Due to COVID-19, the AFCC Fall conference could not be held live in Las Vegas as expected. For the health and safety of our members and attendees, a three-day virtual event was offered via Zoom September 29th-October 1st. The sessions provided attendees with relevant information including an update on regulatory and debt settlement industry trends from AFCC President Robby Birnbaum. Attendees also received a detailed presentation from Robert Linderman and Steve Boms on the current state and federal legislative initiatives being supported by the AFCC.
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 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.
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.
Steven Boms is President of Allon Advocacy, LLC, a public policy consulting firm based in Washington, D.C and is an advisor to the AFCC on issues related to state and federal legislative and regulatory advocacy. A veteran of financial services policy, Steve has previously led the global external relations function of an established financial technology firm and managed the lobbying team of one of the largest banks in the United States. Prior to joining the private sector, Steve spent six years as a staffer on Capitol Hill, where he worked on various pieces of significant legislation, including the CARD Act, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Reauthorization Act, and the Dodd-Frank Act.
Jerry Nemorin co-founded Lend Street Financial, Inc. in 2010 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Nemorin is responsible for developing the strategic direction and overseeing the operations of LendStreet. Prior to founding LendStreet, he worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its Global Corporate & Investment Banking division, helping major companies restructure their debt during the financial crisis and raise money from the high yield debt market. He served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Darden School of Business Incubator. He is a speaker, guest, and advocate for responsible lending and sustainable financial services on Capitol Hill and industry events such as LendIt, Finovate, SWIFT Innotribe Competition, Experian’s Vision Conference and Credit Suisse Impact Investing Conference. He began his career in Tyco’s Treasury group. Mr. Nemorin received a B.S. in Finance and Exercise & Sports Science from the University of Florida and an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
Marc Brumer is a seasoned strategic communications professional who brings over a decade of experience working on campaigns and on Capitol Hill. As Senior Vice President at The Herald Group, Marc is a trusted communications counselor to senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, political candidates and nonprofits. He uses his political and communications experience to help clients develop and implement winning public affairs campaigns that achieve successful policy outcomes.
Before joining The Herald Group in 2017, Marc served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. In that role, he served as chief messaging strategist and on-the-record spokesman, managing relationships with members of the national media, beltway press and news outlets across the country. Marc also led the office’s strategic communications efforts to successfully pass bipartisan legislation providing permanent health care for the 9/11 first responders suffering from illnesses caused by the toxins at Ground Zero.
Prior to that Marc worked at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee where he advised members of congress and candidates running in the most competitive House districts in the country.
Marc also served as spokesman for former Congressman Dan Maffei who represented Upstate New York and he was an aide on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign for Attorney General. Marc has also held positions in New York City government, at a Manhattan-based political consulting firm and at a leading national non-profit organization that advocates for civil rights.
Marc holds a Master of Arts in Elections and Campaign Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, both from Fordham University in New York City.
ABOUT THE HERALD GROUP
The Herald Group is a full service, bipartisan public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C., that provides strategic communications services to major corporations, trade associations and other organizations seeking to advance public policy positions in federal, state and international legislative and regulatory arenas.
Mr. Concha has been a leader in consumer financing solutions for over twelve years. He is responsible for providing the overall vision and direction of LendingUSA, using his deep experience and knowledge of the industry to provide guidance and ensure the company meets its long and short-term goals.
Mr. Concha is the founder of several successful startups in the legal, health, and investment industries. He has launched and managed many established brands in the consumer financing space, including Medical Financing and My Legal Loan, many of which now operate as part of the LendingUSA brand. He is responsible for identifying and recruiting several key members of LendingUSA’s executive team, including Mike Testa, former President of CareCredit.
Mr. Concha has a degree in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge, and is an alumnus of UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. He is also a member of the Beverly Hills Chapter of the Young President’s Organization.
Joe launched Freedom’s lending division (FFAM) in 2014. Since the launch FFAM has significantly grown while producing industry leading returns through its unique consumer lending investment approach. FFAM manages over $2 billion in investor capital and to date has produced top decile performance returns. Prior to starting FFAM Joe was a C-Level executive for both primary MPL platforms, Lending Club and Prosper. At Lending Club he started the company’s investment subsidiary, LC Advisors and subsequently became the President of Prosper Funding LLC. Before his consumer direct lending experience he spent 25 years in asset management managing a variety of different investment products for prominent U.S. and European institutional accounts. He started his asset management career in 1985 at Fisher Investments where he was one of the original employees and Director of Research. He was also the founder and Managing Principal of Hilspen Capital Partners, a long/short equity hedge fund and research boutique.
Todd Rice has more than 20 years of experience across several consumer finance verticals. Mr. Rice is the Founder and CEO of New Credit America, a mission-driven, consumer finance company focused on assisting consumers with the restoration of their financial health. Since its inception in 2014, New Credit America originated more than $250 million to borrowers through a program partnership with Cross River Bank. The company was named to the Inc. 500 list in 2019, placing #401 nationally and #1 in the state of Oregon, and is consistently rated on the list of Best Places to Work in Oregon (2017, 2018, and 2019). Prior to New Credit America, he held various leadership positions at First USA (JP Morgan Chase), Citigroup and was the EVP at Providian (WaMu Card Services) responsible for all cardmember acquisition marketing. Additionally, he was an early-stage executive at Progreso Financiero (Opportun), a leading provider of responsible credit in the Hispanic community. Mr. Rice received his BBA in Finance from Texas A&M University and his MBA from New York University, Stern School of Business.
Jennifer Eckstein Coon is the Scheme Manager for the AFCC Accreditation program at BSI. She has lead BSI’s involvement in the industry since the inception of the debt settlement accreditation programs. She is currently a Project Manager for BSI Americas, supporting global and strategic clients headquartered in the US. Jennifer began her career with BSI in 2001 as a Client Manager (Auditor). Jennifer began supporting global clients in various roles in 2012, including managing an account team dedicated to multisite organizations. She continues to audit AFCC, ISO 9001 and TL 9000.
Prior to joining BSI, Jennifer designed and implemented an ISO 9001 registered quality system for one of Florida’s largest customs broker/freight fowarders. She held the Quality Manager role for 7 years until moving to BSI.
Matt Well combines extensive expertise in communications and issue advocacy with a unique understanding of how government interacts with today’s capital markets. As a founding partner of The Herald Group, Matt remains focused on a host of financial services and legal reform issues for coalition, association and corporate clients. Matt also specializes in online and traditional paid media development and planning. The rise of the 24/7 cable news cycle and the new media revolution have shifted the business of shaping public policy, and Matt is an expert in combining both traditional and new media tools and tactics.
Prior to co-founding The Herald Group, Matt served as Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during the most active period since the Commission’s establishment. In addition to serving as the principal spokesperson, Matt was responsible for developing the Commission’s internal and external communications programs and providing strategic counsel to the Chairman.
Matt previously served as the Director of Public Affairs and Field Operations for the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), Director of Communications and Issue Advocacy for the Republican Leadership Council (RLC) and as an aide to U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) in both his Senate office then on his 1996 Presidential campaign where he served as the Regional Field Director for Midwest.
Matt holds a Master of Business Administration from the Johns Hopkins University and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kansas.