Advances in technology, coupled with a continuing increase in regulatory scrutiny, present significant risk and opportunity in the debt collection ecosystem. We help clients across the industry navigate compliance challenges and leverage growth.

Ballard Spahr's Consumer Financial Services Group is nationally recognized for excellence in product development guidance, compliance counsel, and litigation. Our Debt Collection Team was created to address the issues specific to creditors, debt collection firms, and debt buyers, and to guide them through the seismic changes likely to occur in the coming years.

We provide comprehensive counsel—from assessing and designing debt collection-related compliance programs and evaluating potential collection partners to defending claims that may arise during examinations or enforcement investigations and assisting in ensuring proper state licensing. We also handle individual and class action litigation arising from debt collection operations.

Drawing on our frequent and direct experience with federal and state regulators—as well as our decades of work on matters involving the full range of collection laws and Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices (UDAAP) issues—we navigate the complex array of compliance requirements and help clients create workable, cost-effective collection strategies that minimize risk.

Our blog and podcast—Consumer Finance Monitor—are repeatedly recognized as among the finest in the legal industry. Along with our regular webinar programs, they provide clients with up-to-the-minute information on industry developments, including changes to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

We regularly assist clients in overhauling their internal collection operations to recognize additional efficiencies and opportunities, as well as when outsourcing portions of their collection processes. We regularly assist our clients in implementing text, email, and other technologies into their collection strategies and in developing models to predict the best ways to reach consumers and effectively assist them in resolving their debts.

Our team includes regulatory lawyers with deep knowledge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, federal and state banking agencies, the Nationwide Multistate Licensing Systems (NMLS) and state licensing regulators, and state attorneys general. Litigators on the team have hands-on experience defending a wide variety of industry players.

We also have significant experience in areas of law that go hand-in-hand with debt collection and servicing, including Fintech, mobile commerce and emerging payments; credit reporting; Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters; and privacy and data security.

The leaders of our Debt Collection Team are among the most highly regarded in the industry. Stefanie Jackman has been named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Collections and also one of the 25 Most Influential Attorneys in Collections by Collection Advisor. Chris Willis and John Culhane are recognized by Chambers USA as national leaders in financial services regulation, and John Socknat is a leading voice on collections licensing issues and has served as a NMLS board member. All are regular speakers at prominent collections industry conferences.

Our services include:

  • Regulatory counsel and litigation involving the FDCPA and state debt collection laws, TCPA, FCRA, Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), and UDAAP statutes
  • State licensing guidance and assistance
  • Assessment of first- and third-party debt collection and credit reporting programs and operations
  • Vendor oversight program design and management
  • Marketing and other consumer-facing communications requirements

We represent:

  • Banks and nonbank lenders
  • Debt buyers
  • Debt collection agencies
  • Debt collection law firms
  • Health care systems
  • Mortgage companies
  • Student loan servicers
  • Technology providers of communications platforms and data analytics services used in debt collection


Stefanie H. Jackman
Tel 678.420.9490