials, and hosts all-client conference calls alerting the firm’s clients to the most recent changes in the industry, and best practices. Additionally, the firm sends out frequent email reminders and updates to all of its debt settlement clients on the latest important and timely issues. The firm engages aggressively in strategic analysis of state legal issues, and provides detailed risk analysis to its clients so that they may make informed decisions and avoid the guess work prevalent in this uncertain and developing industry. Debt adjustment law review, credit repair analysis and implementation, prevention of UPL concerns, marketing licenses, privacy and business practices, and loss mitigation attorneys also support the firm’s debt settlement services.

Mr. Birnbaum has appeared as a guest and written a number of articles for major media outlets on the importance of debt settlement. Mr. Birnbaum is a Contributor to CNN, and has appeared nationally on CNN’s American Morning with the Florida Attorney General on the benefits of the industry. The firm maintains productive working relationships with regulators throughout the FTC and all state agencies to help in handling all types of client concerns. The firm also assists in private investments into debt settlement companies.  In the last few years, the firm assisted in over $100 million of private equity fund investments into various debt settlement companies.

Mr. Birnbaum serves as the elected President of the American Fair Credit Council, the debt settlement industry’s trade association, and regularly presents to the membership on compliance and best practices.

Mr. Birnbaum has arranged and led amicable and productive meetings of AFCC representatives and clients in front of dozens of the country’s foremost industry regulators. Mr. Birnbaum earned both his Bachelor’s and Law degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He is a member of the Florida and Wisconsin Bar Associations, and is active in various industry and legal associations. In 2012, Mr. Birnbaum was honored as the “Top 40 under 40” by the South Florida Business Journal, and has repeatedly been selected as one of the “Most Effective Attorneys” in Florida.

Bob Linderman
AFCC Vice President & Legal, transactional and regulatory expert

Bob Linderman serves as the Vice President and Legislative Director of AFCC.  Bob has more than 35 years of sophisticated legal, transactional and regulatory experience with a cross-section of businesses ranging from venture-backed startups to public companies, as well as extensive work with consumer, commercial and investment banks and funds. Bob was one of the earliest senior executives at NextCard, a pioneering Internet consumer credit card company/special-purpose bank, and has served as General Counsel to a wide range of financial services businesses.

For the past 20 years, Bob has specialized in the legal and business issues that occur at the intersection of media, regulatory and consumer finance activity. Bob earned both his Bachelor’s and Law degrees from Boston University, cum laude with distinction. He is a member of both the California and Massachusetts Bar Associations and is an active participant in several professional organizations.

Andrew Housser
Co-founder and Co-CEO of Freedom Financial Network, LLC

Andrew Housser is an accomplished entrepreneur, investor, co-founder and co-CEO of Freedom Financial Network. Previously, Housser worked in the financial services industry, doing private equity investing with Littlejohn & Co., and working in investment banking for Salomon Smith Barney.

His entrepreneurial story started in 2002 after graduating from Stanford Business School, when he was struck with the realization that financial institutions were much more focused on getting people into debt – and keeping them there – than on trying to deliver financial wellness to consumers. In a spare bedroom, along with co-founder Brad Stroh, Freedom Debt Relief, the first of many successful financial service products under the Freedom Financial Network (FFN) umbrella, was born. FFN today is more than 2,200 employees strong, based in San Mateo, California, and Tempe, Arizona. Freedom Financial Network has won Best Places to Work awards in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Phoenix Area multiple times, including the #1 Best Places to Work award in the Phoenix Area for Extra Large Companies in 2016 and 2017.

Outside of Freedom, Housser is a part-time angel investor who sits on the boards of several start-ups and serves on the boards of Phillips Brooks School in Menlo Park, California and Brentwood College School in British Columbia. He has been named to the Silicon Valley 40 under 40 list and is a past winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Northern California.

Teresa Dodson
Founder and President of Greenbacks Consulting

Teresa Dodson has over 20 years of executive management experience. Her background includes 11 years of corporate leadership experience in running Advertising agencies who specialize in technology, medical and health industries. The last 15 years, she’s focused on the financial services industry ranging from operations management, industry compliance, software development and creating new business opportunities to help grow and scale existing businesses.

Currently she is the Founder and President of Greenbacks Consulting. Greenbacks Consulting has been providing consulting services to the financial services industry since 2008. Teresa has been focused on the debt settlement industry since 2003. During her time in the industry she served as COO of two large debt settlement companies and has built two more from the ground up.

Teresa has also served as COO of Persolvo Data Systems the first software product of its kind to be developed. This bridged the gap between creditor, collections and debt settlement companies and changed the way they work together today.

Teresa’s success stems from her focus on helping businesses achieve desired levels of growth, demonstrating the ability to combine visionary, strategic, and tactical operational expertise to produce bottom-line results & financial strength.

David Leuthold
Executive Board Member, AFCC

David began his career in the consumer debt industry in 1997 by co-founding Debt Free Seminars Inc., which was the beginning of a national seminar program focusing on strategies and a methodology for living a life free of burdensome debt.  David has been in the debt settlement industry since 1999, and is co-founder of TASC, The Association of Settlement Companies, which was the predecessor to the AFCC.  In his role as an AFCC Board Member David is responsible for AFCC budget and spending matters and meets with legislators and regulators, both at the state and federal level, on matters regarding the industry.

In 2001 David helped found the United Consumer Advocacy Network (UCAN).  UCAN defends the rights of consumers against unlawful, unfair, and deceptive practices by financial institutions, particularly creditors and debt collectors.  He also founded Century Negotiations, Inc., a provider of debt settlement services. More recently he was the Vice Chairman of Century Support Services, where he currently serves as an Advisor .  David has a B.S. in Accounting from Penn State.  Prior to his career in business David was a senior auditor for the U.S. General Accounting Office.  He later served as an executive on the President’s staff in Washington, D.C., working primarily at the Office of Management and Budget, specializing in budget and reorganization matters

Daniel Kwiatek
Co-Founder and COO of DMB Financial, LLC.

 With more than 15 years in the debt settlement industry, Dan was one of the architects behind DMB’s consumer-first methodology for restructuring and paying off debt by creating tighter collaboration between creditors, DMB and consumers to drive a mutually beneficial outcome. Prior to co-founding DMB, Dan worked in the collections and debt buying industry. He has used this unique insight into the collections process to build a consumer-optimized process that’s helped tens of thousands of consumers nationwide. He is responsible for overseeing the client services, settlement and IT operations of DMB.

Bradley Smith
CEO and Co-Founder of Rescue One Financial

Bradley Smith is the Co-CEO and Founder of Rescue One Financial, headquartered in Irvine, CA.  Rescue One is a full service financial entity and recently ranked #12 in the Inc. 500. Rescue One Financial helps individuals with unsecured debt and advises them on all of their options.

Rescue One Financial employs over 140 Financial Consultants and is also a Licensed Finance Lender. Smith writes a twice-weekly blog which appears on the Rescue One Financial web site, has authored a number of published articles and is a regular guest contributor to US-based radio and television financial programs. Brad was recently named an Amazon Best Selling author with his book, “Let’s Talk About Debt” which explores our financial system and why consumers continue to feel trapped. Brad has been a long time AFCC board member and is also the Treasurer of the largest Better Business Bureau in the Country.

Smith started his 18 year financial services career on Wall Street where he worked with the largest retail advisory group at Merrill Lynch.  His team was responsible for the largest Rule 144 trade in history selling more than 5 million shares of Walt Disney stock.

They also managed over $2 billion in concentrated stock positions.  Smith later helped pioneer the restricted stock diversification business at Morgan Stanley. Brad and his wife Carrie have three extremely active boys and enjoy living in Southern California.  Brad holds a BA in Economics from the University of Southern California.

Ryan Sasson
Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Timberline Financial

Ryan Sasson is the CEO and co-founder of Timberline Financial, headquartered in New York City.  Timberline Financial is a full service financial consulting company dedicated to helping Americans that are burdened with high credit card debt.  Timberline has won multiple Best Company to Work For awards and was named to the prestigious Inc. 500 list as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States.

A native New Yorker, Ryan has over two decades of experience in the financial services industry.  Before founding Timberline Financial, Ryan was the president and founder of Timberline Capital, one of the largest merchant cash advance companies in the country.  Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing and Business Management from Tulane University and is currently enrolled in the President’s Program at Harvard Business School.

 

Kristie L Medlen
Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Global Client Solutions

Kristie Medlen serves as Vice President, Sales and Business Development for Global Client Solutions.  Her background includes 30 years of corporate leadership experience, 17 of which has been in the debt settlement industry holding positions such as Executive VP, CEO and President.  She was a founding executive board member, Treasurer and Committee Chair for The Association of Settlement Companies, (TASC) and instrumental in drafting legislation favorable to and testifying on behalf of the industry as well as developing industry standards.

Prior to the debt settlement industry, Kristie was in the travel industry directing a call center for client companies servicing over 350,000 active clients handling contract negotiations with airlines, car rental  companies  and project management of outsourcing solutions.   She designed a web site with Intranet, Internet & Extranet functionality to support a network of travel suppliers, 2500 travel agencies and their consumers nationwide with reservation/booking capabilities and the ability to interface with all four Global Distribution Systems.

Kristie also worked within the finance industry for 11 years opening new branches in Colorado, Arizona and California initiating strategic planning, managing over $318M on deposit with P&L responsibility.

Managing branches and business development team, media planning, buying and creative for broadcast advertising, facilitating lead generation, presentation and sale closure processes.

She has also served as Executive Board Member to other companies and has performed independent consulting for business owners and operators.  Experience encompasses sales, marketing, business development, as well as project and credit management.  Kristie is best known for her commitment to creating compliant, profitable and efficiently run companies.