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Showing 10 posts from April 2020.

Collection Industry Trade Group Sues Massachusetts Attorney General to Halt Emergency Regulations

We recently reported on Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's implementation of temporary regulations halting collection of debt from Massachusetts' consumers in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. With certain exemptions, the regulations declare the performance of many regular debt collection activities—including placing telephone calls to debtors or initiating collection actions—an unfair or deceptive practice under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act. The emergency regulations apply until June 25, 2020, or until the end of Massachusetts' state of emergency, if longer. Now, a leading industry group has sued the Attorney General to enjoin immediate enforcement and to strike down the regulations. More ›

Stepping Beyond the CARES Act: Massachusetts Expands Forbearance and Issues Sweeping Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions during COVID-19 Emergency

On April 20, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed H.4647 into law. The law establishes a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for 120 days from the date of the enactment, or 45 days after the COVID-19 Emergency Order is lifted, whichever is sooner, and also extends forbearance to any borrower who requests it due to COVID-19. The law allows the Governor to expand the foreclosure moratorium for a further 90 days, so long as it does not exceed the 45 day limit after the COVID-19 Emergency Order is lifted. More ›

New York Cuts Statute of Limitations for Bringing an Action to Recover Medical Debts From Six to Three Years

On April 3, 2020, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York's 2021 Executive Budget into law. Many of Governor Cuomo's and lawmakers' legislative agenda priorities were not included in the budget, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, Governor Cuomo's call for formal licensing and regulation of the debt collection industry was removed from the final budget. More ›

Massachusetts Attorney General Implements Emergency Debt Collection Regulations in Response to COVID-19 Crisis

From March 27 through June 25, 2020—or until the end of Massachusetts' state of emergency—Attorney General Maura Healey has implemented temporary regulations on the collection of debt from Massachusetts consumers, which supplements existing regulations codified at 940 CMR 7.00. Important exemptions apply, including attempts to collect a debt which is owing as a result of a loan secured by a mortgage on real property. More ›

CFPB Relaxes Enforcement of FCRA in the Wake of Coronavirus Crisis But Furnishers' Obligations to Consumers Remain Unchanged

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in response to the continuing threat posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Among other provisions, the CARES Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) with the intent to stop adverse credit reporting during the period of national emergency related to the coronavirus crisis. Despite this, furnishers should be aware that their procedures for responding to consumer disputes during the crisis period should not be relaxed. More ›

La Boom! Second Circuit Detonates Expanding Circuit Split over Auto-Dialer Definition Under TCPA

Hinshaw continues to monitor the deepening circuit split over what constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which restricts certain automated calls and text messages. To say there has been substantial debate by the courts and FCC concerning what constitutes an ATDS would be putting it lightly. And, just when it seemed a majority position was emerging, the playing field seems to have leveled with the Second Circuit's decision in Duran v. La Boom Disco, Inc. More ›

Popular Video Conferencing Zoom App Hit with CCPA Class Actions

We recently reported on the California Attorney General's ongoing and active enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) despite COVID-19 and the availability of private actions. In Robert Cullen v. Zoom Video Communications, Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 20-cv-02155, filed on March 30, 2020, plaintiff alleges that Zoom failed to properly safeguard the personal information of him and other users of its software application (Zoom App) and video conferencing platform. More ›

CCPA Litigation Has Arrived and COVID-19 Will Not Delay Enforcement

Despite concerns expressed by the business community, enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will not be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently clarified that his office "is committed to enforcing the law upon finalizing the rules or July 1, whichever comes first. … [W]e are all mindful of the new reality created by COVID-19 and the heightened value of protecting consumers' privacy online that comes with it. We encourage businesses to be particularly mindful of data security in this time of emergency." More ›

Uniformity Achieved: Third Circuit Rules There is No Written Requirement to Dispute Validity of a Debt Under FDCPA

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an en banc decision in Riccio v. Sentry Credit, overturning Graziano v. Harrison, after finding that there is no written dispute requirement in Section 1692g(a)(3) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). According to the court, this decision ends "a circuit split and restores national uniformity to the meaning of §1692g." Moreover, the decision applies retroactively to any claim still open on the issue, thus closing the chapter on a written requirement for Section 1692g. More ›

Interactive COVID-19 Regulatory Map for Consumer Financial Institutions

To assist consumer financial services lenders, servicers and investors, Hinshaw has developed an interactive tracker of state regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tracker documents actions by various state regulators, along with the limits imposed by states on foreclosures, evictions, and debt collections, and allows users to click on any state to view applicable provisions. We recommend adding the tracker to your browser bookmarks, as we will update it on a regular basis. More ›

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