ROCKVILLE, Md. -- The Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) is pleased to announce its Legal Advisory Board (LAB) members for 2023. The LAB is an exclusive membership group of outside counsel with expertise in the accounts receivable industry who have each pledged their time and resources to support the mission of the CRC. The LAB is limited to ten law firms and is comprised of fourteen total attorneys. Throughout the year, the LAB serves as a legal resource to the CRC membership and assists in fulfilling the mission of promoting forward-thinking approaches to the issues raised by regulatory policy and technology innovation in the accounts receivable industry.

Meet the 2023 LAB Members:

John Bedard - Bedard Law Group 

John is an AV-rated attorney and nationally recognized authority on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. He serves as counsel to several professional trade associations, including the Georgia Collectors Association. John's practice involves the defense of FDCPA claims, compliance audits, and creating solutions for ARM industry participants such as BLG 360, BLG Insight, and his newest offering, BLG Call CountAs a member of the 2022 LAB,  John co-authored comments to the Federal Trade Commission regarding its proposed rule to crack down on commercial surveillance.

Jedd BellmanBuckley

Jedd assists banks, mortgage companies, auto lenders, debt collectors, money services businesses, and fintechs on a variety of licensing, regulatory, and enforcement matters, bringing a wealth of consumer financial services experience gleaned from more than a decade in government service. Prior to joining Buckley, Jedd was the Assistant Commissioner for Non-Depository Supervision in the Office of the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, where he coordinated the licensing and supervision of approximately 23,000 individuals and business entities, covering the mortgage, student loan, consumer finance, sales finance, debt services, credit reporting, and money services industries. He also managed the office’s regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, including playing a leadership role in every significant multistate enforcement matter handled by state regulators during his tenure. 

Jonathan P. Floyd - Troutman Pepper

Jonathan's practice includes counseling to help businesses navigate and litigate the myriad consumer and financial services laws, with a particular emphasis on federal consumer protection statutes, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). He provides ongoing analysis and commentary on developments in the consumer financial services industry, with a focus on credit card lenders, through the Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor blog.


Stefanie Jackman- Troutman Pepper

Helping her clients navigate trying and complex issues, Stefanie Jackman is a zealous and untiring advocate. Stefanie brings her experience and knowledge to bear when assisting clients with compliance counseling and assessments relating to consumer products and services, guiding them through state and federal government inquiries and investigations, and defending them in individual and class action lawsuits. Her clients are represented in almost all sectors of the financial services industry, including banks and nonbank lenders and servicers, student loans, debt collectors and buyers, third-party service providers, healthcare and medical revenue cycle service providers, credit and prepaid card companies, direct and indirect auto lenders, and fintechs. She regularly advises her clients on issues arising under an array of federal and state consumer financial laws (UDAP/UDAAP statutes, the FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, EFTA, SCRA, and TILA). As a member of the 2022 LAB, Stefanie co-authored comments to the California Department of Financial Institution's proposed data retention regulations.  Much or her thought leadership and analysis of relevant legal issues can be found on her Firm’s practice blog, the Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor.

Aylix Jensen -Moss & Barnett

Aylix practices in the areas of compliance and litigation relating to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and additional federal and state laws and regulations. She provides insight and analysis regarding current legal issues on her blog, The Safe Harbor

Jessica Klander - Bassford Remele

Jessica defends businesses and professionals against liability and malpractice claims in the consumer law defense, professional liability, and general liability arenas. Also experienced in complex litigation, employment law, non-compete disputes, and class action lawsuits, she regularly represents clients in both state and federal courts across the United States. She defends creditors and credit professionals against federal consumer statute and liability claims, performs compliance audits and trainings, and consults with creditors and credit professionals on commonsense compliance with the FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, TILA, and applicable state laws. As a member of the LAB, Jessica co-authored the CRC's Amicus Brief in the Hunstein matter in 2021. 

Joann Needleman - Clark Hill

Joann leads the firm’s financial services regulatory and compliance practice and advises banks, financial institutions, and financial services entities on regulatory compliance matters. She prepares and represents these same financial institutions during state and federal supervisory examinations and regulatory investigations before agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) as well as state financial services regulators and attorneys general. A former member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Consumer Advisory Board, Joann provides her clients with useful strategies and common-sense solutions in order to prepare for areas of regulatory scrutiny. Joann is the host of the podcast “Credit Ecosystem to Go: Curbside Thought Leadership for Financial Services.” Listen to recent episodes here. As a member of the 2022 LAB, Joann co-authored comments to the New York Department of Financial Services regarding proposed amendments to its debt collection rules, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation  (DFPI) regarding its proposed consumer complaint and inquiry regulations, and the DFPI's proposed data retention regulations 

Justin Penn - Hinshaw & Culbertson

Justin defends the interests of companies and individuals in the financial services industry in jurisdictions across the country. Justin is the co-chair of the firm's Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. His extensive experience includes handling state and federal consumer statute litigation, including claims involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), False Claims Act (FCA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA); and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). He also advises corporations and professionals in professional liability and employment-related litigation.

Abigail Pressler - Ballard Spahr

Abigail focuses her practice on consumer finance law and regulatory compliance. She has extensive experience assisting clients with federal and state regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as auditing and advising domestic and international clients on regulatory compliance, policies and procedures, and multi-jurisdiction litigation strategies. Abigail also works with clients prior to regulator examinations by drafting responses to regulators’ requests and preparing executives to testify. She provides timely analysis and insight in the Ballard Spahr Consumer Finance MonitorAs a member of the 2022 LAB, Abigail co-authored comments to the Federal Communication Commission regarding its proposed rule targeting unlawful text messages, comments to the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection regarding a proposal to require direct consent for text messages, and comments to the Federal Trade Commission regarding its proposed rule to crack down on commercial surveillance.

John Rossman - Moss and Barnett, P.A.

In his national practice dedicated to the financial services industry, John has shaped the law in numerous landmark cases that preserved and expanded the rights of financial services companies, including national banks, automobile lenders, fintech companies, collection agencies, debt buyers, mortgage lenders, creditors, and fellow lawyers. He advises and counsels financial services industry clients on regulatory compliance, defends them in claims and litigation, and advises them on best practices to prevent legal action. John also helps creditors navigate the Bankruptcy Code and courts and represents them to secure payments and collateral, make determinations for future services, and minimize preference liability. He provides timely insight analysis through the  Debt Collection Drill series on YouTube. As a member of the 2022 LAB, John co-authored comments to the New York Department of Financial Services regarding proposed amendments to its debt collection rules, and comments to the Federal Trade Commission regarding its proposed rule to crack down on commercial surveillance.

David Schultz - Hinshaw and Culbertson

David defends Fortune 500 companies, debt buyers, debt collection agencies, lawyers, lending institutions, and others in consumer litigation, and counsels organizations throughout the consumer financial services industry on risk management. He has been lead counsel in more than 250 class-action lawsuits involving claims brought under various state and federal consumer laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), and the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO).  He also represents individuals and businesses in dozens of regulatory matters, including before the CFPB, FTC, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), Illinois Attorney General, as well as other state and city regulators and Attorneys General.

Jim Schultz -  Sessions, Israel & Shartle

Jim's primary role is to co-manage the firm's consumer defense practice group, defending creditors, debt buyers and debt collectors in cases brought under various federal and state consumer protection laws, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. As part of the firm's national reach, Jim is admitted to state and federal courts across the country, working to create consistent and uniform application of the ever-evolving consumer protection statutes so that his clients know the rules. Jim also works with these clients to stay current on regulatory and litigation trends to stay on the leading edge of compliance. As a member of the 2022 LAB, Jim co-authored comments to the New York Department of Financial Services regarding proposed amendments to its debt collection rules

Libby Shaffer - Dinsmore & Shohl

Known for her responsiveness to clients and her ability to resolve cases early with her writing skills, Libby focuses her practice on defending clients against allegations relating to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Regulation E, and related state consumer protection laws. She works with some of the nation’s largest debt buyers, debt collectors, and collection counsel throughout the country, defending and resolving class actions in federal and state consumer protection matters. She represents several of the country's largest prepaid debit card issuers and program managers and served as national coordinating counsel for one of the nation’s largest debt buyers, working with the general counsel to develop and implement the defense of cases throughout the country.  Libby has successfully resolved and prevailed in hundreds of arbitrations alleging violations of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Regulation E pertaining to alleged unauthorized transactions, improper holds, system outages, and delays in the posting of ACH transactions to prepaid debit cards.  Libby also routinely represents clients in mass volume arbitrations filed with the American Arbitration Association.

Bryan C. Shartle -  Sessions, Israel & Shartle

Bryan is one of the two managing partners of Sessions, Israel, & Shartle and assists in the management of the firm’s 10 offices. He specializes in representing collection agencies, debt buyers, student loan servicers, banks, credit issuers, financial institutions, and telemarketers. He assists clients with compliance, regulatory, bankruptcy, and licensing issues, has represented clients in CFPB readiness assessments and enforcement actions, and is familiar with many of the employment issues affecting the collection industry. Bryan has extensive experience in consumer litigation, including claims under the FDCPA, the TCPA, the FCRA, and the myriad of state consumer laws. He has been the lead attorney in several landmark decisions involving the collection industry and has special expertise in complex litigation and consumer class actions.


About the Consumer Relations Consortium

The Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) is an organization comprised of more than 60 national companies representing the diverse ecosystem of debt collection including creditors, data/technology providers and compliance-oriented debt collectors that are larger market participants. Established in 2013, CRC is evolving the debt collection paradigm by engaging stakeholders—including consumer advocates, Federal and State regulators, academic and industry thought leaders, creditors and debt collectors—and challenging them to move beyond talking points and focus on fashioning real-world solutions that actually improve the consumer experience. CRC’s collaborative and candid approach is unique in the market.  CRC is managed by The iA Institute.

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