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November 12, 2013



Patti H. Bass chairs national collections industry conference


Patti H. Bass Patti H. Bass
, Founder, President and CEO of Bass & Associates, P.C., chaired the 21st Annual Financial Services Collections & Operational Risk Conference Oct. 21-23, 2013, in Chicago.

"I was honored to be selected to chair this important informational and networking event," Bass said of the conference, held at the Swissotel.

"The Financial Services Collections & Operational Risk Conference is widely recognized as one of the industry's most valuable educational opportunities," she continued. "The conference provided information, education and networking opportunities that are critical in maximizing success in our industry."

Bass & Associates is a nationally recognized, woman-owned collections and bankruptcy law firm that offers comprehensive, fully coordinated debt recovery services to clients in the credit-granting industries.

The three-day conference brought together critical decision makers from all facets of financial services, including cards, mortgage, home equity, auto, overdraft/DDA, personal loan, commercial, small business, student loans and alternative lending.

More than 30 industry experts presented at the conference, which focused on three themes - compliance/operational risk management; technology and legal and regulation.

From information on utilizing text messaging in collections to leveraging technology to improve skip tracing results in a compliant environment, participants gained information and strategies to improve performance.

"Our industry finds itself at a time of great change but also a time of great opportunity, given the right tools and information," Bass said. "The Financial Services Collections & Operational Risk Conference helped prepare those on the front lines with the information they need to succeed in this challenging economic climate."


February 25, 2013
Bass & Associates, P.C., ranked among nation’s best in training

Bass & Associates, P.C., is ranked 72nd in the 2013 Training Top 125, Training magazine’s annual ranking of the top companies with employer-sponsored workforce training and development.

Bass & Associates earned higher ratings than elite corporations that include New York Life Insurance, ConAgra Foods and AAA. The nationwide, woman-owned, small business collections and bankruptcy law firm based in Tucson, Ariz., was among the smallest companies to receive the honor.

The rankings were unveiled during the awards gala at the Training 2013 Conference & Expo, Feb. 18-20, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.

“Training and communication are critical components in our success,” said Patti H. Bass, President and CEO of Bass & Associates. “As a result of our comprehensive training programs, the Bass team provides consistently superior performance and excellent customer service to our clients.”

Now in its 13th year, the Training Top 125 ranking is determined by assessing a range of qualitative and quantitative factors, including financial investment in employee development, the scope of development programs, and how closely such development efforts are linked to business goals and objectives.


February 22, 2013
Alarming Rise in Student Loan Debt Focus of Bass & Associates Executive Summit

While mortgage-related woes continue to grab headlines in the U.S. economic recovery, collection industry insiders have spotted a potentially more ominous threat to economic stability – student loans.

The topic of student loan debt was a recurring theme at the Bass & Associates, P.C. Collection Industry Executive Summit held Feb. 21-22 in Tucson, Ariz. The Summit is one of the leading industry gatherings where insiders and experts discuss emerging trends, important industry and legal changes, and review case studies.

"As the collection industry has absorbed a record-breaking number of policy changes, we have armed ourselves with a sharper lens to focus on problems such as the alarming and steady rise in student loan debt," said Patti H. Bass, President and CEO of Bass & Associates. "The mortgage meltdown has dominated the conversation in recent years, but it is only one part of the tightly woven web of financial perils facing U.S. consumers and lending institutions.” New to the line-up of Summit presenters was William "Bill" D. Hansen from the Madison Education Group, who provided an analysis of the changing landscape and impending perils of the student loan industry.

Returning presenters were Professor Robert D. Manning of Responsible Debt Relief; Ann Woods, Vice President of Money Management International, Inc.; and David Melcer, Bass & Associates' Managing Attorney. Attendees included credit grantors, debt buyers, and industry service providers. The Summit is held in conjunction with a major international sporting event, the World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play Golf Championship. The Summit is held at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort, and attendees also have an opportunity to enjoy world-class golf hosted by Bass & Associates at their Corporate Tent. Next year's event, the eighth annual, will be February 21-22, 2014.

In his presentation, Hansen diagrammed the growth in loan volume, rising defaults, unaccounted risks in direct lending, and several areas for potential reform and rehabilitation of the nation's educational lending system. He provided data to attendees indicating that more than half of student loan borrowers are in deferment or forbearance, and that student loan debt delinquencies are accelerating, while other consumer debt delinquencies are declining.

Manning reviewed various phases of recovery as consumers adjust to a "new normal" in the economy. An analysis of mortgage, credit card, and student loan debt from 2003-2012 revealed a prominent and steady rise in student loan debt. In comparison over the same period of time, credit card debt remained at similar levels year-to-year, and mortgage debt fluctuated upward to a rugged plateau. Woods offered an updated profile of credit counseling customers, which showed a slow downward trend in household debt since the first noted decrease in 2011. Student loan debt was again part of the conversation as she displayed the results of a consumer study, which revealed that 26 percent struggle to repay their loans and are actively seeking methods for manageable repayment.

Melcer provided a 2012 collection legal review with an in-depth guide to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which serves to uphold fair collection and credit practices. He offered a roadmap of critical checkpoints for credit-granting industries to follow when subject to an exam by the CFPB.


December 15, 2011
Bass & Associates, P.C. Recognized for Commitment to Data Security

Bass & Associates, P.C. is receiving national attention regarding new security systems the company has in place to protect confidential customer data.

Bass and Chief Information Executive Ian Atkinson were recently featured on IT Jungle, a website that helps corporations navigate the information technology industry. IT Jungle pointed to Bass as an example of a collections and bankruptcy law firm that is proactive in protecting customer data from those with criminal intentions.

Bass & Associates recently upgraded to state-of-the art encryption systems. Atkinson called the project “a key component in our security strategy and compliance strategy’’ as part of the company’s commitment to providing excellence in debt recovery services.

To view the article, go to http://www.itjungle.com/fhs/fhs090611-story01.html





February 25, 2011
Credit Industry Defines Financial Strategies in America's New Economy

Experts at Annual Collection Summit Weigh In

The credit and collection industries' rapidly evolving practices prove to be a true barometer for the new U.S. economy, say experts who spoke at the 2011 Bass & Associates, P.C. Collection Industry Executive Summit in Tucson, AZ.

"The latest government policies and courtroom resolutions have had an immediate impact on procedures for credit-granting institutions," said Patti Bass, President and CEO of Bass & Associates.

"The frequency of changes are coming at a truly unprecedented pace," Bass continued. "It has amplified the importance of staying on top of all legal and regulatory developments in our industry. "

The summit was the fifth such gathering of senior collection industry executives. Recent industry developments and predictions on current challenges facing the collection industry were reported on by key speakers, including: Professor Robert D. Manning of Responsible Debt Relief; Ann Woods, Vice President of Money Management International, Inc.; David Melcer, Bass & Associates' Managing Attorney; and American Bankruptcy Institute Executive Director Sam Gerdano. Attendees included credit grantors, debt buyers, and industry service providers.

"We have called together fellow executives year after year because it's so important to hear from experts on the frontline of these changes," Bass said. "It's more critical than ever to receive latest developments from those in the field.”

One such expert, Gerdano gave insights into the legislative developments following the election of the new Congress and the formation of the behemoth Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "With unprecedented consolidated powers and a massive budget, the bureau’s rule-making and regulatory reach extends to any “unfair, abusive or deceptive” practice — fundamentally reshaping the relationship between the financial industry and its customers," he said.

Manning questioned whether the next phase of the economic cycle would bring any new prosperity in the face of mounting debt. Despite government stimulus programs, the “near bankrupt” and consumer bankruptcy issues like mortgage foreclosures continue to rise, which has put previous economic policies and predictors into question. “The conclusion that the recession has ended is proving untrue for most Americans, and we have watched most economic indices deteriorate,” he said.

Woods gave a consumer analysis demonstrating how the recent housing and credit crises have altered economic habits and shifted business practices. Government changes such as the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 have had a marked affect on consumer behavior and the marketplace. "The credit counseling industry is rapidly adapting more than ever before to meet the needs of individuals receiving debt and budget services," she said.

Melcer spoke about the fallout facing good collection agencies as the consumer debt excesses of the pre-recession years come due. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has been stretched to its limits and exposed a seamier side of the industry. “Sensing opportunity, many consumer law firms are mining the FDCPA for more gold, and ethical collectors as well as many law-abiding credit grantors are feeling the effects,” he said.

The summit was held in a setting of a major international sporting event, the 2011 World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play Championship. Next year's 6th annual event dates will be February 23rd and 24th, 2012. Again the event will take place in Tucson centered around the dates WGC event.

Bass & Associates, P.C. is a nationwide, woman-owned collections and bankruptcy law firm that offers comprehensive, fully coordinated debt-recovery services to clients in the credit-granting industries.


February 23, 2010
Experts Analyze Economic Climate at 2010 Bass & Associates Summit

The turbulent economy is amplified in the collection industry, say experts who spoke at the 2010 Bass & Associates, P.C. Collection Industry Executive Summit in Tucson, AZ.

The summit was the fourth such gathering of senior collection industry executives. Recent industry developments and predictions on current challenges facing the collection industry were reported on by key speakers, including: Professor Robert D. Manning of Responsible Debt Relief; Ann Woods, Vice President of Money Management International, Inc.; David Melcer, Bass & Associates' Chief Counsel; and American Bankruptcy Institute Executive Director Sam Gerdano. Attendees included credit grantors, debt buyers, and industry service providers.

"A resounding theme from the Collection Industry Executive Summit is that the current economic environment has amplified the importance of staying on top of all legal and regulatory developments in our industry.” said Patti Bass, President and CEO of Bass & Associates.

Melcer spoke about current legal obstacles and reviewed recent rulings, statistics and legislation in the Collection Industry. Woods highlighted the state of credit counseling services and offered a comprehensive overview of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. On the final day of the Summit, Gerdano gave insights into legislative and regulatory developments affecting consumer bankruptcy and consumer credit. Professor Robert D. Manning presented an insightful synopsis of the "double financial bubble" and a prediction of impending collapse of the consumer credit consulting system.

The summit was held in a setting of a major international sporting event, the 2010 World Golf Championships (WGC) Accenture Match Play Championship. The event lived up to its billing, despite Tiger Wood’s absence at the tournament. Next year's 5th annual event dates will be February 24th and 25th, 2011. Again the event will take place in Tucson around the WGC event.


October 8, 2009
Bass & Associates Wins the 2009 Wells Fargo Copper Cactus Award
Tucson, AZ

Bass & Associates, P.C., a Tucson law firm committed to giving back to the community, is the winner of the Wells Fargo Copper Cactus Award in the community service category. Winners in four categories were announced at a dinner and presentation October 8, 2009, at the Westin La Paloma Resort. The awards celebrate the accomplishments of innovative small businesses in Tucson.

"We are proud to have received this award", said Patti H. Bass, president and CEO. "Giving back to the community is an important part of what we do at Bass & Associates. We strive to provide high quality service while making Tucson a better place to live."

The company aids numerous Tucson non-profit organizations, including the Sunnyside Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities, through financial contributions and volunteer manpower. The firm supports its employees in community involvement initiatives.

Bass annually participates in:

•  Lee National Denim Day, where employees make a donation towards women’s cancer    programs, allowing them to wear blue jeans to work
•  Miracles Inc., of Arizona, providing holiday gifts to thousands of children in need
•  Southern Arizona Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, raising awareness and funds    for breast cancer research

In 2008, employees donated 2,299 volunteer hours to a variety of organizations.

Bass is a nationally-recognized law firm with a strong local presence. With more than 20 years of creditor bankruptcy industry experience, Bass offers top-quality representation and debt recovery services. Partnering with employees, clients, suppliers and the community allows the company to maximize recovery dollars for clients. Integrity, performance and accountability are company values that fortify Bass & Associates in its effort to be the leading provider of high-quality comprehensive debt-recovery solutions.



May 04, 2009
Bass & Associates, P.C. Awarded 2009 Business Ethics Award
Tucson, AZ

Bass & Associates PC is one of four southern Arizona companies to win the 2009 Better Business Bureau Business Ethics Award.

BBB Award The woman-owned law firm has over 20 years of collections and bankruptcy industry experience. The firm offers comprehensive debt recovery services to clients in the credit-granting industries.

The Business Ethics Award honors local companies for demonstrating exemplary management practices, upholding high standards in relationships with customers, suppliers and shareholders; ensuring honesty and integrity in marketing and advertising; and giving back to their communities.

“Companies don’t just submit a glitzy entry and hope for an award,” says Kim States, BBB interim president. “These companies must demonstrate how they operate according to trustworthy and honorable business practices. It’s something that everyone affiliated with the company should be very proud of.”

Also receiving awards are Krikawa Jewelry Designs, Adobe Rose Inn LLC and Temco Air Environmental.

Local winning entries will be submitted for the Council of Better Business Bureau’s 2010 International Torch Award competition hosted in Washington, D.C.


March 19, 2009
Bass & Associates' Third Annual Executive Summit - Golf Event Concludes Successfully
Tucson, AZ

The third annual Bass & Associates' Executive Summit - Golf Event concluded on Friday, February 27, 2009. Executives from across the industry networked and learned about current industry events in a setting of a major international sporting event - the 2009 WCG Accenture Match Play Championship. This event included an opportunity for an optimal viewing of the 64 top golfers in the world including Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Geoff Ogilvy.

Executive Summit attendees included credit grantors, debt buyers, and industry service providers, many of whom were back after attending this event the previous year. Peer to peer networking occurred continuously throughout the event.

ExecutiveSummit Industry executives had the opportunity to hear David Melcer, Bass & Associates' Chief Counsel on the subject of Red Flag Rules while Ann Woods, Vice President of Money Management International, Inc spoke about current consumer trends and solutions in the credit counseling arena.

Professor Robert D. Manning of Responsible Debt Relief presented a balanced creditor-consumer debt recovery system for the challenges of the consumer-led recession.

ABI Executive Director Sam Gerdano provided some insights into the many pending bills in Congress affecting the industry, particularly legislation to allow bankruptcy courts to modify residential home mortgages in Chapter 13.

"The Executive Summit is designed for key executives from the industry to meet and discuss the current issues," said Patti Bass, President and CEO of Bass & Associates, P.C. "And, we are delighted that this major annual golf event provides such a wonderful venue for gathering industry peers together each year."

Next year's 4th annual event dates will be February 18th and 19th, 2010.


December 1, 2008
Bass & Associates Successfully Concludes Annual SAS 70 Type II Audit
Tucson, AZ

Bass & Associates has once again successfully completed the SAS 70 Type II audit of internal controls. The audit was conducted by Clifton Gunderson, LLP, one of the nation's largest certified public accounting and consulting firms.

The SAS 70 Type II audit is designed to determine whether 1) a service provider's descriptions of controls placed in service as of a specified date are fairly presented, 2) the controls are suitably designed to achieve the control objectives, and 3) the controls were operating with sufficient effectiveness during this specified period. Tests are performed to determine the operating effectiveness of the controls

Bass & Associates built on its success from the previous year's audit by upgrading many of the internal controls with state-of-the-art equipment and software. "We strive to have the most thorough and reliable internal controls possible," says Debra K. Davis, Controller at Bass & Associates. Debra says that "we also perform internal auditing and evaluation of systems and performance all year so that when the SAS70 audit occurs each year we are well prepared and avoid surprises."


June 6, 2008
Bass & Associates, P.C. attended and sponsored NCHELP's Spring Convention

Bass & Associates, P.C. attended and sponsored NCHELP's Spring Convention June 2-4, 2008 that took place in our hometown of Tucson.

Conference agenda featured, Chuck Gabriel, a 24-year veteran of political forecasting for institutional investors, that analyzed the student loan market and how it is impacted by fiscal and regulatory policy.

A panel of FFELP experts provided an up-to-date analysis of the implications of the credit crunch and how student loans and student loan providers are faring.

Financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz talked about the future of the federal student loan programs. For a peek into the future college population, Brian Prescott, an author of a report on projections of high school graduates by state and race, described the demographic sea change the United States is about to undergo.

Political analyst John Mercurio discussed the chances for the three Presidential candidates and what we could expect from a new leader.


April 30, 2008
Bass & Associates, P.C. sponsored and attended NCHELP's Debt Management Conference

Bass & Associates, P.C. sponsored and attended the National Council of Higher Education Loan Program (NCHELP) conference March 29-April 2, 2008 in Orlando, FL.

The 2008 NCHELP Debt Management Conference, "In Search of Excellence", delivered over twenty unique sessions on a wide variety of student loan topics.

Topics included the latest on reauthorization, new regulations and negotiated rulemaking. Attendees shared best practices in skip-tracing and default prevention and took a closer look at the FFELP industry's electronic processes, effective default recovery techniques, and financial literacy initiatives.

One of the highlights of the conference was an update from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) leadership on the latest recovery tools for both ED and FFELP guarantors, project summaries for IRS Skip-Tracing, assigning judgment and e-sign accounts and NDNH matches, and how ED evaluates its private collection agencies.

Bass & Associates, P.C. is planning to sponsor and attend the NCHELP Spring Convention June 2-4, 2008 in Tucson.


December 26, 2007
Bass & Associates Receives SAS 70 Type II Report
Tucson, AZ

Bass & Associates announced today that it has successfully completed the SAS 70 Type II audit of internal controls. The audit was conducted by Clifton Gunderson, LLP, one of the nation's largest certified public accounting and consulting firms.

The SAS 70 Type II audit is designed to determine whether 1) a service provider's descriptions of controls placed in service as of a specified date are fairly presented, 2) the controls are suitably designed to achieve the control objectives, and 3) the controls were operating with sufficient effectiveness during this specified period. Tests are performed to determine the operating effectiveness of the controls

This audit provides a comprehensive assessment and validation of a service provider's internal controls. "The auditors evaluated over 1700 documents, including procedures, logs, and reports" said Patti Bass, President and CEO of Bass & Associates. The auditors also conducted numerous interviews of employees and conducted extensive testing of controls. Patti concludes that "This demonstrates the integrity of our systems and methods of control which enable us to provide the kind of superior service that our clients deserve."


December 4, 2007
Article originally published in The Florida-Times Union:
http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/120407/met_222866797.shtml

Debt agency settles name disagreement
Jacksonville collectors had been sued over use of "Bass & Associates."

By J. Taylor Rushing, Capital Bureau Chief

A Jacksonville debt collection agency being investigated by state attorneys has reached a separate settlement with an Arizona law firm over its use of the firm's name.
Bass Prelitigation Services has agreed to stop using the name "Bass & Associates," one of several it has used recently along with Bass Enterprises and Jackson Phillips & Associates. Jacksonville residents Frank and Evelyn Jackson are the registered principal agents of the firm, but staffers have commonly used "Bass & Associates" during telephone calls.

A Tucson firm called Bass & Associates PC, which also specializes in debt collection, has no office or personnel in Florida but has registered with the state to conduct business. The firm sued Bass Prelitigation Services in August over mounting public confusion. Destin attorney Leslie Sheekley represents the Arizona firm in Florida and would not reveal terms of the settlement except to say that Bass Prelitigation has agreed to stop use of the "Bass & Associates" name.

The Arizona firm has posted a statement on the distinction between the two firms on its Web site at www.bass-associates.com.
Bass Prelitigation Services is fighting a lawsuit by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who accuses the Jacksonville firm of violating state and federal debt collection laws. The firm has filed a motion to dismiss the case, on which a judge reserved ruling last week. The company's attorney, Lee Haramis, said the company will be vindicated.


July 12, 2007
Bass & Associates, P.C. has no connection to the FL company being sued by the FL Attorney General office
By Patti H. Bass, President and CEO of Bass & Associates, P.C.

It has been brought to our attention that a lawsuit recently filed in state court in Duval County, Florida has created some confusion regarding the defendant named in that suit under a d/b/a of "Bass & Associates". Thank you to those of you who contacted us to inquire whether our firm is in any way involved. Be assured we are not in any way associated with that outfit. The lawsuit is one filed by the Florida Attorney General's Office against BASS PRELITIGATION SERVICES, LLC, a Florida Company, and its principals, for alleged violations of the Unfair Trade Practices Act and a variety of alleged illegal debt collection activities.

A number of months ago we began receiving information that persons traced to a Jacksonville, Florida company, BASS PRELITIGATION, were misrepresenting themselves as "Bass & Associates" among other names and had also given our phone number in the course of some of their debt collection phone calls to consumers. As a result of their unauthorized impersonation and damage to our firm's good name and reputation, we began our own investigation and alerted the Florida Attorney General to the situation. At the AG's direction, we have referred misinformed consumers to their Economic Crimes Division, and continue to communicate and cooperate with the Florida AG. We are pleased to see the prosecution of these egregious actions, and are pursuing our own civil action against BASS PRELITIGATION and the others named in the Attorney General's Complaint.

We appreciate your understanding and concern. We also appreciate the participation and support from the Florida Attorney General's office in policing this activity on behalf of all those victimized by this group's behavior.
Thank you,

Patti H. Bass
Bass & Associates, P.C.
President and CEO
 
Bass & Associates, P.C.
3936 E. Ft Lowell Rd Ste 200 
Tucson, AZ 85712-1083 
Toll-free: (888) 283-4624 
Fax: (520) 784-5959 
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