Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announce Speakers for “Debt Collection & the Latino Community” Roundtable

The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have announced the list of speakers, panelists, and moderators for the roundtable the agencies will co-host in Long Beach, California, on October 23, 2014.

The event, which also will be webcast, is titled “Debt Collection & the Latino Community.” Participants will examine how debt collection and credit reporting issues affect Latino consumers, especially those who have limited English proficiency (LEP). The roundtable will bring together consumer advocates, industry representatives, state and federal regulators, and academics to exchange information on a range of issues.

The following is a list of the day’s events and speakers. Note that all times are Pacific Standard Time.

8:00-9:00 a.m. Registration
9:00-9:30 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Ricardo Lara, California State Senator
  • Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman, FTC
  • Zixta Martinez, Associate Director for External Affairs, CFPB
9:30-10:25 a.m.

Presentation: Debt Collection & the Latino Community

  • Marisabel Torres, Policy Analyst, National Council of La Raza
10:25-10:35 a.m. Break
10:35 a.m.-12:05 p.m.

Panel 1: Pre-Litigation Debt Collection from Latino Consumers

This session will address topics including how some Latinos experience the debt collection process and industry practices for collecting debts from LEP Latinos.

  • Moderator:  Maricela Segura, Western Region, FTC


  • Albert Cadena, President & CEO, USCB America, Inc.
  • Bernard Eskandari, Deputy Attorney General, Consumer Law Section, California Office of the Attorney General
  • Mark Naiman, Chief Operating Officer, Absolute Resolutions Corp.
  • Karla Priego, Area Manager, Budget and Credit Department, ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions
  • Rigoberto Reyes, Chief, Investigations, County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer Affairs
  • Alysson Snow, Supervising Attorney, Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.
12:05-1:05 p.m. Lunch
1:05-2:30 p.m.

Panel 2: The Experience of LEP Latinos in Debt Collection Litigation

This session will consider topics such as access to justice in court for LEP Latinos sued by debt collectors, the incidence of debt collection litigation involving Latino consumers, and debt collection litigation methods involving LEP Latino consumers.

  • Moderator:  Thomas Pahl, Managing Counsel, Office of Regulations, CFPB


  • Jose Alarcon, Staff Attorney, Bet Tzedek
  • Joseph Jaramillo, Senior Attorney, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates
  • Ted Mermin, Executive Director, Public Good Law Center
  • Makyla Moody, Attorney, Wakefield & Associates
  • Harvey Moore, President, The Moore Law Group
2:30-3:30 p.m.

Panel 3: Credit Reporting Issues Among LEP Latinos

This session will address topics such as LEP Latino consumers’ access to credit reports, their options for disputing inaccurate information, and some of the potential barriers in the credit reporting marketplace for these consumers.

  • Moderator:  Brenda Muñiz, Senior Advisor, CFPB


  • Eric Ellman, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Legal Affairs, Consumer Data Industry Association
  • Sahara Garcia, HomeOwnership Counselor/Education Advisor, NeighborWorks Orange County
  • Aracely Panameño, Director, Latino Affairs, Center for Responsible Lending
  • Mary Spector, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the SMU Dedman School of Law Civil Clinic
3:30-3:45 p.m. Break
3:45-4:45 p.m.

Panel 4: Developing Improved Strategies for Educating and Engaging LEP Latinos About Their Debt Collection Rights

This session will address topics including what education materials on debt collection exist for Latinos, and how the FTC, CFPB, consumer advocates, and debt collectors can help ensure LEP Latinos have access to the information they need about their debt collection and credit reporting rights.

  • Moderator:  Cristina Miranda, Consumer Education Specialist, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC


  • Robert Foehl, Vice President and General Counsel, ACA International
  • Andrea Luquetta, Policy Advocate, California Reinvestment Coalition
  • Suzanne Martindale, Staff Attorney, Consumers Union
  • Maritza Reyna, Manager of Education, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County
4:45-5:00 p.m.

Lessons Learned and Next Steps

  • Gail Hillebrand, Associate Director of Consumer Education and Engagement, CFPB
  • Christopher Koegel, Assistant Director, Division of Financial Practices, FTC

The roundtable is free and open to the public. It will be held at California State University, Long Beach, in the Grand Ballroom at the University Student Union. It will not be held at The Pointe, as originally planned. The address for the University is 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, California, 90840. Directions to the Grand Ballroom are available on the roundtable event page.

Additional information, including pre-registration and the agenda, is posted on the event page, www.ftc.gov/LatinoDebtCollection. To register for the event, please send your name, affiliation, and email address to [email protected].

To view the webcast of the roundtable, go to www.ftc.gov on the day of the event, October 23, and you will see a link to the webcast.  There is no need to register to watch the webcast.

Send your ideas and comments regarding the roundtable event to the following email address: [email protected] or [email protected].

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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