March 2017
CLLA Member-Get-a-Member Campaign
As a Member of the CLLA, you are eligible for our member recruiting program. The more members you bring in, the more you save! We are offering you a 50% reduction in your upcoming renewal dues for the first new member* you bring into the League. If you bring in two new members, your membership dues will be waived for this upcoming fiscal year! When we say we appreciate your referrals, we mean it.

Questions? Send us a message at info@clla.org

*This will only apply to full price (attorney, agency, debt buyers, turnaround managers, law list, paralegal, and vendor) memberships.
The non-member must have been out of the League for at least one fiscal year.


June 17, 2016
Panama Papers – Press Inquiry

January 25, 2016
Deborah K. Ebner, FactorLaw Join Forces
Effective January 2016, the highly regarded bankruptcy and workout lawyer Deborah K. Ebner of the Law Office of Deborah Kanner Ebner has forged an Of Counsel relationship with the Law Office of William J. Factor, Ltd. FactorLaw, formed in 2009, continues its growth as a leading debtor/creditor and litigation boutique in the Chicago market, with nine lawyers in its Chicago and Northbrook offices. Ebner practices from her offices at 11 E. Adams Street in Chicago.

Ebner joined the Illinois bar in 1981 and has served as a federal bankruptcy trustee since 1983. She is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, has administered thousands of bankruptcy cases through her practice and as a trustee, and has an unusually practical, candid and straightforward approach to the practice of bankruptcy law. She is a well-respected resource for practitioners in the legal community, who send their closest friends and family members to her for legal assistance in the field of bankruptcy. She is lauded by her clients for her bankruptcy “brilliance,” “intellectual integrity,” “depth and wisdom,” and “ability to cut through the bureaucracy of the bankruptcy system in a cost-effective manner.”

FactorLaw, with offices at 1363 Shermer Road in Northbrook and 105 W. Madison Street in Chicago, is dedicated to bankruptcy and commercial litigation. Its founder, William J. Factor — like Ebner — is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been selected as a Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Publishing Company in both individual bankruptcy and commercial bankruptcy and workouts. Factor joined the Illinois bar in 1991. He is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law (with High Honors) and the University of Chicago. Prior to starting FactorLaw, Factor was a partner in the bankruptcy practice of a large Chicago-based law firm.

The new affiliation between Ebner and FactorLaw results from the synergy they noticed when working together previously. Ebner and Factor pride themselves on providing sophisticated representation and tremendous value to clients at a reasonable cost. Both professionals are results-oriented and practical, focusing on creative solutions that are appropriate for the situation at hand. They also offer personalized service and attention for the debtors and creditors whom they represent.

“In addition to Bill and Sara Lorber, FactorLaw has a very talented group of young, emerging, sophisticated lawyers,” said Ebner. “It provides an unusual breadth and depth of representation in the area of bankruptcy and commercial litigation, and I hope to be able to help train the next generation of very sharp lawyers at the firm.”

Both Factor and Ebner belong to a number of professional associations, including the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Commercial Law League of America, the Turnaround Management Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association.

“We welcome Deborah’s integrity and her sophisticated talents and we believe we share important core values related to the delivery of legal services. We also look forward in the years ahead to this affiliation — she will help to expand the cutting-edge, service that FactorLaw offers debtors and creditors,” said Factor. “Clients who seek our assistance or who are referred to us will certainly remain in good hands.”

For more information about Deborah K. Ebner and William J. Factor, please view their respective website biographies.

January 14, 2016
Andersen, Randall & Richards and The Bessenbacher Co. Announce Merger Creating BARR Credit Services, Inc.
BARR Credit Services, Inc., a Leading Global Commercial Debt Recovery, Collections, and Credit Services Firm Tucson, AZ & Kansas City, MO (January 7, 2016) Two industry leaders, Andersen, Randall & Richards, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, and The Bessenbacher Co., headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri have merged creating BARR Credit Services, Inc. The newly formed company, BARR Credit Services, Inc. will be a leading provider of commercial debt recovery, collections, and credit services.

BARR Credit Services, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with regional offices in Kansas City, MO and New Orleans, LA, will service over 12,000 customers throughout the United States and in twenty countries around the world with commercial debt recovery, collections and credit services.

We are positioned to become a worldwide leader in our industry, said Randy Frazee, CEO of BARR Credit Services and former President and CEO of Andersen, Randall & Richards. We have been working on this merger for the last five years. I have always respected and admired the Bessenbacher family. I am proud to be partnered with such a highly respected company. Jim Bessenbacher, Jr., President of BARR Credit Services, said, We are joining two highly regarded companies, leaders in the commercial collections industry, which can build on their core strengths and develop innovative solutions to better serve our clients. This merger is creating a strong foundation for future growth. The combination of these two companies to form BARR Credit Services offers a broader and even more sophisticated range of credit and collection services for corporations worldwide.

New Visual Identity
As part of the announcement, BARR Credit Services is also unveiling a new visual identity, logo, and website (http://barrcredit.com) reflecting the legacy of a trusted brand.

About Andersen, Randall & Richards
Andersen, Randall & Richards has offered sophisticated debt collections services, including both Third and First Party debt collection to clients across the country since 1998. Andersen, Randall & Richards is nationally recognized, earning a reputation for providing top results, utilizing industry leading technology, and for being one of the Best Place to Work in Tucson.

About The Bessenbacher Co.
The Bessenbacher Co. has been servicing commercial credit collection clients since 1933. The Bessenbacher Co. is well-known in the commercial credit industry for their innovative development of industry credit groups and proprietary Inet Credit Exchange (ICE). Inet Credit Exchange (ICE) provides industry trade groups with a secure and effective online resource to manage Accounts Receivable portfolios.

Press Contacts
Randy Frazee, CEO
(877) 654-1234 x151

Jim Bessenbacher, Jr., President
877-654-1234 x194 jimjr@barrcredit.com



December 15, 2015
CLLA President has article featured in CRF News!
Be sure to check out the 4Q2015 issue of CRF News! CLLA President Robert S Bernstein, of Bernstein Burkley, P.C., has written an article featured in the publication. “The Ten Most Important Things That the Collection Professional Absolutely Needs to Know About Bankruptcy” was co-authored by Allison L. Carr, also of Bernstein-Burkley P.C.

The article, “will serve as a checklist of issues of which to be vigilant with respect to potential and current bankruptcies.” stated Tom Diana, Communications Manager, Credit Research Foundation. “The issues addressed are essential features of bankruptcy procedures, and credit professionals would be well-served to remain up to date on their latest developments.”

CRF News is a quarterly publication of the Credit Research Foundation. To learn more about CRF, visit www.crfonline.org

November 13, 2015
Stokes Lazarus & Carmichael LLP is now Stokes Carmichael & Ernst LLP

August 21, 2015
CRF Report – CLLA Attends CRF Seattle with Great Success!
The Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) recently participated in the Credit Research Foundation’s (CRF) Forum & Expo in Seattle, which was reportedly the largest attended CRF Forum to date. The CLLA was represented in the booth by Tim Grimes, the Legal Director with Andersen, Randall & Richards. Mr. Grimes said that many credit professionals stopped by the booth to learn about the CLLA and talk about the services that its members provide. Mr. Grimes discussed the purpose of the CLLA with attendees and explained the benefits of using a collection agency certified through the CLLA certification program, which also is endorsed by the International Association of Commercial Collectors (IACC). Mr. Grimes also explained the CLLA-IACC alliance to CRF members and encouraged them to visit the IACC booth, where the IACC representative also shared the benefits of using a CLLA-IACC Certified Commercial Collection Agency. Thank you to Mr. Grimes for ensuring that the CLLA’s message about the benefits of using CLLA-IACC certified agencies was shared with a wide audience. Congratulations to the CRF for another successful event!

June 10, 2015
CLLA Membership Approves Nine Constitutional Amendments
During the Commercial Law League of America’s Annual Convention, April 29 through May 2, 2015, the membership voted to approve nine constitutional amendments. Approval of the amendments was a culmination of the Constitutional Amendment Committee’s study of the League’s Constitution where its charge was to update the Constitution to align with the CLLA’s current structure and goals. The Committee’s recommendations were discussed and ultimately approved by the Board of Governors. Prior to the Convention, the Board approved amendments were submitted to the entire CLLA membership for review. An explanation and vibrant discussion of the amendments was conducted at the opening business session in Las Vegas.

While many of the changes were technical in nature, there were several substantive modifications to the Constitution. Among the substantive changes were: merger of the New England District into the Eastern District; a broadening of membership eligibility; a reduction in the number of members of the Board of Governors; and elimination of restrictions imposed on lay members.

New England District Part of the Eastern Region
Due to its geographic makeup, the New England District has naturally and historically comprised of the lowest regional membership. In a logical move, the membership approved a merger of the New England District into the Eastern District. The move eliminates additional costs and structural formalities of the sparsely populated district.

CLLA Membership Now Available to a Broader Scope of the Credit and Commercial Business Community 
As the CLLA focuses its efforts on reaching out to a broader base of the credit and commercial business communities, it was important to open its membership to include individuals who were previously not eligible in the past. Such individuals include credit managers, business executives, and other trade professionals. The underlining theory is to eliminate any barriers imposed on someone who finds value in the CLLA and wants to take advantage of being a member. There is not an expectation that this change will result in an immediate opening of the flood gates to new members, but will allow the CLLA flexibility in reaching out to untapped areas with the ability to offer the benefits of the League.

CLLA Board of Governors Reduced in Size
An important aspect of the CLLA’s strategic plan is to restructure the Board of Governors to a more manageable size and composition. A large step towards that goal was achieved through these amendments. The size of the Board was reduced from 17 members to 13. The transition from 17 to 13 members will occur over the next three years by electing only one attorney board members (rather than two) starting in 2016. Prior to the amendments, two attorney board members were elected each year. There are currently six attorney board members. With the election of only one attorney board member next year, the Board will then have five attorney members. By virtue of the dissolution of the CCAA, that section’s representative was also eliminated; however, an at-large agency member position will remain. By 2018, the Board will consist of 13 members which will include the President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, three Attorney Board Members, one representative each from the Bankruptcy, Young Members and Creditor Rights sections, a Law List representative and an Agency Representative.

Restriction on Membership Promotion for Non-Attorney Members Lifted
Perhaps the most significant change was repealing Article XXI of the Constitution which restricted lay members of the CLLA from publicizing that they are members of the League. More specifically, the Article provided that any non-attorney member of the League shall not “use, authorize or permit the use of the designation ‘Member of the Commercial Law League of America’ or other words, initials or symbols indicating such membership, in connection with or upon any stationery, business card, or public relations, advertising or other similar materials”. Certified agencies, however, were permitted to advertise their membership in the League’s CCAA. This restriction applied to all non-certified agencies, law list members, accountants and other members of the League. Certainly, the premise of any organization is to encourage its members to positively promote the organization and convey to the public that they are proud members of that organization. Article XXI inhibited that ideal. The CLLA leadership is cognizant of the potential abuses that may result from the repeal of Article XXI, and believes that it currently has in place effective procedures to deal with anyone who unethically misuses their membership or non-membership in the CLLA. The League has consistently and will continue to admonish and pursue both members and non-members who misuse CLLA logos and other intellectual property and falsely publish their membership in the League. In an effort to ensure the effectiveness in the CLLA’s enforcement policies, President Bernstein has appointed a committee to study and, if necessary, propose additional policy and provisions imposing appropriate sanctions against those who inappropriately use the CLLA’s intellectual property and misuse their membership in the League.

May 22, 2015
Kirk Burkley Comments in Law360 Article on Behalf of Creditors?
Committee in Lemington Home for the Aged Case

Law360 – February 27, 2015
Co-Managing Partner, Kirk B. Burkley, was recently interviewed by Law360 on behalf of Bernstein-Burkley, P.C.’s client, The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of the Lemington Home, following the full Third Circuit’s refusal to rehear a precedential decision that affirmed $4 million of a jury verdict in favor of the Committee. This is another positive step forward for the Committee.

In March of 2013, in an action for various breaches of fiduciary duty and deepening insolvency, a federal jury awarded the Committee compensatory damages of $2.25 million against the Home’s former officers and directors and additional punitive damages for the egregious nature of their actions. On appeal, the Third Circuit held that enough evidence was presented by the firm to sustain the compensatory damages award and to establish that the punitive damages award of $1 million and $750,000 against the CFO and CEO, respectively, was proper.

Download a PDF of the full article here, or at http://www.law360.com/articles/624599

For additional information, please contact Marissa Luznar at mluznar@BernsteinLaw.com

April 23, 2015
CLLA Member presented with Woman of Distinction Award
On April 23, 2015, Wanda Borges was presented with a Woman of Distinction Award by St. Catharine Academy, her alma mater, celebrating its 125th Anniversary.

The purpose of the Saint Catharine Academy Woman of Distinction Award is to honor SCA alumnae who “make or made a difference.” This tribute recognizes alumnae for their significant achievements, service and contributions to their careers, community, nation or society as a whole.

Wanda Borges, Esq., class of 1968 is a commercial creditors’ rights litigator and bankruptcy attorney. She is the principal member of Borges & Associates, LLC. She was a trailblazer early in her career, foregoing law school and, instead, reading the law to pass the New York State bar exam. Wanda is past president of the Commercial Law League of America and is a nationally recognized lecturer and author on various legal topics, including the enforcement of judgments, bankruptcy, antitrust, and the Uniform Commercial Code. She has been included on the New York Super Lawyers-Metro Edition List each year since 2009. Wanda is a former Chair of the Mercy College Board of Trustees.

February 10, 2015
CLLA Member in the News!
CLLA Member, Steve Kailas and his firm, Kophner, Mann, & Kailas are in the news as they help to bring justice to Wisconsin Businesses – and millions back to the Wisconsin economy. To read the JSOnline Article, click here.