Distilling the DC Circuit's TCPA Decision in ACA International v. FCC

In a case we have been tracking closely, a unanimous panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals set aside two key determinations of the FCC's interpretations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. In ACA International, et al. v. FCC, Judge Sri Srinivasan found that the FCC's "explanation of what qualifies" as an automated telephone dialer service (ATDS) and its one-call safe harbor for calling a phone number that has been reassigned to a non-consenting person was arbitrary and capricious. However, the Court sustained the FCC's rulings on revocation of consent "through any reasonable means clearly expressing a desire to receive no further messages" and the scope of the exemption for "time-sensitive healthcare calls." More ›

Recent Illinois Court Decision Illustrates Pitfalls of Multiple Filings of a Mortgage Foreclosure Action

While Illinois mortgagees have the option of recouping delinquent mortgage loan debt through different types of lawsuits, the pursuit of this option can violate Illinois' prohibition on refiling the same cause of action. A recent decision illustrates the pitfalls of a mortgagee's numerous lawsuits filed on the same default and debt in reliance upon Illinois' savings statute. More ›

Maine Ups the Ante on Debt Collection Licensing

The State of Maine recently enacted legislation that greatly expands those entities required to obtain a debt collection license. Previously, a debt collector needed to obtain a license if it was attempting to collect a debt incurred by a Maine resident to a Maine creditor. A debt collector also needed a license if it engaged in the "face-to-face" solicitation of creditor clients in Maine. These conditions have now been expanded. More ›

Read Before You Leap: Providing Telephone Number To Communicate With Collector Does Not Overshadow Validation Rights

The New Jersey federal court has rejected a claim that providing a debtor with a telephone number and other options to communicate with a collector does not overshadow required language that the debtor must dispute the debt in writing within thirty days. The court found that the validation language concerning a consumer's right to dispute the debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) must be construed by considering as a whole the letter to the debtor. More ›

Business Records Exception Used to Attack Foreclosure Action in Maine Supreme Court

The Maine Supreme Court, using a recent interpretation of the business records exception to the hearsay rule under Maine law, has raised questions regarding mortgage loan servicers' ability to foreclose on defaulted borrowers. An essential element of proof in any Maine judicial foreclosure action includes evidence of default, and in Key Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Estate of Quint, the Court affirmed exclusion of a prior servicer's screenshots submitted to demonstrate the amount a borrower owed, costs incurred and the outstanding principal balance in pursuit of a judicial foreclosure action. The current servicer's witness testified to establish default on review of the prior servicer's business records and under exception to hearsay, but the trial judge concluded that the witness had not established the hearsay exception with regard to records of the prior servicer. More ›

The CFPB is not going anywhere—Except Maybe the U.S. Supreme Court—Following DC Circuit en banc Decision

We've been following PHH's longstanding challenge of the CFPB's imposition of a fine against it for alleged RESPA kickback violations, through which elemental questions regarding the Bureau's constitutionality were tested. More ›

Consumer Financial Services: What to Expect in 2018

2017 was a highly volatile year for the consumer financial services industry, featuring significant court rulings, regulatory changes and other developments.

With a new year upon us, Consumer Crossroads blog wanted to ask some of our Hinshaw financial services attorneys about what we might expect in 2018. Here they are, specifically prognosticating trends in FCRA litigation, reverse mortgages, student loan regulatory and litigation, CFPB developments, cryptocurrencies, TCPA litigation, lost promissory notes, federal regulatory conduct and local government responses to the foreclosure crisis. More ›

Hinshaw's Dave Schultz Addresses Massachusetts Supreme Court in Debt Collection Licensing Dispute

The Massachusetts Supreme Court recently heard oral argument about whether a passive debt buyer is required to be licensed. An active and engaged panel questioned the attorneys on the issues, earlier this month. The debt buyer defendant was represented in oral argument by Hinshaw partner David Schultz. More ›

New Jersey Federal Judge Dismisses RICO suit against FDCPA Plaintiff Law Firms

Late last year, a debt collection agency went on the offensive and filed a RICO lawsuit against three FDCPA Plaintiff Law Firms, alleging that the Plaintiff Firms filed frivolous class action lawsuits under the FDCPA as a way to generate a quick settlement from them. Last week, Judge Michael Vazquez, in a sometimes scathing opinion, dismissed the suit, siding with the Plaintiff Firms. Judge Vazquez ultimately concluded that the filing of numerous class action lawsuits violates no laws, but is actually "standard practice." He found that the Amended Complaint was both factually and legally deficient, and the allegations that the Plaintiff Firms engaged in frivolous litigation were baseless. Moreover, Judge Vazquez concluded that filing litigation cannot form a basis for mail or wire fraud under RICO.  More ›

Department of Education Announces Award of Student Loan Collections Contracts: the Latest Chapter in a Long-Running Saga

The Headlines

After much anticipation, on January 11, 2018, the Department of Education filed its Notice of Completion of Corrective Action. The filing announced its hotly contested award of unrestricted contracts for collection of federal student loans to two primary private collection agencies, Performant Recovery, Inc. and Windham Professionals, Inc. Several other small business contractors will also receive portions of the business.

According to the Department of Education, the total contract award amount for the base period and option period is not to exceed $400,000,000, and the base period of performance for this contract is January 11, 2018 through January 10, 2023. More ›

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