Professional Practice Finance & Banking

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As A 401(k) Sponsor, A Class Action Lawsuit Is The Least Of Your Legal Worries

Having been in my own practice for over 6 years, it’s a broken record hearing from 401(k) plan sponsors on how they have nothing to fear about being sued since their plans are small potatoes. The problem with that view is...more

CFPB settles FDCPA claims against debt collection law firms

The CFPB announced that it has entered into a consent order with two law firms specializing in the collection of medical debts and their president for alleged FDCPA violations.  The consent order also settles allegations that...more

Advisors Advantage - January 2017

How An RIA Can Profit Off Of The New Fiduciary Rule. It's an opportunity. When it comes to an industry, change is often fraught with trepidation and fear. However, I always believe that change also brings...more

How An RIA Can Profit Off Of The New Fiduciary Rule

When it comes to an industry, change is often fraught with trepidation and fear. However, I always believe that change also brings opportunity. So while people are predicting gloom and doom when discussing the Department of...more

The Potential Liability of Participant Directed 401(k) Plans

As children, we were told the story of Jack and The Beanstalk. Jack sells a cow for some “magic beans” and his mother is so angry, she throws the beans on the ground and a magic beanstalk grows overnight. When it comes to...more

A Plan Sponsor Should Never Assume Their Providers Are Doing A Great Job

My wife and I have been in our house for over 11 years and it’s been one remodeling project after another. This is what happens when the previous owner did nothing for 20 years. We hired a general contractor to redo our...more

How A Plan Sponsor Can Increase 401(k) Participation Without Costing Much $$$

My former Synagogue wanted Hebrew school parents to attend Synagogue events, so they created a participation fee where parents would have to pay $180 that they could use to attend events. Before I was involved as a Trustee...more

Why A Plan Sponsor Should Get A Plan Review

Retirement plan sponsors tend to be reactive rather than pro-active. They would rather not spend money to undergo a plan review and assume everything is fine until they run into a big compliance issue or mistakes are...more

A “Crystal Ball” On Life After The New ERISA Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) new fiduciary rule that is going to go in effect in April 2017 is going to have a profound change in how financial advisors work with their retirement plan clients. It’s unchartered waters,...more

Excalibur Litigation: Court of Appeal Confirms that Funders Will Be Put to the Sword

- In the recent decision of Excalibur Ventures v Texas Keystone and others, the Court of Appeal has provided important guidance on the extent to which third party funders may be required to pay the costs of a defendant who...more

Glaring Problems A Plan Sponsor May Not Be Aware Of When They Think Everything is OK

I knew a family member who would never go to the doctor for preventative care. She always reasoned that if she went to a doctor, that meant she was sick. That meant that her goal was avoiding the doctor at all costs. It’s...more

What the Campaign Can Tell You About Marketing Your Practice

Before we start this out of the gate: this isn’t about the actual positions of the candidates or what the candidates did or not do, this is about what the election campaign can tell us that actually help with our retirement...more

The To-Do List For 401(k) Plans Now: 2016-2017 Edition

Being a retirement plan sponsor is a tremendous responsibility and the problem is that most plan sponsors don’t understand that. Plan sponsors often act passive because they hire retirement plan providers to help them. The...more

Advisors Advantage - November 2016

401(k) Plan Providers' Behavior To Avoid That Loses Clients. Things to avoid. Over the past 18 years as an ERISA attorney, I have some pretty weird reasons why retirement plan providers get fired. I'll never get the...more

401(k) Plan Providers’ Behavior To Avoid That Loses Clients

Over the past 18 years as an ERISA attorney, I have some pretty weird reasons why retirement plan providers get fired. I’ll never get the financial advisor who was fired because the client’s new Chief Executive Officer wanted...more

How to Pick Your Retirement Plan Providers

Too often, retirement plan providers are selected at the family dinner table, the golf outing, or at a house of worship. While those are nice places for social gatherings, they are not the ideal place for selecting retirement...more

401(k) Sponsors Say Their Plan is OK, but They Really Have No Idea

When I was dating my wife, she asked me if I had a good credit score and I said I did. I never checked my credit score, but I paid all my bills in full and on time. Of course when I got a copy of my credit report, my credit...more

The Laurita Rules for 401(k) Plan Providers.

Once upon a time in the 401(k) world, I knew a man named Richard A. Laurita. I worked with Rich (as his friends called him) for two different third party administration (TPAs) firms for over 9 years and he had the most...more

Eighth Circuit: A Debt Collector May Call A Third Party More Than Once Without Violating § 1692b(3) of the FDCPA

In Kuntz v. Rodenburg LLP, No. 15-2777, – F.3d –, 2016 WL 5219884 (8th Cir. Sept. 22, 2016), the Eighth Circuit held that a law firm hired to collect a debt did not violate § 1692b(3) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act...more

How 401(k) Plan Sponsors Can Improve Their Plan At Little Cost

There are many ways that a retirement plan sponsor can improve their 401(k) plan, but they usually balk when it comes to the time and the money needed to rectify it. With so many issues regarding their business especially the...more

This Week in FCPA-Epiode 23, the Wells Fargo edition [Video]

In this week's episode, Jay Rosen and I discuss the following: Show notes for this week’s edition: 1. Tom's week long series on Well’s Fargo scandal. 2. Christina Muehl’s two part series on Corruption, Crime and...more

Concerns For Who You Pick As Your 401(k)’s TPA

I was very lucky that when I started as an ERISA attorney in 1998, I worked as a staff attorney for a third party administrator (TPA). It gave me insight and experience that I could never have gotten as an attorney working...more

What 401(k) Plan Sponsors Shouldn’t Forget

It’s easy to forget things. Heck, half of the things my wife tells me to do is forgotten by the afternoon. My wife often suggests that I keep a list of things I need to do so I don’t forget. Of course, I forget to keep lists....more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Affirms Right of Former Trustee to Represent Lender in Foreclosure Under Deed of Trust

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion addressing whether a conflict of interest exists when a trustee under a deed of trust initiates a foreclosure proceeding and later represents the lender in that...more

CFPB Presents New Regulatory Requirements for Third-Party Debt Collectors

On July 28, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an outline of proposals and alternatives under consideration for regulating debt collection practices. The outline’s release triggers the formation of...more

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