Currently viewing archive for General
Though the courts did not see much of an impact from the Will County strike, we’d still like to keep everyone in the loop and let our clients know that Will County and union negotiators have settled the contract issues, ending the 16-day strike.
Will County went on strike November 18th after over issues regarding raises and insurance. Many were concerned that the strike would delay court filings and other legal procedures; however, court procedures were not disrupted and no delays were reported.
For more information on the Will County Strike, click here.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Will County officials will likely be going on strike Monday, November 18th, 2013. Will County employees have been trying to strike a deal with union officials regarding healthcare and pay increases.
Despite the impending strike, the Tribune reported that “County officials said they plan to have county services available Monday even if employees strike. ” However, the article does not speculate what would happen after Monday if the strike took place and went unresolved.
Definitely keep a watchful eye on this topic and prepare for significant delays as a strike could seriously impact court proceedings, filings, and other matters.
You may have noticed that over the last few months we have been sporting different awareness ribbons in our signature line and on our social media profiles. Firefly tries to make sure that we engage in some kind of a philanthropy project regularly to give back to our community, spread awareness about a cause, show support for our community, and to share some good news. In September, when we raised awareness about Childhood Cancers and Ovarian Cancer, we got the idea to use the ribbons in our social media and signature lines. With that first ribbon, we realized that we can show support to many different causes year-round. Ribbons have always been a great way to show support and raise awareness about a cause because. Wearing or displaying the ribbon encourages people to look to see what the ribbon means, in turn learning a little bit about the cause and becoming more educated.
November is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – We’re doing our part to spread some knowledge and raise awareness about this devastating disease.
Some Facts from the CDC:
- Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men, no matter your race or ethnicity.
- Prostate Cancer affected 196,038 men in 2010.
- Risk factors include age and family history
- Different symptoms occur in different men, and some men do not have any symptoms at all
- There are two screening tests available: Digital Rectal Exam and a Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test
- Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and if you should get screened.
Thanks for helping us to raise awareness about Prostate Cancer and support the cause!
Firefly Legal does our best to stay on top of the biggest news stories affecting our industry and the industries we serve. Check out some of the articles we shared this past week.
- INSIDE ARM: “FDCPA Adds Unnecessary Layers of Collection Rules to Attorneys: Legal Panel”
Accessible online, Friday’s article from Inside Armhttp://bit.ly/1gqxT7Z took a look into the discussion on the provisions in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which took place at NARCA’s Legal Symposium earlier this week. The legal panel asserted that the changes “prohibit[s] potentially productive communication.” Be sure to read the article for more information.
- DS News Loan Mods Rise in August, Foreclosures Remain Steady bit.ly/16b1n59
DS News reported that loan modification numbers have risen, outpacing foreclosures. Despite the decrease in foreclosures, there is still an abundant inventory.
FDCPA prohibits “precollect” efforts. This is discussed in a podcast reported on by InsideArm.
- ACA INTERNATIONAL NEWS: “JPMorgan Chase to Disband Consumer Debt Collection Litigation Unit” http://bit.ly/1cYZF92
After cutting back litigation efforts back in 2011, JPMorgan Chase will shut down its debt collection litigation unit, which employs roughly 100 people.
- ACA INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Student Loan Debt Outpaces Auto Loans, Other Types of Credit http://bit.ly/18eml1z
Student loan debt is up 61% in the last 5 years and are currently at the highest rate since 1995.
Though many markets are still rife with foreclosures, overall foreclosure numbers are showing a steep decline since this quarter last year.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter to get the latest industry news from a variety of sources!
Firefly Legal’s Vice President Matt Massa just celebrated his 16th year with the nationwide civil process service company. Starting out as a civil process server, Massa grew with the company, moving from process server to management and to his current roles as the Vice President.
During the last 16 years, the civil process service industry has changed significantly. Perhaps the most notable changes include the increased use of technology and changes in compliance regulations. Massa explained, “I would say the advancement of technology and integration between firm and vendor is probably the biggest. The ability to talk to each other’s systems thereby decreasing overhead costs and payroll, and double keying information, have been huge.”
Firefly Legal is one of the most technologically advanced civil process service companies. Right out of the gate, Firefly provided process servers with a mobile app that could log service attempts, pictures, and GPS. This was a great advantage to our clients as it showed that service from Firefly was reliable, high-integrity, and expeditious. Clients would not have to wait for these updates, nor would they have to question whether or not the service attempts were good.
Other changes throughout Firefly’s history include the creation of the secure client website. Accessible through the top tool bar, clients today can click login to be brought directly to the secure client portal. This provides them with 24 hour access to the job status, service attempts, affiliated documents/images, affidavits, and invoices.
These are just a few of the many changes that Massa has seen throughout his time at Firefly.
With Massa at the healm of Firefly, we’re excited to see what the next 16 years will bring us.
Thanks for your service, Matt!
Why hassle with multiple civil process service vendors when Firefly Legal can handle it all for you?
Our clients are among the best and brightest in the business– why? They’re keeping things efficient by using one civil process service company rather than using multiple servers. Firefly Legal offers quality service nationwide and locally- no matter where you need civil process service, we can handle it for you.
Firefly Legal is a trusted name in the civil process service industry. Our civil process servers have the highest level of reliability, integrity, and excellence. With comprehensive, competitive pricing, we make sure that we’re meeting your needs– both with service expectations and our rates. Firefly’s servers go through a rigorous application process and are continually reviewed for their performance. Firefly doesn’t settle for less than the best process servers, and it doesn’t expect its clients to either.
Firefly is a tested and mature organization, having been in business since 1996. It was founded in Chicago as a family business. That family character, and attendant commitments, continue to characterize Firefly’s business values. Beyond that, Firefly knows the process serving business, firsthand, and from the inside out. The members of its senior executive leadership all have extensive experience themselves as process servers. They incorporate this experience and perspective into every aspect of the business.
Comprehensive, Competitive Pricing
All of the following services are included in Firefly’s standard fees: due diligent preparation, service of process, affidavits and reporting, filing necessary documents with local courts, electronic copies of all documentation, electronic billing, access to online case management client portal, and access to a dedicated client services team.
Don’t scramble when you need a server in a count that’s not local to you. Firefly Legal has an extensive network of civil process servers throughout the US– and if our in-house servers aren’t in an area where you need service, we’ve got excellent relationships with vendors who have agreed to work with Firefly under our service requirements. You’ll get the same great service from Firefly without having to deal with a middle man.
We’ve got you covered; we’re nationwide process servers. Let us serve you while we serve your documents.
As today is the last day of September, I wanted to thank everyone at Firefly for participating in September’s Ovarian Cancer and Childhood Cancer Awareness campaigns. Your support in going both teal and gold has been great to see, and I’m glad that we could spread some knowledge and awareness about the causes. While this is just a one part in helping the cause, it is great to see everyone come together to support of these causes and in spreading awareness.
Though this will be the final post on this cause this year, I wanted to leave you with a couple more options to personally continue to support awareness of Childhood Cancer and Ovarian Cancer if you choose to do so.
- Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is a great organization that provides fun ways to help support Childhood Cancer Awareness. ALSF formed when a childhood cancer patient wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for childhood cancers. Though Alex Scott, the child who started the first lemonade stand, died at age 4, her legacy carries on through the foundation. To date, they have raised more than $60 million toward finding a cure, as reported on their website (www.alexslemonade.org)
- Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is one of the oldest and largest Ovarian Cancer charities in the US. On their website, they provide instructions how to host a fundraiser (along with a HUGE list of many ideas), how to donate, and how to be active in the organization. You can access their website here: http://www.ocrf.org/
By doing a quick Google search, you too can find other organizations to help support awareness and research of the two deadly cancers. The organizations/foundations that have been mentioned in previous emails and in this email here are in no way the only organizations out there. Firefly supports all of our staff in researching and finding positive awareness campaigns, but does not actively endorse any one organization or effort in particular.
PS. For our friends in Chicago, have you seen the skyline lit up teal? Firefly’s Jennifer Dlugolecki organized that through her participation in the NOCC.
Being engaged in the industries that support civil process service is important beyond just the obvious reasons of networking and meeting with clients. When process servers participate in industry conferences and sit in on the sessions, there is an abundance of information available about the overall climate of the industry. Last week, Firefly attended two associated with our industry: The Legal League 100 Servicer Summit at the Five Star Institute’s Five Star Conference and the ALA – Chicago Chapter’s Business Partner’s Expo.
The Five Star Conference/LEGAL LEAGUE 100 Servicer Summit
Firefly Legal’s Jennifer Dlugolecki and Stephanie Irvine attended the 10th Annual Five Star Conference and Expo began on Sunday, September 8th, 2013. The Legal League 100 Servicer’s Summit also held sessions on industry topics such as the changes with the CFPB, servicing updates, case studies, and more. The conference was held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, TX.
The conference kicked off Sunday evening with a welcome reception that took place among the hotel’s three bars: Counter Offer, Gossip Bar, and Media Bar. With a free cocktail in hand, these venues offered an excellent space to network and meet up with clients and friends.
Monday started off Legal League activities with breakfast followed by round table sessions on Case Law and the CFPB. The CFPB session was led by Adam Wilde of Codilis & Associates who started important discussions on hot topics such as the 120 day rule, as well as the 37 day rule, and the unknowns that the ambiguity of recent regulation changes brought forth. Other conversation starts included Caren Castle of the Castle Law Group, Michelle Gilbert of the Gilbert Garcia Group, Jennifer Monty Rieker of Weltman, Weinberg, and Reis, Co. LPA. This session allowed for servicers to answer tough questions. Servicers present included Freddie Mac, Weinder Brodsky, Kider, PC, JP Morgan Chase, and Green Tree Servicing.
Following the first sessions of round table discussions, a Legal Legaue 100 Member’s Meeting commenced, where board members and chairpersons announced multiple position changes. This opened up a number of vacancies as board members will no longer also hold chair positions; the call for involvement was clear. Additionally, the recent issue with the Colorado Attorney General’s inquest into the billing practices of several law firms was briefly discussed.
The Member’s Meeting was followed by lunch, where keynote speaker David Moskowitz of Wells Fargo discussed industry changes and fielded questions from attendees regarding how to handle the CFPB. He advised that attorneys should be wary of sharing information, discuss what you can and can’t share, and keep the lines of communication open. Responsible business practices will be published by the CFPB this summer. He also advised that any issues should be brought to the CFPB before they find them and bring it to your attention. Be honest, forthright, and transparent. He acknowledged that consumer protection has become paramount for the government. Other topics covered included making disclosures understandable for consumers, the potential for mandatory consumer education, financial literacy, among many others.
ALA Chicago Business Partner Showcase
Firefly Legal exhibited at the ALA Chicago’s Educational Conference and Business Partner Expo on Friday, September 13th at the Fairmont in Chicago. The Business Partner’s Expo allows business partners the opportunity to showcase their services to administrative legal professionals. There were several educational sessions open to ALA members that related to HR, Linked In, business intelligence, and diversity in the workplace. There were over 100 professionals in attendance with a number of exhibitors. Firefly Legal also held a raffle for a $100 AmEx gift card. The winner was Diane M. Brummel, Director of Office Services, at SmithAmundsen.
Check out some of our pictures from the events!
Photos from the Five Star
Photos from the ALA
Taking on a Cause
As you know, Firefly is taking the guiding principle of “capturing and rewarding knowledge” outside the scope of civil process service and making it the driving force for involvement with September’s Ovarian Cancer and Childhood Cancer Awareness campaigns.
Firefly tries to get involved with as many philanthropic efforts as we can. We are in the business of delivering bad news, and this allows us the opportunity to do some good by making a positive impact in the lives of our friends and neighbors. Hopefully, we can make an impact, no matter how small, in helping to educate and spread awareness about these deadly diseases.
Jenn Dlugolecki, our Director of Business Development has been involved with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition for many years, and this year I decided to get everyone at Firefly involved as one of our philanthropic efforts. Jenn’s involvement is personal, as her mom was a victim of ovarian cancer. Through the organization, she has participated in their annual walk, registration booths at events, and is part of the Teal Lights Committee. If you’re ever downtown in September and see the buildings lit up teal, Jenn facilitated that. Her goal is to get the whole Chicago skyline to go teal each year.
Mary Marvinac, a member of our skip tracing team at the corporate office, brought my attention to Childhood Cancer Awareness, which is promoted by the American Childhood Cancer Organization, among many other organizations. After being inspired to learn more about childhood cancer after listening to Taylor Swift’s song “Ronan,” during Stand Up 2 Cancer Telethon, Mary researched the song and found that it was written about Ronan Thompson, a boy who battled (and later succumbed to) neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. The boy’s mother wrote a blog at first about her son, updating friends and family on his condition, but later used it as a platform to spread awareness. After reading the blog, Mary was compelled to try to help in any way she could.
This year, already 22,240 cases of ovarian cancer have been diagnosed. Ovarian Cancer is the 10th most common cancer in women and the 5th cause of cancer-related death in women. It is the deadliest of all gynecological cancers. Every 24 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
We’re spreading awareness by helping to educate people. Early detection can help save lives. Symptoms are subtle and common, and basically sound like whatever you’ve had to eat isn’t agreeing with you:
- Abdominal pressure, fullness
- Pelvic discomfort
- Persistent indigestion
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, encourage her to make an appointment with her gynecologist. You can be evaluated for high risk factors, and from there, blood tests, transvaginal ultrasounds, and pelvic exams can help detect cancer early.
According to the American Childhood Cancer Association, Childhood Cancers are a collection of 12 different kinds of cancer that typically only affect children. It’s the leading cause of death for children under the age of 18. Survival rates vary among the different types of cancer; some can have a 5 year survival rate of 90% while others have a rate of less than 5%.
Stunningly, the drugs used to treat children were developed in the 1950s. Sadly, there has not been much development in fighting these cancers; in the past 20 years, the FDA has only approved one new drug exclusively for pediatric patients. The current treatments leave almost 2/3 of survivors with at least one chronic health affect. 
There are many things you can do to get involved with this cause. The ACCO recommends contacting your state representatives to insist that childhood cancers be added to the state’s cancer plan legislation. You can volunteer for a childhood cancer organization, start a support group or outreach organization (or participate in one), and of course, by donating or raising funds to support childhood cancer research.
The easiest thing we can do is to take time out to help educate people about these deadly diseases. By being educated and aware, the better equipped we are to support those who need it. We encourage anyone who is able to volunteer, donate, or raise funds for one or both of these cancers to do so. Together, we can do a lot. Join us on social media with these hashtags #gogold #whyteal and also continue to check out our blog- we’ll be sharing information on these causes every week this month.
To learn more about Ovarian Cancer and how you can help, please visit NOCC’s website: http://www.ovarian.org/donate.php
To learn more about Childhood Cancers and how you can help , please visit the ACCO’s website: https://www.acco.org/AwarenessandAdvocacy/Awareness/RaiseAwareness.aspx
 According to www.ovarian.org
 According to www.ovariancancer.org/about-ovarian-cancer/statistics/
 According to www.acco.org
Firefly Legal has been in business since 1996 as a civil process service company, and it’s no secret that we’ve figured out what works to stay in the business. To us, our clients come first, no matter the volume of the firm or their requirements. We make it happen.
We recently published an article on what clients can and should expect from their civil process supervisor- what we provide to our clients. We believe that civil process service should not just be civil process service. To us, it’s a packaged deal that brings a lot of value; incorporating small things, like filing the affidavits with the court, allows us to truly partner with our clients. To us, the client experience is the second most important factor, just behind prompt, effective, and good process service.
During a time in the civil process service industry when many clients are looking for reduced rates for service, and justification when rates are higher, we’re not afraid to reveal what we do for our clients. We think it’s worth it. Let us know what you think. The article is also accompanied by a Firefly video that tells about our company, where we came from, and what we stand for. Check it out!
Thanks for reading!