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NCRA’s 19th Annual Conference Closes to Great Reviews

Terry W. Clemans
Feb 08, 2012

Similar to a major holiday, after lots of planning and work, our National Credit Reporting Association Inc. (NCRA) annual conference seems to be over before we know it and 19th Annual Conference is now one for the history books. This year garnered 108 participants, representing more than half of the nation’s mortgage credit reporting industry. The conference opening featured the annual changing of the association’s officers. Thank you to 2011 President Tom Conwell of Credit Technologies in Michigan for a great year of leadership! Incoming President Don Unger of Advantage Credit in Colorado and Vice President Daphne Large of Datafacts in Tennessee will provide a smooth transition. The highlight of the agenda was the Keynote Address by Craig Zablocki, sponsored by TransUnion. Craig received a standing ovation for a motivational address that was both humorous and thought-provoking. NCRA members provided multiple references to his presentation throughout the remainder of the conference as he left a positive impact that lasted for days. His “two people in one shirt improvisation” with a surprised member had everyone laughing to the point of tears. Zablocki’s message fit well with NCRA’s commitment for renewed volunteerism to lift the association into its 20th anniversary celebration in 2012. The association’s founding and charter members provided a commitment of both time and financial contributions to help establish NCRA in 1992. As that milestone is approached, NCRA is re-committing to the industry by promoting greater committee projects and emphasis to energize the membership after a couple of trying years during the aftermath of the mortgage meltdown. A close second in popularity (based on the speaker scores provided at the end of the session) was Rob Strand, an economist from the American Bankers Association (ABA) who joined NCRA for the second straight year–back by popular demand. His entertaining and no-nonsense approach to the economy in general and specifically its impact on the housing industry, has been rated the highest of any economist to address NCRA over the past decade! The participants at NCRA’s conference thought a lot of all of the speakers as they all were well-received and obtained high marks for their presentations. Barrett Burns, president and chief executive officer of VantageScore Solutions provided an enlightening look into the VantageScore program and where they are headed after their first five years in the credit scoring world and specifically clearing the FICO legal challenges. While FICO has dominated the mortgage industry, Vantage has made huge inroads into all other aspects of credit scoring and is sure to turn up in the mortgage process in the future. From the federal government, NCRA featured three speakers this year. The first, from the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Assistant Director Corey Stone addressed the group on the CFPB’s progress and plans. From the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Tony Rodriguez spoke to the group twice, once as an individual speaker and then again as part of a panel discussion. Closing out the federal government speakers was HUD’s Louisiana director speaking to the members about the requirements for housing authority background checks in a changing marketplace. And we cannot forget the attorneys: NCRA’s Legal Counsel Larry Henry spoke to the group about the various state laws that impact tenant screening and credit reporting. NCRA is pleased to announce a new program to assist member in compliance, CRA Helpdesk, authored by Mr. Henry. A frequent NCRA speaker on legal issues, Andrew Smith of Morrison and Forrester, started the discussions on the Dodd-Frank Act, and Paul Scheiber of Stevens and Lee closed that topic with a special focus on the implications of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the act that has RESPA moving from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to the CFPB. NCRA also introduced two new Web sites and three new strategic alliance partners at the conference. A complete overhaul of the NCRA Web site, NCRAInc.org, is almost complete and it includes an end-user certification test to assist users of consumer reports in understanding the obligations they need to follow. A new NCRA Web site, SafeHousing.org is being completed to promote the benefits provided by tenant screening. Both sites are in the final stages of production and will be running by Jan. 1, 2012. The feature event for networking and entertainment was a Mississippi River cruise aboard the paddle wheel steam-powered Natchez. Southern cuisine, Dixieland jazz and cocktails for all were provided by event sponsor Meridian Link as we left the historic French Quarter for a tour of the Crescent City by water. We met our goal of two days of educational stimulation mixed with networking and a little Cajun flavor and are now planning for NCRA’s 20th Anniversary Conference next November … stay tuned for details. Terry W. Clemans is executive director of the National Credit Reporting Association Inc. (NCRA). He may be reached at (630) 539-1525 or e-mail [email protected]   Barrett Burns, CEO VantageScore Solutions, addresses NCRA members   2011 NCRA President Thomas Conwell; Corey Stone, Assistant Director of the CFPB; and Don Unger, 2012 NCRA President   Panelists Thomas Conwell; Anthony Rodriguez, staff attorney for the FTC; and Diane Terry, vice president consumer relations fraud division for TransUnion, field questions from the audience   Thomas Conwell presents Nancy Fedich with the NCRA Board Member of the Year Award Daphne Large, NCRA 2012 vice president, and Director Mike Brown pause for a photo   NCRA Past President Thomas Conwell, 2012 President Don Unger and Executive Director Terry Clemans celebrate a successful NCRA 19th Annual Conference
Published
Feb 08, 2012
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