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Showing 33 posts in Debt Collection.

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 ›

Creditors Beware: Collection of Debt Based on Unreasonable Belief/Understanding That the Debt Was Not Discharged in Bankruptcy Might Lead to a Finding of Civil Contempt

In Taggart v. Lorenzen, the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' Order, which affirmed the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel's Order vacating civil contempt sanctions against Bradley Taggart's ("Bradley") creditors for violation of a Bankruptcy Court discharge Order. On certiorari to the Court, the central issue was to determine "what the appropriate criteria should be for a Court to hold a creditor in civil contempt for attempting to collect a debt that a discharge order has immunized from collection." And, SCOTUS adopted an objective standard, which creditors should be mindful of going forward. More ›

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Consumer Plaintiff Avila’s Challenge to the Safe Harbor She Established in Avila I

We previously discussed Avila v. Reliant (Avila II) and U.S. District Court Judge Spatt’s dismissal of a consumer’s attempt to sue on the “safe harbor” language she helped establish in Avila v. Riexinger & Associates (Avila I). As predicted, Avila II was appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Although the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal, the Court did not address Judge Spatt’s reasoning for the dismissal. More ›

CFPB Proposes New Rules to Modernize Application of the FDCPA

On May 7, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for application of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The significance of this NPRM cannot be understated. The CFPB's proposed rules cover multiple aspects of debt collection and are one of most substantial developments in the debt collection industry since the enactment of the FDCPA in 1977. The proposed rules seek to modernize application of the FDCPA to match the sophistication of today's electronic communications (e.g., voicemails, text messages, and electronic mail) and provide safe harbors and prescribe prohibited conduct. We've highlighted some of the proposed rules that demonstrate the significant impact on both debt collectors and debtors below. More ›

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Creditor's Failure to Send a Right to Cure Notice is not Grounds for a Monetary Damages Claim

A debtor ("Kirsch") recently sought monetary damages from his creditor ("Security Finance"), arguing that Security Finance had failed to provide sufficient notice of right to cure before commencing a debt collection action, as required by the Wisconsin Consumer Act (WCA), §§ 425.104 and 425.105. Kirsch argued that this failure to comply with the WCA also constituted a violation of Wis. Stat. § 427.104(1)(g), which authorizes an independent private right of action for damages. In Security Finance v Kirsch, the Wisconsin Supreme Court disagreed, finding that a creditor's failure to send a notice of right to cure is a procedural error and is not a sufficient basis for a consumer to file a lawsuit seeking damages under the WCA. More ›

SCOTUS Determines Foreclosure Firm is Not a Debt Collector Under the FDCPA's Primary Definition

Less than three months after hearing oral arguments in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, Case No. 17-1307, the United States Supreme Court held, in a 9-0 decision, that a business engaged in nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings is not a "debt collector" under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA, "the Act"), except for the limited prohibitions set forth in 1692(f)(6). The decision provides helpful guidance to law firms and loan servicers who pursue nonjudicial foreclosures. More ›

The Third Circuit Takes a More Expansive Approach to What Constitutes a Debt Collector under the FDCPA

On February 22, 2019, the Third Circuit in Barbato v. Greystone Alliance, LLC, issued a decision that expands the scope of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act's (FDCPA) definition of the term "debt collector" to any entity that acquires debt for the purpose of collection, but outsources the actual debt collection activity. More ›

New York Mandates New Consumer Protections for Relatives of Deceased Debtors

Effective March 28, 2019, § 601-a of New York's General Business Law ("GBL 601-a") will provide additional consumer protections to relatives of deceased borrowers. Typically, when a debtor passes away, the obligations on their uncollected debts pass to the debtor's estate. This can result in confusion about whom debt collectors should contact and what they can say regarding the decedent's unpaid debt. GBL 601-a will require, among other things, that no representations are made to relatives of deceased debtors to the effect that they are obligated to pay the decedent's unpaid debt. More ›

SCOTUS to Decide Whether Non-Judicial Mortgage Foreclosures are Subject to the FDCPA

For mortgage servicers and foreclosure firms, yesterday's oral argument before the Supreme Court in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, U.S. Supreme Court, 17-1307 and the upcoming decision, could be a game changer. At issue: a split in the federal circuits over whether the non-judicial foreclosure of a mortgage constitutes debt collection, as defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. More ›

Consumer Plaintiff Avila Sues Using the Safe Harbor Precedent She Established in Avila Decision—and Loses

Following the Second Circuit's 2016 decision in Avila v. Riexinger & Associates (Avila I), consumer plaintiff Annmarie Avila returned to court in Avila v. Reliant (Avila II) to sue for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) under the so called "safe-harbor" provision she helped establish in her previous successful appeal. More ›

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