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CUNA Collections & Bankruptcy School

September 19 – 22, 2022 // San Antonio, TX


7:30 – 8:30 a.m. - Registration & Breakfast

8:30 – 8:40 a.m. - Welcome & Introductions, Kathy Smith

8:40 – 9:00 a.m. - CUNA Compliance Resources – What’s New for Collectors, Jackie Ekdahl

Let’s spend a few minutes to highlight a few helpful resources from CUNA that can make your job easier on the compliance front as we all know how regulations impact everything we do related to lending, collections, bankruptcy, and foreclosure.  

9:00 – 10:20 a.m. - Assessing Debt through Data & Financial Well-being, Michelle Christie

What is Financial Well-being for All and how does your credit union play a role? Review debt and personal finance trends in households across the nation and in your backyard. Learn how to recognize red flags and ways to support your members through tools, guides, and resources. Hear stories, join the discussions, and see where you fall in the spectrum of financial hardship to financial well-being.

10:20 a.m. – 10:40 p.m. - Beverage Break

10:40 – 12:00 p.m. - Breakout sessions, choose one

Collections for MBL & Commercial Loans, Crystal Dowd

Working with member businesses that are facing difficulties can be a daunting task.  Detection of issues and setting a plan in place are key issues in the management of the commercial loan portfolio. This session will provide a methodical approach to early identification, establishing a workout plan, and the legal steps that can be taken to protect the credit union from loss. 

Topics in this session will include:

  • How to create an effective workout plan
  • Steps for early identification of financial difficulties
  • The legal do’s and don’ts of workouts
  • Overview of lender liability issues
  • Understand the types of bankruptcy and hierarchy of claims
  • Overview of NCUA guidance and new rules

Probate – Best Practices for Creating an Effective Recovery Process, Matt Rehnelt

This probate session will highlight the best practices for estate recoveries and will overview various aspects of the probate process, including:

  • How probate captures new revenue
  • How to locate open probated estate
  • How the credit union can build an effective recovery process

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Networking Lunch – Lunch Provided Today

1:00 - 2:00 p.m. - What the New CFPB Regulations Mean to Credit Union Collectors, Eric North

Within the last year, important new CFPB regulations took effect on November 30, 2021. Although written specifically for third party collectors (like collection agencies), they also have an effect on first party collectors (like credit unions and banks). If your job involves the collection of consumer debts -- whether as a collector or as one who supervises collectors -- you need to understand these new rules!

During this breakout, attorney Eric North explains in detail what the new rules say, how they affect you and your credit union, and the steps you should have implemented to comply with them. Now is your chance to check your understanding and review your compliance efforts.  

2:00 - 2:30 p.m. - Collections Roundtable: Set the Stage & Round 1, Dan Picard

As the last two years has taught us, strange things can happen in the world of collections! Who would have thought the foreclosure and repossession process would come to a screeching halt as a result of a medical issue!

On the first afternoon of the conference, we will come together in general session to participate in a new collectors’ roundtable forum. Dan Picard, longtime credit union collector and current VP Consumer Lending & Collections at Hanscom FCU, will facilitate a discussion around a variety of topics that are relevant to your day-to-day responsibilities; and even solicit a few more topics from the audience to hear from all of you. Come prepared for an exciting and interactive session as we race through a long list of collections issues, with just a few of the potential topics we will start with including:

  • Collection Best Practices
  • Skip Tracing Resources
  • Collection Technology
  • Call Scripting
  • GAP Insurance Claims
  • Plus Bring Your Suggestions

2:30 - 2:50 p.m. - Beverage Break, NCUF

2:50 - 4:15 p.m. - Collections Roundtable Round 2 continued, Dan Picard

4:15 - 5:30 p.m. - Networking Reception

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. - Intro and Advanced Track Sessions

Intro Collections & Bankruptcy, Attorney, Christy Jones

The Introduction to Bankruptcy, Collections and Foreclosure class will give a broad overview of the differences between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 cases, what circumstances lead our members to file bankruptcy, and ways in which the credit union staff can avoid unnecessary losses. The class heavily focuses on some of the common forms and how to fill them out. We will practice filling out Proofs of Claims that are necessary in Chapter 13s, and how to preserve the credit union’s right to exercise cross-collateralization. Attendees will receive multiple timelines, sample Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 cases, from the filing of the petition to the dismissal or discharge of each case.

Bankruptcy topics discussed during the introductory track include:

  • Differences Between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7
  • Automatic Stay
  • Reaffirmation Agreements
  • Cram Down Rule on Autos – caselaw interpretation on the 910-day rule
  • Proofs of Claims
  • Stripping / Cram Down of Mortgage Liens
  • Loss Mitigation Efforts – putting it all together
  • The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Bankruptcy

After spending one day on bankruptcy topics, the introduction class continues on the next day, by exploring all the hallmarks of successful collection efforts, including how procedures must conform to regulations to ensure proper notice and completion of collection forms.

Collections and foreclosure topics discussed during the introductory track include:

  • Collections Procedures – identifying hallmarks of needed and successful procedures
  • Collections Calls
  • Collections Letters
  • Repossession Form Letters
  • Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act
  • The new Fair Debt Collections Practices Act requirements on third party vendors
  • The CFPB Enforcement for Improper Debt Collection Practices – lessons learned from past cases
  • The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Collections

Advanced Collections & Bankruptcy, Attorney, Eric North

The Advanced Collections and Bankruptcy class will allow the veteran credit union collector an opportunity to bring their questions for discussion around the latest legal nuances in the field. Much is happening in the courts so join veteran credit union attorney and nationally recognized speaker on lending legality, Eric North, as he pulls examples from recent cases and court decisions to guide detailed discussions on today’s more advanced collections and bankruptcy concerns.

The speaker also believes participants benefit from the ability to cover some topics as they arise, due to recent court decisions, new hot topics or questions asked by attendees. Bring your questions and be ready to expand your knowledge across a wide-array of collections and bankruptcy issues over the two days devoted to the advanced track topics of:


  • The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Collections
  • Federal Limitations on Foreclosure Actions
  • Auto Lending Collections Issues
  • Working with Collection Agencies, Repossessors and Other Third Parties
  • Why the CFPB Debt Collection Regulations Matter to You
  • What Credit Unions Should Know About the FDCPA
  • Open Forum & Discussion


  • The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Bankruptcy
  • Treatment of Real Estate Loans in Bankruptcy
  • Treatment of Auto Loans in Bankruptcy
  • Automatic Stay Issues
  • Fighting Bankruptcy Fraud
  • Open Forum & Discussion

Note:  Because this is an advanced program, attendees are encouraged to raise issues that are not on the agenda for discussion.

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. - Beverage Break

10:15 – 11:30 a.m. - Intro and Advacned Tracks Continues

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. - Lunch on your own

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. - Intro and Advacned Tracks Continues

2:30 - 2:45 p.m. - Break

2:45 - 4:15 p.m. - Intro and Advacned Tracks Continues

4:15 p.m. - Evening free

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. - Intro and Advanced Tracks continue from previous day

Intro Collections & BankruptcyAttorney, Christy Jones

Advanced Collections & Backruptcy, Attorney, Eric North

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. - Beverage break

10:15 – 11:30 a.m. - Intro and Advanced Tracks continue

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. - Lunch on your own

1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - Intro and Advanced Tracks continue

2:30 - 2:45 p.m. - Break

2:45 - 4:15 p.m. - Intro and Advanced Tracks continue

4:15 p.m. - Evening free

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. - Collecting in a New Age: The Evolution of the Recovery Process, Harry Strausser

This session will explore the changing world of today’s collector. In a lively and engaging program, the evolution of collections will be explored with a focus on functions of yesterday, emerging technologies and approaches of today and what the expectation is for tomorrow. The role of the collector has been largely misunderstood by people everywhere. The vital role we play in the financial health of your credit union is dependent upon changing with consumer/member expectations. Learn what others are doing as they contemporize their collection departments.

Key Take Aways:

  • What tactics and techniques do we no longer use?
  • What technologies that were cutting edge are now dull and non-functional?
  • Review the evolution of the culture of collections and what it takes to succeed today.
  • What is “self-servicing” and why is it the rage in 2022?
  • The growing use of alternative payment methods like Paypay, Venmo, Cash App and PapayaPay
  • What changes must you make to remain competitive in accounts receivable management?
  • What has the work from home (WFH) dynamic taught us

9:30 – 9:45 a.m. - Break

9:45 – 11:25 a.m. - Best Ideas in Collections – Share Your Knowledge and Ask Your Colleagues for Feedback – Q&A, Harry Strausser

For years, a highlight of the Collections and Bankruptcy School has been the open exchange of participants during this interactive and insightful session to close out the week. Attendees will share ideas, programs, processes, questions and moments of brilliance with colleagues in a large group setting. Come prepared to talk about what works well for you, what has failed and what concerns you most about collections today.

Get your questions ready to poll fellow attendees on areas of interest and learn from professionals that range from seasoned collectors to newcomers to the industry. This program is an absolute must for all participants and will guarantee you a wealth of ideas! The added benefit is all these fresh ideas and perspectives are ready for you to take back to your credit union to share these exciting ideas with your teams. The credit union cooperative spirit at work!

11:25 – 11:30 a.m. - Program Wrap-up & Final Thoughts, Kathy Smith

12:00 – 2:00 p.m. - Optional Networking Lunch & Riverboat Cruise – separate registration required 

Interested in staying after school to continue the networking and enjoy the San Antonio Riverwalk? As the school ends by midday, we are offering an optional Thursday afternoon event. Walk right outside the hotel located on the world-famous San Antonio Riverwalk and hop aboard a lunch cruise.

As we float down the river, learning more about San Antonio while we dine on a great lunch of fajitas and margaritas provided by the historic Casa Rio Restaurant.

Keep the conversations going by joining your new collector friends to debrief and relax on this afternoon river cruise!

Tour includes: Private guided boat cruise, 2 drink tickets for margaritas or a few other beverage options on board, plus tasty lunch items, including a beef and chicken fajita meal with flour tortillas, chips and salsa.

12:00 pm – Tour Check-in at Hotel Riverwalk Entrance & Short Walk to Restaurant Boat Dock
12:30 pm – Board Boats & Start Tour
2:00 pm – Tour Concludes with Drop-off at the Hotel

Separate Registration & $50 Cost for Catered Lunch & Cruise
Register Soon as Space is Limited

Schedule Subject to Change