Credit and Collection News : A Division of Elsos




posted on 2010-05-10

  Dear Fellow Collection Industry Member,   The thoughts and opinions that I express in this letter are mine, Jerry Greenblatt alone as an individual member of ACA International and do not reflect the thoughts or opinions of any other person or entity and are not to be construed to be made in any official capacity other than as an individual dues paying member.    As you may already know, The California Association of Collectors (CAC) recently amended its bylaws to no longer require CAC members to be members of ACA International (ACA). This amendment was passed by a unanimous vote with two abstentions. ACA leadership responded with a proposed bylaw amendment to be voted on this coming July, which will require membership in ACA in order to be a member of a state association.   Putting aside the many other reasons for allowing straight-line membership in CAC, it boils down to a choice of membership, whether it be an economic decision, or differences with the philosophy and direction of ACA’s leadership, all members should have a choice of their membership and not be forced into membership of any particular association.   It is unclear who initiated this proposed amendment and what the reasoning behind it is. I think it is important to know who is behind this amendment and why.   When I questioned ACA leadership as to who initiated the proposed amendment and the correctness of the information as to the reasoning for the amendment, this is the response I received from Tom Stockton, an Executive Committee Member and future President of ACA.  

From: Tom Stockton
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: [bodlist] Official Notice of Proposed Amendments to ACA International Bylaws
  I agree. Tell him we are following by-laws and SOP's. If he doesn't like it he can bring it up at the BOD meeting in July...if he can afford to attend. Tom
Sent from my iPad
  Putting aside the personal attack and defamation for questioning the system, the majority of ACA membership is small agencies. Many small agencies are struggling in today’s economy and will not be able to afford to go to the ACA conference in July, not to mention be able to afford dual membership. Does Mr. Stockton not care about the struggles of us small guys? Does the rest of our leadership care?   I do not believe that the ACA was meant to be formed with this RULING CLASS MENTALITY, nor do I believe that it should be tolerated. We are dues paying members of the ACA, we have a right to ask questions and voice opinions over proposed changes that affect our association without paying extra to do so.   That does not seem to be the opinion of Mr. Stockton and through their silence, I must believe it is the opinion of the rest of the ACA Executive Committee. Is this a PAY to PLAY association, or do we as members have a right to question our association’s leadership?   I do not believe it is necessary to amend ACA’s bylaws to force membership in the association, I believe it is incumbent upon leadership to make the association a value to its members.What will be next, another forced collector registry?   ACA already has a program with IACC allowing their members to bypass state association membership and receive ACA benefits and programs for a nominal fee. Why is ACA Leadership proposing this amendment forcing membership? Why couldn’t we all just pay $250.00 to ACA (no matter our size) and use its benefits? One has to ask maybe it is PAY TO PLAY.   Please see below an excerpt from the official notice citing reasons for the amendment:
Recently the members of the California Association of Collectors (“CAC”), a State Unit of ACA, voted to amend the CAC bylaws to allow collection agencies to join CAC without requiring them to join and pay dues to ACA. CAC interpreted ACA’s Bylaws and Standard Operating Procedures to allow for this type of straight line Unit membership to occur.   In light of CAC’s recent actions and interpretation of ACA’s governance documents and in order to maintain the longstanding tradition of contingent membership between ACA and the State Units, this amendment to ACA’s Bylaws is being proposed.   This bylaw amendment should eliminate any confusion that exists regarding ACA’s contingent membership requirement.
  First and foremost, CAC as well as other state associations are separate entities of ACA. How could ACA’s governance require any membership requirements within a separate entity or association?   I think it is important to note that this was not only CAC’s interpretation of the current ACA Bylaws, but that CAC consulted with ACA’s former General Counsel and current CEO Rozanne Anderson who acknowledged that straight-line membership was possible under the current ACA Bylaws. There is no confusion over a contingent membership requirement, if there was, why would ACA not seek to enforce its bylaws instead of changing them?   ACAleadership already lost one battle with their forced debt collector registry. We, the members already spoke once, it is not right to force membership on anyone.   ACA leadership has, for a long time, incorrectly stated that membership in a state association is contingent upon membership in ACA. Just because you do something that is wrong for a long time, rewriting the rules does not suddenly make it right. We must question leadership. We must not let them force membership on anyone and we must question the philosophy of our future ACA president Mr. Stockton and the rest of our leaders.   Ask yourself, are you willing to pay for this Ruling Class Mentality? Do you want to be able to choose what association you belong to? Should leadership look down on you and attack you for questioning them? Is this the type of leader we want?   Please join me and hold our leadership accountable.   Sincerely,   Jerry Greenblatt