Getting to Know Chad Echols of The Echols Firm

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Applied Innovation. Applied Innovation is helping to shape the future of accounts receivable management. Product development is driven by customer feedback, agency profitability and compliance and includes platforms addressing client portal access, document management, payment negotiation, Regulation E focused electronic payment authorizations and TCPA communication authorization platforms. Partner with a company who understands your business challenges and evolves to provide cutting edge technology to overcome those challenges and achieve success.

Reading his answers, it is easy to see how Chad Echols has become one of the most respected defense attorneys in the accounts receivable management industry. Measured, honest, and introspective, Chad’s personality in a way mirrors the types of cases he likes best. Read on to learn more about Chad, how he can manage chaos and put out fires at the same time, and how he really wants to be remembered.

Name: Chad Echols
Job Title: Managing Attorney
Company: The Echols Firm, LLC
Length of Time at Current Company: 10 years
Length of Time in Industry: 18 years

How did you get your start in the industry?
Gary Williams hired me to be corporate counsel for Williams & Fudge, Inc. which is a large family owned agency with deep roots in collecting higher education debts.

What is your career highlight so far?
All the cases that get dismissed or withdrawn by consumer attorneys before heavy litigation and expensive defense costs. Those quiet and efficient victories have always been my favorite.

When or how are you most productive?
In the morning and often outside of the physical office where the distractions that pop up by being at the office are minimized or removed.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
Gary Williams – Chairman of the Board, Williams & Fudge, Inc. How Gary treated me as an employee has informed almost every decision I make as a boss. Working for Gary and getting to know the industry through advocating for his company formed my legal career which has led to so many great clients and relationships.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Over the years I believe that using a southern gentility to work with clients and opposing counsel has assisted my clients in getting quality efficient results that may not have happened by a more heavy handed initial approach.

What do you like most about this industry?
I like the people that I have met. I also like knowing, through my experience, that agencies work very hard on compliance and the consumer experience. I know the national portrayal of the collection industry is not consistent with what I see daily in working with clients.

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
While it would hurt my practice, if the FDCPA was not a strict liability statute then much of the nonsense litigation would stop.

Describe a typical work day.
Controlled chaos. There is almost always a priority list and a brush fire at the same time, but it makes the days go by fast. I like to work at a fast pace.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Ideally, I would be a fly fishing guide in the summer and work on a ski slope somewhere in the winter.

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What is your guilty pleasure?
Massage therapy. We have massage day at the law firm once a month – it is always a welcomed day.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I remember an ACA keynote speaker who discussed the problem with the Golden Rule in business and needing to treat others like THEY want to be treated rather than how YOU want to be treated. People are very different, so I have tried to remember that when with staff, clients, and opposing attorneys. Meeting people where they are is an effective tool and getting them to move in a certain direction.

What are you currently reading?
Hunstein cases & hopefully more orders using the TransUnion opinion to dismiss them.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
Being an attorney is not who I am. It is just what I do. Hopefully, being a good husband, dad, son, and friend is who I am.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
David Williams, Williams & Fudge, Inc.

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Applied Innovation. Applied Innovation is helping to shape the future of accounts receivable management. Product development is driven by customer feedback, agency profitability and compliance and includes platforms addressing client portal access, document management, payment negotiation, Regulation E focused electronic payment authorizations and TCPA communication authorization platforms. Partner with a company who understands your business challenges and evolves to provide cutting edge technology to overcome those challenges and achieve success.

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