LAS VEGAS — Hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, elbow bumps, and everything in between. Those were in full effect yesterday in and around the Aria Resort & Casino here as RMAI’s annual conference kicked off with hundreds of masked attendees seeing each other for the first time in a year or more. With plenty of talk and content focused on Regulation F — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Debt Collection Rule — the industry tried to pick up right where it left off more than a year ago with the national trade associations stopped hosting in-person events because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, for the most part, the industry did pick up right where it left off, thanks to RMAI’s emphasis on the health and safety of those attending the event.
Offering education and content both in person for those who made the trip out to Vegas and virtually for those who were in the office or working from home, RMAI focused much of its attention on the first full day of sessions on Regulation F, covering most of the different components of the rule with perspectives from noted industry authorities like Tim Collins, Stefanie Jackman, Kelly Knepper-Stephens, Rozanne Andersen, Sara Woggerman, and more. Many in the industry are still trying to figure out how to comply with the rule’s different provisions and the content offered insight and advice to help those who were in the audience and watching online. The upshot of the speakers’ comments were that compliance with the rule is attainable, but will require many companies to make significant changes to their policies and procedures, and even with the proposed two-month delay in the rule’s enactment, companies should not be waiting to start making the changes that will have to be made.
Despite the many questions and concerns about complying with Regulation F, the vibe at the event was optimistic and positive, largely due to the reunions and opportunities to see people in person and spend time with one another outside of a Zoom call. Many in the industry are still enjoying returns and recoveries that are significantly higher than in past years and the hope and expectation is that those good times will continue for the foreseeable future. Supply of portfolios available for sale and demand from those interested in purchasing portfolios were both high, contributing to the overall elevated mood at the event.