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U.S. Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split, Applies Occurrence Rule to FDCPA Statute of Limitations

Earlier this year, this blog reported on the Supreme Court's grant of certiorari in Rotkiske v. Klemm to resolve a split in circuits on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act's (FDCPA) statute of limitations. This week, in an 8:1 opinion delivered by Justice Thomas, the Court concluded that the one-year statute of limitations in the FDCPA begins to run when the violation occurs, not when the violation is discovered. In doing so, they overturned rulings by the Fourth and Ninth Circuit, which had held the FDCPA's statute of limitations was subject to equitable tolling. More ›

Senate Hearing Panel Suggests a Bipartisan National Data Privacy Standard Could Include a Private Right of Action

A recent hearing at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation explored the contours for a comprehensive and bipartisan federal data privacy law. Titled "Examining Legislative Proposals to Protect Consumer Data Privacy," the hearing featured an all-female panel of experts, including two former FTC leaders, and representatives from industry, academia, and consumer rights groups.

The panel discussion centered on current privacy legislation proposed by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) which would provide consumers with greater security, transparency, choice and control over their personal information on- and off-line, and provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with additional resources and authority to regulate. The hearing and written testimony are available on the Senate Committee's website. More ›

Fifth Circuit Rules For-Profit Student Loans Are Dischargeable Without Proof of "Undue Borrower Hardship"

Many student loan borrowers, lenders, and servicers operate under the presumption that student loans are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy, absent an "undue hardship." That notion may no longer be a bright line rule, following a recent ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled that certain private, for-profit student loans can in fact be discharged without the borrower providing a showing of undue hardship. This decision is particularly notable as private, for-profit student loans—including loans to cover increasing tuition costs not covered by federal loans, refinance loans, and consolidation loans—continue to see increased use. More ›

Lack of Standing Is Not Dead as a Defense to TCPA Actions

The Eleventh Circuit, in Salcedo v. Hanna, has concluded that receipt of a single unsolicited text, allegedly sent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the "TCPA"), does not constitute a sufficient "concrete injury" to confer standing under Article III of the United States Constitution. More ›

Consumer Law Regulatory Insights: CFPB Symposia Series Discusses How Behavioral Economics Can Inform Regulatory Action

On September 19, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) hosted the second in a series of scheduled symposia. After the first symposium, we evaluated the panel discussions that focused on the term "abusive" and whether the Bureau should disclose parameters surrounding its interpretation of the term. The September 19 symposium addressed how behavioral law and economics can inform regulatory action. The discussion consisted of two panels: first, an academic discussion of behavioral economics, while a second panel discussed how behavioral economics can inform regulatory action, or lack thereof, in the consumer financial services field. More ›

FDCPA Claims Dismissed As a Result of Plaintiff's Bad Faith Bankruptcy Conduct

In Vedernikov v. Atl. Credit & Fin., Inc., (Vedernikov I), the U.S. District Court of New Jersey granted the defendant Midland Funding's motion to dismiss, which successfully argued the plaintiff should be estopped from bringing FDCPA claims that he failed to disclose during a bankruptcy action from which he had been discharged. After Midland Funding filed its motion to dismiss in Vedernikov I, the same Court also issued an Order to Show Cause and ultimately dismissed Vedernikov v. Oliphant Financial, LLC (Vedernikov II), another matter brought by the same plaintiff. More ›

New York's Highest Court to Determine Whether Voluntary Discontinuance Revokes Acceleration of Debt

We previously discussed the State of New York's Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department's holding that a lender's voluntary discontinuance of a judicial foreclosure action by itself, whether by court order or stipulation of the parties, is insufficient to evidence a lender's intent to revoke the acceleration of the entire mortgage debt. Now, the legal landscape in New York might drastically change given the Court of Appeals' grant of leave to appeal in Freedom v Engel. More ›

New Edition of 50 State Guide on Student Loan Servicing Regulations Now Available

An important resource for financial services compliance professionals just received a new update. The Third Edition of the 50 State Guide on Student Loan Servicing Regulations—a quick reference guide and resource for student loan servicers regarding the regulations specific to the industry, along with pending legislation, litigation, and court rulings—now also includes language of the rules implementing state student loan servicer laws. More ›

Case to Watch: U.S. Supreme Court Decision Provides Florida Homeowner Grounds to Challenge Excessive Fees for Code Violations

Cities and towns have become increasingly aggressive in their efforts to avoid blight resulting from vacant and foreclosed properties and enforce the state and local sanitary codes. At what point does a valid code violation enforcement effort become an excessive fee or receiver lien, motivated by cities and towns' need to raise revenue? Is there any way for a property owner to challenge a city's or town's $500/day fine for failing to correct minor code violations? A state court in Florida is currently hearing just such a case. More ›

Emerging Trend: Another Federal Court Finds that Predictive Dialers Fall Outside the TCPA's Definition of an ATDS

In 2018, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued ACA International, et al. v. FCC that set aside key determinations of the FCC's interpretations of what qualifies as an automated telephone dialer service (ATDS). The D.C. Circuit concluded that the focus of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's (TCPA) definition of an ATDS should be on the device's "present capacity" to store and produce telephone numbers, as opposed to its "potential functionalities" or "future possibility." Since this decision, courts have remained split as to what qualifies as an ATDS, although there is a growing trend of courts concluding that a predictive dialer is not an ATDS unless it has the present capacity to store and produce phone numbers randomly and sequentially. On July 30, 2019, the Northern District of Texas joined that trend with its decision in Adams v. Safe Home Security Inc. More ›

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