October 28, 2013 07:00 ET

CFS2 Meets OCC Best Practices for Bank Loan Sales to Debt Buyers

Rigorous Independent Audit Validates Non-Litigation Debt Collection Model

TULSA, OK--(Marketwired - Oct 28, 2013) - CFS2, a premier purchaser of charged off consumer debt, today reported that it is fully in compliance with the newly announced "Best Practices" from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The Company has achieved and fulfilled the requirements for Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 Type 2 standards compliance. This is the second consecutive annual SSAE SOC1 Type II audit report. The report not only confirms that CFS2 is meeting or exceeding compliance standards, but also ensures their credibility as a purchaser of charged off credit card debt from banks and a third-party collection solutions provider.

The report comes shortly after major banks have been cautioned by both the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to exercise more care in the selection and supervision of third party debt buyers to whom banks sell debt. Of particular concern to OCC and CFPB is the historical practice of debt sales to debt buyers who are highly oriented to use litigation as a collection vehicle. This is an especially serious concern by both OCC and CFPB since those debt buyers rarely have the proper legal paperwork to support the millions of lawsuits they file every year. Numerous consumer advocacy groups, as well as State Attorneys General have strongly objected to the litigation practices, called robo-signing, of debt buyers. An estimated 10 million robo-signed lawsuits will be filed in 2013 against consumers across the nation.

CFS2 values building strategic partnerships with banks to ensure that their reputational credibility is not impaired by any action of CFS2. The Company does not use litigation as a collection tool, will not attempt to collect any debt that is time barred, and never resells accounts to any third party. The SSAE16 examination further assures banks that they are working with a credible and regulatory compliant service provider. The thorough vetting process of the examination assures the bank that CFS2 meets the newly announced OCC Best Practices for Debt Sales, and compliance of SSAE 16 standards assures the bank of system management, controls and security procedures to protect the bank.

According to CEO and President, Bill Bartmann, "In the past environment where the behavior of debt buyers brought tremendous financial and reputational risk to the bank, our practices along with the SSAE16 compliance standard demonstrates CFS2's commitment to operating at the highest level of verified controls, procedures and processes to protect our bank partners."

Bartmann added, "These practices allow our bank clients to count on us for not only first-rate performance and to protect the bank's reputation, but to protect the consumer information they entrust to us. The successful completion of the examination provides assurance that we operate at the highest level of excellence by ensuring an environment that provides the consistency, reliability and security to safely monitor and manage our business and thus protect our clients."

CFS2 was tested against a strict series of international standards. CFS2's SSAE 16 Type 2 Audit Report covers twelve specific areas, including: physical security, information security, application change control, backup computer operations, computer operations incident handling, data communications, telephony, mail procedures, payment processing, client reporting, credit bureau reporting and regulatory compliance.

CFS2 provides industry leading asset recovery services for a select group of bank and private clients.

SSAE No. 16 is a new reporting standard for service organizations put forth by the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). SSAE 16, which replaces Statement on Auditing Standard No. 70 (SAS 70), addresses engagements undertaken by a service auditor for reporting on controls at service organizations that provide services to other user entities, for which a service organization's controls are likely to be relevant to a user entity's internal control over financial reporting.

About Bill Bartmann and CFS2:

In the 1990s, Bartmann built CFS, the world's largest debt collection agency, and became recognized as a national authority on fair debt collections practices. Inc. magazine credited CFS with "remaking one of the ugliest industries" due to the zero-abuse policy Bartmann demanded of his staff. His firm helped 4.5 million consumers resolve over $15 billion in credit card debt, without initiating a single lawsuit. The Harvard Business School published a case study on CFS.

Bartmann is a best-selling author and was named national "Entrepreneur of the Year" by NASDAQ and the Kauffman Foundation. He has been called the "No. 1 Collection Industry Consumer Advocate" in the world and was referred to by USA Today as the "Patron Saint of the Second Chance." Recently, Bill Bartmann was nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2013, CFS2 was honored by the American Consumer Council as "Friend of the Consumer," the first time a debt collection agency has received the prestigious award, and a "Stevie" award -- the "Oscar" of the business world -- for superior customer service. This month, CEO Bill Bartmann was featured on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and CBS Sunday Morning as the debt collector who "thrives with a simple strategy: kindness."

Bill Bartmann is available for interview.

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