FC Episcopal & Homestretch May Team to Welcome Syrian Refugees

Category: Credit Matters
Published: Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Written by Admin

The Rev. John Ohmer, rector of the historic Falls Church Episcopal in the heart of downtown Falls Church, announced last week that his congregation is seriously contemplating "taking in" a Syrian refugee family.

Ohmer has found a friend in Christopher Fay, executive director of Homestretch, Inc., the Falls Church-based non-profit that has grown since 1992 in its mission to place homeless persons into their own homes through comprehensive combination of training, education and services.

Fay and Ohmer fortuitously came across each other last week at the Ireland's Four Provinces restaurant, within a few blocks of both entities, the Falls Church Episcopal and Homestretch. The News-Press was also on hand.

The news of the church's plans fell on the right ears right away. The organization that Fay leads has a phenomenal history of success in righting former homeless families since it was founded de novo by former Falls Church City Councilman Kieran Sharpe, who is completing an extended term on the Falls Church School Board this week, and Nancy Taxon.

With a goal from the beginning of achieving self-sufficiency for homeless families, Homestretch was begun by Sharpe and Taxon with a single family.
When Taxon retired in 2006, Fay came in to lead the operations and growth of the organization, which now has 26 employees, including 18 full time, at its 303 S. Maple Ave. location in Falls Church. At any given time, it is handling about 55 families.

Recently Homestretch was profiled by John Kelly in the Washington Post as a participant in its Helping Hand program, and the subject was its full time credit counselor Heather Lynskey, a CPA who decided her life would be more meaningful helping formerly homeless families achieve self-sufficiency through handling their debt circumstances and other credit matters.

Homestretch's approach is to work with families for about two years and have as a result a very high success rate. They work with their clients to find work, to develop employable skills, to make money and get out of debt, to resolve any residual legal issues and to handle the long term responsibilities associated with home ownership and family development.

"Our average client is a single parent with a child or children," Fay told the News-Press last week. "They are referred to us by homeless shelters in the region, and we address everything that is wrong with their circumstances."

Most often, he added, people from foreign countries come to them as victims of domestic violence and the program is an alternative to being sent back to their home country where the patterns of abuse will recur. "We're willing to listen and help," Fay said. "The victim of domestic violence usually puts up with seven abusive incidents before leaving for good. We counsel them so that they don't have to put up with such repetitions."

"We take enough time with them," he added, and in an average case clients can find an initial job within 30 days and get enrolled in school for training in a skill that could earn them an upwardly-mobile job. The goal is to qualify for jobs in nursing or hospitality work which can take up to three years. But at the conclusion, a client can be making $75,000 a year or more.

"We succeed by taking this extra time," Fay said. "Our clients achieve an average 147 percent increase in income, zero debt and bank savings of $5,000."

He cited the case of a woman who was in a shelter for six months before being referred to Homestretch. It turned out she was a gynecologist in Pakistan, but came to the US as a wife and mother. Here, she was forced to flee from an abusive husband, and became suicidal. She got a job at McDonald's. At Homestretch, it took two years for her to develop her English-speaking skills and as a result she became a licensed gynecologist here.
This success is contrasted with holding down a minimum wage job with minimal English speaking skills.

It also contrasts with the "rapid rehousing" policy toward the homeless that is the official policy in Virginia, Fay said. Although services are offered, none are required and skill levels remain lacking, he noted. Among the requirements to work with Homestretch, a client must agree to find work and 10 percent of their gross income must go into a managed account to handle debt obligations.

Ten percent of Homestretch clients become home buyers within two to three years as their credit ratings rise, their income grows and educational degrees are achieved. One client began as a waiter, and recently opened her own restaurant in Old Town Alexandria.

Homestretch clients become real estate agents, accountants, cosmetologists, dental assistants, bank loan officers, pharmacists and so on, according to Fay.

"The City of Falls Church has been very good to us," he added, and he said that there are local businesses that "adopt" them, as well, such as the Excella Consultants, an IT consulting firm that donated $100,000.

Fay says that a goal is to replicate the Homestretch process elsewhere, but so far the programs are few and far between.

Eager for any last minute tax-deductible contributions before the end of the year, Homestretch receives mail at 303 S. Maple St., Falls Church, VA 22046.

Used-Car Loans: A State-by-State Comparison

Category: Credit Matters
Published: Wednesday, 25 November 2015
Written by Admin

How does your used-car loan stack up against others in your state and around the US? Using data from credit agency Experian, NerdWallet looked at loan trends at the state level, including average loan amounts, interest rates and monthly payments. We found that loan rates and terms for used vehicles varied widely among the states, with residents in the South paying the most in financing costs while also taking out the longest-term loans.

The map below includes data for all states except Delaware, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wyoming. Click on a category, then hover over a state to see its data. Darker colors represent higher numbers.

Key takeaways
  • Loan costs are the result of multiple factors. A holistic approach is necessary to understand average loan rates and balances, especially at the state level. To understand why residents of some states pay more, you must consider the type of vehicle financed, its cost, the length of the loan, the interest rate and the credit history of the borrower. Louisiana residents have the highest average loan amounts, at $22,445. Michigan sees the lowest average figure at $15,959.
  • Credit matters. The average used-vehicle loan interest rate is higher in Southern states, and credit is a big factor. Seven of the 10 states with the highest interest rates are in the South, including Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. Mississippi is No. 1 at 11.47%.
  • Longer loan terms are costlier. This is because you accrue interest over a longer period of time, and sometimes have to pay higher interest rates to get that longer term. Louisiana has both the highest average loan amount and loan term.
Loan rates and terms by state

Used-car rates and terms varied significantly from state to state, depending on the factor. For example, consider the average loan in Louisiana, with $7,202 in interest paid over an average of more than 66 months. Compare this to the average loan in Michigan, which would cost $4,037 in interest over less than 61 months. That's a difference of $3,165, due to several factors, including a lower loan balance, the shorter length of the loan and a lower interest rate.

We found that the states with the highest average auto loans didn't necessarily all have a single factor in common. Instead, several factors work together to determine loan costs. For example, when we looked at interest rates and the length of loan terms for the 10 states with the highest average loan amounts, we found that six of them had average interest rates higher than the US average rate, and nine of them had average terms longer than the US average.

Credit matters

The power of your credit has a direct effect on your bottom line when it comes to auto loans. Residents in the 10 states with the highest average interest rates tend to have credit scores in the average range. Compare that to the 10 states with the lowest rates: Residents in seven of them have good credit, on average. Higher credit scores mean lower interest rates, and the savings can be significant.

For example, let's say you take out a $20,000 loan for 60 months. The difference between the highest and lowest average interest rates in our study (11.47% vs. 6.72%) results in a savings of more than $2,700 over the life of your loan.

We noticed that many of the highest interest rates came from Southern states. Residents of the Deep South -- including Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia -- have some of the lowest credit scores in the US No matter where you live, it's important that you work to improve your credit. This will help you qualify for lower rates and a more affordable used car or truck purchase.

Longer loan terms mean more interest paid

Longer-term loans mean smaller monthly payments, a figure that many consumers -- and car dealers -- tend to focus on. But lower payments via longer terms mean you pay much more in interest.

Let's say you take out a $20,000 used-vehicle loan with the US average interest rate of 8.7%. With a 60-month term, your monthly payment will be $412 and you'll pay $4,736 in interest over the life of your loan. With a 36-month term, your monthly payment will be higher at $633, but your interest will be only $2,795. That's a savings of $1,941 by choosing a shorter term.

So it follows that of the 10 states with the longest loan terms, six also make the list of the 10 states with the highest average loan amounts. Along with the fact that extended terms mean you pay more in interest, many lenders charge higher interest rates for longer-term loans.

How consumers can save money on auto loans

The smartest way to reduce loan costs is by looking at all the factors and working to make them more favorable. No matter what state you're in, there are plenty of ways to save money on auto loans. Here are a few tips to shave money off your bottom line:

Borrow from a credit union

Although you can get your loan directly from the dealership or a bank, there are often lower rates to be had through your local credit union. According to The New York Times, the current average interest rate for a 36-month used-car loan is 3.25%. With credit unions, you may be able to qualify for rates at or around 2%. This results in a decent chunk of savings for you over the life of the loan. Check out NerdWallet's auto loan calculator guide to see how different rates may affect your total amount owed.

A credit union car loan may also be easier to qualify for, especially if your credit score isn't excellent. Consumers with average credit probably won't be able to secure the lowest rates, but they're more likely to get approved for a loan from a credit union.

Finally, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations, so you won't have to deal with pushy sales pitches when applying for a loan. Learn more about getting an auto loan from a credit union.

Choose a shorter loan term

Used-auto loan terms are getting longer -- with more than 60 months being the norm, according to Experian. It's tempting to choose the longer loan terms in order to reduce monthly payments, but a shorter term will probably lower your overall costs. When you choose loan terms of more than 60 months, you're accruing interest for an extended time and putting less toward paying down your principal. If you instead choose a 36- or 48-month loan, you can save money.

It's also a good idea to choose a shorter-term loan because sometimes longer loan terms come with higher interest rates. This won't always be the case, but it's something to be aware of when you're comparing loan terms.

Rethink the size of vehicle you need

Although trucks or SUVs may be necessary for consumers who regularly haul heavy cargo or have large families, other consumers might be wise to choose a smaller vehicle. As a general rule, standard sedans are more affordable than large vehicles, so your loan will probably be for a smaller amount. On top of that, you'll probably get better gas mileage, saving you cash at the pump.

Improve your credit score

To qualify for the best rates, it's important to have a good credit score. If your score is lacking, here are a few steps to take to get it back on track:

  • Make every payment on time. This is the most important factor in your credit score, so it should be your main focus. If remembering due dates is tough for you, set up automatic payments or email reminders for each of your bills.
  • Keep utilization low. If you use credit cards, make sure the utilization -- or the percentage of your credit limit that you're using at any given time -- is low. There's no perfect number, but somewhere below 30% should be your target (and the lower, the better).
  • Check your credit reports annually. Your credit score is calculated based on data from your credit reports, so make sure they're accurate. Each year, you can get free reports from AnnualCreditReport.com. If you find any mistakes, take these measures to dispute them.
  • Be patient. Building excellent credit takes time, and as your average age of accounts lengthens, your score will improve. Enjoy watching your score go up and, if possible, try to wait until your score is in great shape before applying for loans.

All data points are from January 2015 to June 2015 and are provided by Experian, which did not have data for four states -- Delaware, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wyoming -- as well as Washington, DC Sales tax was not taken into account, as it can vary by locality.

Victoria Simons is a senior analyst covering loans and insurance for NerdWallet.

The future of mandatory consumer arbitration clauses

Category: Credit Matters
Published: Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Written by Admin

Arbitration as a means of dispute resolution is intended to help consumers and businesses save time and money and achieve fair results when compared to traditional litigation. Millions of contracts for consumer financial products and services have a pre-dispute arbitration clause (arbitration clause) that requires consumers and financial institutions to resolve their disputes through arbitration, rather than through the court system.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) required the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) to study arbitration agreements and submit its findings in a report to Congress (CFPB Study).[1]In sharp contrast to the intent of arbitration clauses, the CFPB Study, released in March 2015, concluded that the overwhelming majority of consumers are unaware whether their financial products and services contracts require resolution of disputes through arbitration or through litigation, and even when consumers are aware of arbitration clauses, very few consumers (fewer than seven percent, according to the CFPB Study) understand what arbitration means or requires.[2]Since its release, the CFPB Study has generated a substantial discourse on the merits of arbitration among trade groups that represent the interests of industry and consumers alike, as well as among academics and members of Congress.

Based in part on the findings of the CFPB Study, at a field hearing in Denver, Colorado on October 7, 2015, the CFPB announced that it is considering proposing rules that would ban consumer financial companies from using free pass arbitration clauses to block consumers from suing in groups to obtain relief.[3]At the same time, the CFPB published an outline of proposals that includes (i) prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration clauses from foreclosing class litigation; and (ii) requiring submission of any arbitral claims and awards to the CFPB for collection and possible publication (CFPB Proposal Outline).[4]Notably, however, the Bureau is not considering at this time a proposal that would prohibit entirely the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements.[5]

The CFPBs Proposal Outline would permit pre-dispute arbitration clauses in contracts for consumer financial products and services under two conditions only:

  • Arbitration could not block class actions without court action. First, the contract must state that the arbitration clause does not apply to class action litigation, unless and until class certification is denied by a court or the class claims are dismissed in court. The CFPB intends to propose model contract language.
  • Companies would be required to submit arbitration claims filed and awards issued to the CFPB for review and possible publication. Second, companies that are subject to the jurisdiction of the CFPB would be required to submit any filings made by or against them in connection with arbitration disputes, as well as any resultant decisions, to the CFPB.[6]

The CFPB is engaging in stakeholder outreach activities, including hosting meetings with industry and consumer groups for the purpose of gathering comments and information. A Small Business Advocacy Review Panel has provided its views on the CFPB Proposal Outline, and the CFPB is considering those views, which will be made public in a final report that will become a part of the administrative rulemaking record. The CFPB must produce a final report based upon the advice, input, and recommendations of the Small Business Advocacy Review Panel and the small entity representatives no later than 60 days after the date of the Panel meeting, which was held on October 20, 2015.

Thereafter, the CFPB will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit public comments. Publication of the CFPBs notice of proposed rulemaking will describe how the CFPB intends to regulate the use of arbitration clauses in contracts for consumer financial products and services, and interested persons will have the opportunity to submit comments to the CFPB that the agency will consider in developing a final rule.

The CFPB Proposal Outline and the findings of the CFPB Study leave little doubt that regulation of arbitration clauses in consumer financial products and services contracts is firmly on the agenda for prompt consideration. And timing matters, because the 2016 elections could alter the direction of the CFPBs rulemaking and enforcement initiatives generally, and specifically with respect to arbitration clauses. Although the exact timing for publication of the CFPBs final rule on arbitration is uncertain, any final rule would not likely take effect until 2018 or later and would not likely affect contracts entered into prior to the effective date of the final rule.

Companies that are subject to the CFPBs oversight should take steps now to ensure their compliance with all applicable consumer financial services laws and to prepare for the CFPBs impending rulemaking. These steps could help to diminish companies litigation, reputational, operational, and other risks that would result from the CFPBs anticipated placement of substantial limitations on the use of arbitration clauses to resolve disputes related to consumer financial products and services. Filing a public comment would also help shape the CFPBs final rule on arbitration.

Arbitration Clauses in Financial Products and Services Contracts

Millions of consumer financial products and services contracts, such as those for credit cards and mortgage loans, contain arbitration clauses. Arbitration clauses require that disputes that may arise about that product or service be resolved through arbitration, rather than through the [state or federal] court system. Where such a clause exists, either side can generally block lawsuits, including class actions, from proceeding in court.[7]Arbitration clauses generally give each party to the contract two distinct contractual rights. First, either side can file claims against the other in arbitration and obtain a binding decision from the arbitrator. Second, if one side sues the other in court, the party that has been sued in court can invoke the arbitration clause to require that the dispute proceed, if at all, in arbitration instead.[8]

According to the CFPB Study, the existence of arbitration clauses in contracts for financial products and services is unknown to most consumers, and even if consumers are aware, generally they do not understand how such clauses operate. More than three quarters of credit card consumers do not know whether their credit card agreement contain[s] an arbitration clause, and among consumers whose contract include[s] an arbitration clause, fewer than 7 percent recognized that they could not sue their credit card issuer in court.[9]According to the CFPB Study, more than 50 percent of outstanding credit card loans and 99 percent of payday loan agreements are subject to arbitration clauses, as are approximately 44 percent of insured deposits and most student loan contracts.[10]

There are varying views of the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration. Some believe that the cost savings of arbitration are overstated, and that because most arbitration clauses also contain class-action waivers, which prevent consumers from filing formal claims as a group, the amounts consumers may successfully recover are artificially reduced.[11]After comparing consumer prices for credit card issuers that eliminated their arbitration clauses versus prices for credit card issuers that maintained them, the CFPB Study concluded there was no statistically significant evidence of an increase in prices among those companies that dropped their arbitration clauses and thus increased their exposure to class action litigation risk.[12]Using the same difference-in-differences methodology, the CFPB was unable to identify evidence that companies that eliminated arbitration clauses reduced their provision of credit to consumers relative to companies that did not change their arbitration clauses.[13]Shortly after the CFPB Study was released, 58 House and Senate Democrats wrote to the Director of the CFPB urg[ing] the CFPB swiftly to undertake a rulemaking to eliminate the use of forced arbitration clauses in [consumer financial products or services] contracts.[14]

Others believe that arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are less expensive, faster, and more efficient than traditional litigation, in no small part because arbitrations are subject to their own streamlined procedures as opposed to those in state and federal courts that include time-consuming and costly discovery obligations.[15]Scholars and industry groups, including the American Bankers Association (ABA), the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), and the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), expressed immediate and strong criticism of the CFPB Studys methodologies and conclusions.[16]For instance, the ABA, CBA, and FSR contend that consumers who prevail in arbitration actually recover 166 times more in financial payments than the average class member in class action settlements, thereby undermining a central tenet of the CFPB Study.[17]

Supporters claim these cost savings are passed to consumers in the form of lower prices and greater availability of credit. Scholars also noted that the CFPBs data do not allow for meaningful comparison between arbitration and class actions because the data set in the CFPB Study consisted of a false apples-to-oranges comparison between class actionsettlementsand arbitralawards.[18]Additionally, some commenters claim that there is little evidence to suggest arbitration clauses are as pronounced or restrictive as the CFPB Study suggests, given abundant competition in the financial services marketplace to accommodate customers who prefer to resolve disputes via litigation as opposed to arbitration. Rather, according to these commenters, the data show that 85 percent of credit card issuers and 92.3 percent of banks do not include arbitration provisions in their customer contracts.[19]Based on these and other concerns, more than 80 House and Senate Republicans wrote to the Director of the CFPB criticizing what they saw as the flawed process [that] produced a fatally-flawed study and asking that the CFPB reopen the study and seek public comment before embarking on any rulemaking.[20]

CFPB Proposal Outline on Arbitration Clauses

Based on the findings in its Study, on October 7, 2015, the CFPB issued a Proposal Outline for future rulemaking regarding the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses in contracts for consumer financial products and services.[21]While the CFPB Proposal Outline does not contemplate a complete banning of companies subject to the CFPBs jurisdiction from using arbitration clauses, the two proposals under consideration(i) prohibiting arbitration clauses from including class-action waivers; and (ii) requiring submission of all arbitral claims and awards to the CFPB for collection and possible publicationwill severely limit the use and benefits of arbitration clauses in contracts for consumer financial products and services, including for credit cards, checking and deposit accounts, prepaid cards, money transfer services, certain auto loans, payday loans, and private student loans.[22]In issuing its Proposal Outline, the CFPB analyzed the effect of legal precedent upholding the validity of arbitration clauses and the availability of class-action waivers, but nevertheless concluded it has authority under the Dodd-Frank Act to issue rules limiting the scope of such clauses.[23]

If the features of the Proposal Outline are adopted in final form without change, companies that are subject to the jurisdiction of the CFPB would no longer be able to use arbitration clauses to prevent disaffected consumers from filing class actions in state or federal court, potentially leading to significantly larger liability and expense. Specifically, any arbitration clause would have to say explicitly that [it does] not apply to cases filed as class actions unless and until the class certification is denied by the court or the class claims are dismissed in court.[24]While the Bureau is not currently proposing barring arbitration clauses entirely, this condition for class actions would effectively eviscerate the efficacy and cost savings associated with the use of arbitration clauses. In theory, companies would still be able to require the submission of individual disputes to arbitration; however, the Bureaus additional Proposal of creating a database of all arbitral claims and awards for public consumption would likely deter many companies from using such clauses in the first place due to the risk of heightened regulatory and public scrutiny.[25]

On October 20, 2015, the CFPB convened a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel to gather feedback from small industry stakeholders regarding its proposals.[26]Prior to the meeting, small entity representatives were provided with a questionnaire designed to frame discussion of the issues and cost of credit matters during the meeting. The small entity representatives were asked about their experiences using arbitration agreements, in arbitration proceedings, and with class litigation.[27]They were also asked about their investment in compliance with consumer protection laws and how, if at all, the CFPB Proposal Outline would change that investment.

Later this year or early in 2016, the CFPB plans to publish a formal notice of proposed rulemaking through which the agency solicits public comments for a period of time.[28]As with the CFPB Study, the CFPB Proposal Outline has met with some stiff opposition: some opponents claim that any rule based upon the Proposal Outline will result in additional, meritless class litigation that will drive up dispute resolution costs, eventually resulting in higher costs to consumers for financial products and services.[29]Some trade associations have opined that arbitration is a very valuable forum for customers to resolve disputes and that the CFPB should focus on improving the arbitration system for financial services customers rather than encouraging arbitration effectively be abandoned in favor of lengthy and expensive class action lawsuits, which often only benefit plaintiff lawyers and not consumers.[30]

Steps to Consider Taking Now

Companies that are subject to CFPB supervision and regulation, and that rely upon arbitration clauses in contracts for consumer financial products and services, should consider taking steps now both to prepare for the upcoming rulemaking and also to reduce reputational, operational, litigation, and other risks. Comments filed in response to the CFPBs notice of proposed rulemaking will be available for public review.

Below are several key steps to consider:

  • Conduct a review of your compliance management system. Evaluate your consumer compliance management system to identify and fill any gaps in processes and procedures that inure to the detriment of consumers under standards of unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices, and that could result in groups of consumers taking action.
  • Ensure clear and timely customer communications. Clearly and timely communicate with consumers regarding changes in policy and price increases.
  • Commit sufficient resources to customer service. Devote adequate resources to customer service, including training of customer service representatives.
  • Adhere to an effective consumer complaint system. Ensure that your consumer complaint processes are effective and provide feedback throughout the company.
  • Make sure arbitration clauses are prominent and understandable. Ensure that contract arbitration clauses are brought to the attention of the consumer at the time of entering the agreement for consumer financial products and services, using prominent and understandable language.
  • Be prepared for class action litigation. Be prepared to litigate customer disputes in court, just in case.

QuisLex Appoints New Executive Director, Legal Services

Category: Credit Matters
Published: Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Written by Admin

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 11, 2015

QuisLex today announced the appointment of Robert Coppola, Esq. to serve as Executive Director, Legal Services.

Prior to joining QuisLex, Mr. Coppola worked as a managing litigation attorney at Quinn Emanuel, where he gained formidable experience in complex commercial litigation, and as a corporate associate at Gibson Dunn, where he has a strong track record in secured and unsecured lending transactions, acquisition financings, private equity financings, and other credit matters. During his career as a litigation associate, Bobby attained significant experience managing and overseeing all aspects of discovery pursuant to large, complicated government investigations and private litigations. In his corporate work, he represented private equity sponsors, corporate borrowers and financial institutions and performed all aspects of corporate due diligence.

"Bobby brings seven years of first rate legal experience and the expertise and skills that will contribute significantly to our litigation and corporate capability." said Phil Algieri, Associate Vice President, Legal Services.

"I am excited to join QuisLex, a premier and highly regarded legal services company that continues to expand its markets and services. I look forward to building rewarding relationships and providing high quality solutions to new and existing clients," added Mr. Coppola.

Mr. Coppola is located in QuisLex's New York headquarters and will oversee the supervision and management of client engagements, defining and implementing protocols for complex and large-scale matters. Bobby received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA in Political Science from Williams College.

About QuisLex:
QuisLex is an award-winning legal services provider specializing in executing complex document review, contract management, and compliance projects for leading corporations and law firms throughout the world. QuisLex has reviewed over three billion pages in support of litigations and investigations, and drafted, negotiated, and reviewed hundreds of thousands of contracts in connection with compliance initiatives, Mamp;A due diligence, and contract lifecycle management.

Since its founding in 2004, QuisLex has been a pioneer in the offshore legal services industry. With more than 1,000 attorneys, process experts, statisticians and linguists, QuisLex continues that tradition today by delivering solutions that reduce costs, mitigate risks, and enhance quality. The company's expertise in providing these benefits has been acknowledged by both clients and the legal industry at large, including being recognized by Chambers amp; Partners as a Band 1 legal outsourcing provider, the New York Law Journal as a top managed document review provider, and the IACCM as its Outstanding Service Provider for contract management solutions.