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Photo of Consumer Crossroads: Where Financial Services and Litigation Intersect Concepcion A. Montoya
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cmontoya@hinshawlaw.com
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Connie Montoya brings nearly two decades of class action experience to her trial and litigation practice in employment law and consumer protection …

Showing 9 posts by Concepcion A. Montoya.

American Pipe Clarified: Statute of Limitations for Class Actions not tolled by a Prior Motion for Class Certification

In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court held on June 11, 2018 that a pending motion for class certification does not toll the statute of limitations for the filing of a new class action lawsuit by a putative class member. Writing for the majority in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg repeatedly emphasized that the "efficiency and economy of litigation" is not promoted by allowing less than diligent plaintiffs to file a new, but time-barred, class action lawsuit. Clarifying the Court's prior holding in American Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), Justice Ginsburg wrote that "[e]ndless tolling is not the result envisioned by American Pipe." More ›

Governor Cuomo Mandates Compliance by Credit Reporting Agencies with Sweeping New Cybersecurity Requirements

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a final regulation that requires credit reporting agencies doing business in New York to register annually with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and also to comply with accompanying cybersecurity regulations, including the implementation of a cybersecurity program consistent with the requirements already in place for banks, insurance companies and other financial services institutions. The purpose of the new regulation is to protect New Yorkers from data breaches, such as the Equifax breach which exposed the private data of millions of individuals. More ›

Second Circuit Resolves Uncertainty Surrounding "Reverse Avila" Claims

The Court of Appeals seems to have halted much uncertainty surrounding "reverse Avila" claims by unanimously affirming the New York federal court's decision in Taylor v. Financial Recovery Services, Inc., No. 17-1650, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS ------- (2d Cir. March 29, 2018) (found here). In the wake of Avila v. Riexinger & Assocs., LLC, 817 F.3d 72 (2d Cir. 2016), savvy plaintiffs have argued that the failure to disclose that a debt is no longer accruing interest is false and misleading in violation of Section 1692e of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The Second Circuit disagreed and held that "a collection notice that fails to disclose that interest and fees are not currently accruing on a debt is not misleading " when the letter correctly states a consumer's balance when the letter was issued.

Distinguishing Avila, the Second Circuit explained that the collection letter in Avila was misleading because a consumer could pay the full amount listed on the letter but such payment would not settle the debt. Under the facts of Avila, a consumer who paid the amount due on the collection letter would still be on the hook for an unpaid balance because interest and fees "accumulated after the notice was sent but before the balance was paid." In Taylor, the creditor instructed the collector not to accrue interest or fees on the underlying debt. Thus, because a consumer could have satisfied their debt by "making reasonably prompt payment" of the balance stated on the collection letter, it was not misleading notwithstanding the creditor's right to accrue post-placement interest on that same debt. The Second Circuit noted that the worst "harm" to plaintiffs in Taylor would be to pay sooner rather than later in order to avoid interest or fees accruing, but acceleration of payment "falls short of the obvious dangers facing consumers in Avila." More ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

Third Circuit Rules that a Single Voicemail on a Cell Phone is Sufficient to Confer Standing for a TCPA Claim

In another court's journey into the murky waters of constitutional standing post-Spokeo, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that one single voicemail on a consumer's cell phone is sufficient to confer standing under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In Sussino v. Work Out World, Inc., the plaintiff alleged that she received an unsolicited call on her cell phone from Work Out World (WOW). When she did not answer, WOW left a prerecorded promotional offer lasting more than one minute on her voicemail. WOW moved to dismiss for lack of standing under Article III. The district court granted WOW's motion on the grounds that a single solicitation was not "the type of case that Congress was trying to protect people against," and in any event, the call and voicemail did not cause a concrete injury. Sussino appealed. More ›

A Cautionary Tale Regarding Case and Witness Preparation in Third Circuit TCPA and FDCPA Decision

In a cautionary tale for the defense bar, the Third Circuit recently upheld a consumer's TCPA claims and reversed summary judgment on the FDCPA claims in Daubert v. NRA, Nos. 16-3613 and 16-3629 (3d Cir. July 3, 2017). More ›

87 Debt Collection Calls in 3 Weeks? Maybe too much

We return to the issue of retail debt collection with a case out of Illinois in which a federal judge has asked a jury to decide if a debt collection agency’s constant calling to a Banana Republic credit card holder violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The debt collector called the cardholder three to five times each day, with no two calls made less than two hours apart, for a total of eighty-seven calls between December 5 and December 23. On the 87th call, the cardholder answered and told the debt collector she could not pay the debt and to stop phoning her. Even though the debt collector did not call the cardholder again, the federal court refused summary judgment and decided a jury should review whether the volume and pattern of calling amounted to harassment under the FDCPA. We previously reported on a case out of California where a federal judge dismissed an FDCPA claim under the same circumstances and against the same debt collector. More ›

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