One of the most important aspects of what Local Counsel Collective does on a day-to-day basis is working to ensure that your next audit goes smoothly, and with zero “dings”. Granted, we know that the services we provide are a small part of your business. Notwithstanding, we take our small niche very seriously. Evidence of that…
Drum roll please…
Our new attorney criminal background check in the compliance center!
Over the past year, we’ve hearing rumblings about the new requirements the CFPB is placing on our clients and the industry as a whole. Several of our largest collection law firms approached us and asked whether we had the ability, and interest, in screening our attorneys for a criminal background.
- If it concerns our clients, of course we’re interested; and
- Our existing compliance center model extends perfectly to this new requirement.
So, first thing. We wanted to limit the scope of the background check to ease the privacy concerns of our attorneys. Therefore, we decided it would be prudent to run a nationwide 7 year criminal background check that focused on convictions of financial crimes.
Next, we contracted with an FCRA certified and compliant vendor to run the background checks. Everything is done through an encrypted digital “pipeline”. For the past several months, our attorneys have been completing an authorization form, through our website. We are capturing the required background screening information along with electronic signatures.
Finally, we send the authorizations to our vendor, who complete the checks and send back the information to our servers with a PDF which is then stored securely in each attorneys’ account — accessible by your staff for your next audit!
So, how do you request this feature, and how do you use it? First, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know you want background checks enabled. After that, each time you fill out the hearing request form, there will be a check box toward the bottom of the page:
If you click on the box, you will see a $10 charge added to your appearance. That’s the catch. We need to cover our costs. BUT – It’s not that bad. It’s only on a “per appearance” basis. So, if you only have one hearing, it’s $10. If you have a bundle of 4 hearings, it’s $2.50 per hearing in the bundle. 10 hearing bundle? $1.00 per hearing. If you have a cross-client bundle, it’s spread over all the clients participating. Combine that with our Bundle and SuperBundle discounts…you’re still coming out ahead!
So now, only screened attorneys can review, select and cover your hearings. When you go to the attorney’s account, you see this new badge and can download their completed background check.
As you can imagine, this was a significant investment for us. We’re proud of the end result and trust we were responsive to your needs with regards to compliance. We are receiving feedback from clients nationwide that their auditors enjoy it when they find out Local Counsel Collective is being used because they are familiar with our system from prior audits of other customers. We will continue deploying the best practices that we learn from these audits across our entire customer base so we can all benefit from the collective knowledge.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Also, if you’re in DC @ NARCA this week, please stop by!
– Your Friends @ LCC