Menu

Showing 5 posts from December 2017.

Invoking Bigfoot, the Eastern District of New York Highlights the Absurdity of New FDCPA Theories

Suggesting that the latest FDCPA plaintiff's theories in New York have morphed into something other than consumer protection, Judge Glasser of the Eastern District of New York ("EDNY") penned an extensive (and rather scathing) decision detailing the abuse by plaintiffs-consumers (or more precisely, their counsel) in filing lawsuits for non-existent harms. More ›

Northern District of New York Dismisses another Avila Claim Based on Accrual of New York Pre-Judgment Interest

One of the latest trends in the New York FDCPA space has been filing so called "Reverse Avila" cases, based on the Second Circuit's decision in Avila v. Riexinger and Assocs.. In Avila, the Second Circuit found that a debt collection letter violated the FDCPA because the letter failed to state that interest on the debt was accruing. Since Avila, new theories related to the accrual of interest claims have surfaced, including: (1) the "Reverse Avila" claim, and (2) claims requiring Avila safe harbor language in correspondence if there is any possibility (however small) that interest will accrue in the future--even if the debt was not actually increasing at the time of the correspondence. Courts have begun to deny these claims because they stretch the meaning of Avila into the realm of pure speculation. More ›

State and Local Governments Prepare to Fill the Consumer Regulatory Enforcement Void

Last week, the Democratic Attorneys General sent a letter to President Trump expressing concern over his choice for CFPB director, Mick Mulvaney and the future of consumer protection, more generally. As was expected, the states are preparing to take on more aggressive roles in consumer protection given the significant weakening of the CFPB. "State attorneys general have express statutory authority to enforce federal consumer protection laws, as well as the consumer protection laws of our respective states," the group said in its letter. "We will continue to enforce those laws vigorously regardless of changes to CFPB’s leadership or agenda." More ›

SEC Shuts Down Initial Coin Offering Using Blockchain for Failure to File Securities Registration Statement

On December 11, 2017, the SEC instituted cease-and-desist proceedings against Munchee Inc., the creator of an iPhone application that allows users to review restaurant meals, with regard to Munchee's planned initial coin offering (ICO) using blockchain or a distributed ledger. Munchee conducted the ICO to raise $15 million in capital by selling digital tokens that it created so it could improve the app and recruit users. The tokens were purchased by using either Bitcoin or Ether. The SEC proceedings contend that, in connection with the ICO, Munchee represented that its digital tokens would increase in value based on its efforts and that they would be traded on secondary markets.

The SEC, citing the 1946 Supreme Court decision in SEC v. Howey, 421 U.S. 837 (1946), took the position that the tokens were securities as defined by section 2(a)(1) of the Securities Act of 1933 as they are “investment contracts,” in large part, because the purchasers of the tokens had expectations of making a profit. Thus, the SEC took the position that Munchee should have filed a registration statement or otherwise qualified for an exemption from registration. More ›

Bill Introduced in Congress to Exclude Attorneys and Law Firms from the FDCPA's Definition of "Debt Collector"

Yesterday, December 5, 2017, Texas Democrat Vincente Gonzalez introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s definition of a "debt collector." The Bill also seeks to amend the supervisory and enforcement authority that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has with respect to attorneys. More ›

Search
Subscribe via Email