2019 Seminar & Annual Meeting

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Attendee Registration


Friday, October 11, 2019
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
The Desmond Hotel
Malvern, Pennsylvania 

$125 - Members

$200 - Non-Members


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8:00-8:30am | Registration and Breakfast

8:30-8:40 am | Opening remarks by PACBA President Brit Suttell, Esquire

8:40-9:40 am | Hot Topics in Consumer Litigation for 2019 (1 Substantive Credit)


Presenter:  Jason G. Wehrle, Esquire
Managing Partner Western Pennsylvania Office
Mintzer Sarowitz Zeris Ledva & Meyers, LLP

This presentation will review the most impactful legal decisions of 2019 to date and how they will impact the debt collection industry. Our focus will be on recent rulings in Pennsylvania, however we will also look back to rulings from other jurisdictions which may affect how Pennsylvania practitioners do business.  We will also look at the recent changes at the CFPB, particularly the appointment of a new permanent director. Finally, we will pull out our crystal ball to see what legal trends and issues we anticipate becoming hot topics in 2020 and beyond.

Bio: Jason Wehrle, Esq., is the Managing Partner of the Pittsburgh office. He concentrates his practice in commercial litigation, consumer litigation defense and professional liability defense.

Jason has lectured extensively on a variety of legal issues at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and for various credit and debt collection industry organizations such as ACA International, NARCA and the Pennsylvania Creditors Bar Association. His broad practice experience includes commercial litigation, complex civil and construction litigation, real estate and commercial bankruptcy law, professional liability actions, including claims against attorneys and accountants, as well as director and officer liability claims. Other clients include debt collection agencies and debt buyers in matters arising from the application of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Jason also has significant experience in handling diverse commercial matters such as restrictive covenant claims, unfair trade practices and wage payment and collection law claims. Additionally, he counsels businesses and professionals on implementation of compliance and risk management programs or other measures to help avoid, or at least limit, potential exposure to litigation.

9:40-9:45 am | Break & Visit Sponsors/Exhibitors

9:45-10:45 am| Looking Ahead to the Final Rules: Anticipating the New Battles and Challenges (1 Substantive Credit)


Presenter: Joann Needleman, Esquire
Leader Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance Practice Group
Clark Hill, PLC.

The CFPB's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and comment period has ended. The next year will see significant advocacy from both industry and consumer groups who will try to influence the CFPB to craft a final rule to meet their respective priorities. This presentation will look at three critical areas of the NPRM (electronic communications, the delivery of electronic disclosures and meaningful involvement) from the viewpoint of both industry and consumer groups. Attorneys will need to understand not only the framework of what is being proposed, but how the CFPB envisions these proposals to be implemented which may create new legal and operational challenges.

Bio: Joann Needleman, Esq., leader of the firm's Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance Practice Group, serves as a navigator to her clients seeking advice and guidance in the complex regulatory environment facing the financial services industry. She provides counsel, consultation; and litigation services to a wide array of financial institutions, law firms, credit reporting agencies, as well as venture capital firms looking to invest in the fin-tech space. A former member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Consumer Advisory Board, Joann has been able to provide her clients with useful strategies in order to prepare for new areas of regulatory scrutiny. Often asked by clients to quickly assess a new policy statement or guidance issued by federal and state regulators, Joann is able to break down the issues and provide common sense solutions that ensure her clients' policies, procedures and business operations are fully compliant with current regulatory expectations.

Joann also has far reaching litigation experience in state and federal courts, successfully defending creditors against a variety of federal consumer protection claims including, but not limited to, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as state statutes.

Joann is frequently quoted in American Banker and the Wall Street Journal for her insight of the CFPB.

Joann is the immediate past President of the Board of Directors of the National Creditors Bar Association (NARCA). 

10:45-11:00 am | Break & Visit Sponsors/Exhibitors

11:00-12:00 pm | SCRA Update (1 Substantive Credit)


Presenter: Ashley Beach, Esquire 
Partner, Fox Rothschild, LLP

Ashley Beach, Esquire will provide tips on how to comply with the provisions of the SCRA while also discussing recent case law and enforcement actions by the CFPB and other regulatory bodies.

Bio: As a member of the firm's Litigation Department, Ashley Beach, Esq., focuses her practice on commercial disputes and creditor’s rights. She has successfully represented clients in state and federal court proceedings, as well as magisterial district justice court.

Ashley handles mortgage foreclosures and assists creditors in collecting amounts owed in consumer and commercial matters. Ashley has successfully obtained and collected judgments in numerous common pleas arbitration matters.

Ashley also has experience representing various business organizations in complex commercial litigation matters and has had experience resolving e-discovery matters in federal court.

12:00-12:45 pm | Lunch

12:45-1:55 pm | Bankruptcy Update 2019 (1 Ethics Credit)


Presenter: James Warmbrodt, Esquire
Attorney, KML Law Group, P.C.

Bankruptcy Update 2019 will discuss new case decisions from the past year in Pennsylvania that impact all areas of bankruptcy including confirmations, motions for relief from stay, objections to claims and all of the ethical considerations regarding the recoverability of fees and costs.

Bio: James C. Warmbrodt, Esq., is an attorney in the Pittsburgh office of KML Law Group, P.C., where he is engaged in the representation of secured lenders in bankruptcy court proceedings. He has been a creditors' rights attorney for more than 15 years, and has engaged in the defense of actions brought under the FDCP A and other federal and state consumer statutes. He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts in the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania.

1:55-2:00 pm | Break & Visit Sponsors/Exhibitors

2:00-3:00 pm | Current Trends in Debt Collection Litigation


Presenter: Robert J. Polas, Esquire
Associate Counsel Litigation Department (PA) (OH) 
Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC.


Presenter: Matthew D. Urban, Esquire
Shareholder, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis, Co, L.P.A.

Presenter: Thomas J. Michael, Esquire
Principal; Thomas J. Michael Associates, LLC.

Debt collection litigation is evolving as each day passes. Whether you are pursuing a claim in the magisterial district court or in the court of common pleas there are unique challenges that arise in each court. In this session, three experienced collection attorneys will relay their experiences in these courts from the perspective of representing all types of creditors and all types of claims.

Bio: Robert N. Polas Jr., Esq., is a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (B.A., 2001) and Appalachian School of Law (J.D., 2004). Mr. Polas is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania (2005) including the Western, Middle and Eastern Federal District Courts; Ohio (2012); and District of Columbia (2018). A zealous advocate of creditors' remedies, Mr. Polas' practice focuses primarily on creditor representation, including the collection of retail and commercial accounts receivables, together with the defense of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other consumer protection statutes. For the past 10 years Mr. Polas has worked exclusively as Associate Counsel for Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC. in their In-House litigation department with responsibilities including all litigation activity, strategy, operational work flow, development and execution of initiatives supporting pre and post judgment collection activity. Mr. Polas serves as the legislation liaison for DBA International as well as Vice President of the Pennsylvania Creditor's Bar Association.

Bio: Matthew D. Urban, Esq., is a Shareholder who manages the Pittsburgh Local Law Office and oversees credit union work across Pennsylvania. In addition he practices in the area of Consumer Collections, focusing on a wide variety of collection matters. Mr. Urban earned a B.A. magna cum laude in History from West Virginia University in 2000, and a J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law in 2003. He is licensed in Pennsylvania and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Creditors' Bar Association.

Bio: Tom Michael Sr., Esq., has nearly thirty years of experience as a litigator. Mr. Michael attended the University of Duquesne School of Law and joined the Pennsylvania Bar in 1979 as a sole practitioner. During his legal career, Mr. Michael has been partner at two firms, Reiley & DeFalice (1988-1992) and the Law Offices of Arthur Blake (2002-2005), where he specialized in complex litigation and toxic tort. Mr. Michael founded Thomas J. Michael & Associates, LLC. in 2005 and has focused on creditor's rights ever since growing the collections appearance practice significantly since that time. 

3:00-3:30 pm | Board Meeting

This program is pending approval for a total of 5 CLE credits.

RSVP by noon on Friday, October 4, 2019

For your convenience, there are rooms blocked with single and double occupancy with rates starting at $144 (plus tax).  Contact the Desmond Hotel directly,1-800-575-1776 to reserve your room. Must secure room by Wednesday, September 11th.

No refunds will be issued for seminar cancellations received after Friday, September 27, 2019 by 5:00 pm or for no shows. 

To register for the seminar please Click Here.

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Pennsylvania Creditors Bar Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization., P.O. Box 20 Havertown PA 19083-0210

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