CFPB Proposes Debt Collection Rule That Congress Rejected

The CFPB’s proposed debt collection rules envision a much-needed update and modernization to many provisions in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  However, the CFPB’s proposed rules include a limit of the number of debt collection calls that may be made per week without regard to the REJECTION of call frequency limits by Congress.  Because our Congress considered and dismissed call frequency limits for debt collectors, the CFPB cannot implement such limits through rulemaking.

In this episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, attorneys Mike Poncin and John Rossman re-enact (from official Congressional transcripts) portions of the April 4, 1977 debates in the United States House of Representatives regarding the FDCPA and specifically a then-proposed weekly limit on debt collection calls.  Members of Congress raised specific and detailed objections on the record about the Constitutionality of the call frequency limit proposal at that time and also concerns about false claims. 

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Common Sense Prevails! Seventh Circuit Affirms Consumer was not Harmed by Letter and Dismisses FDCPA case

Debt collectors defending against hyper-technical FDCPA lawsuits by consumer attorneys commonly ask the same question: “How could the consumer possibly have been harmed by this supposed violation of the FDCPA?”  The question is especially poignant when the purported FDCPA violation arises from a collection letter the consumer never read or from language in the collection letter upon which the consumer never intended to rely.  Does the concept of “no harm, no foul” apply to the FDCPA?

In this episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, Moss & Barnett attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss the recent ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the Casillas matter dismissing an alleged hyper-technical FDCPA letter violation.  They also discuss the recent ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeal regarding interest and share thoughts on the CFPB’s proposed debt collection rules.  

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Validation Notice Lawsuits: Overlooked Ruling from Third Circuit Proves Debt Collectors are Right!

As most debt collectors know, sending any collection notice into Delaware, New Jersey or Pennsylvania (the States with Federal Courts in the Third Circuit) will likely result in an FDCPA class action lawsuit against the debt collector.  Typically these lawsuits assert that the validation language used in the collection letter does not require the consumer to communicate disputes in writing only allegedly in violation of the FDCPA.  While several appeals on this issue are pending and consolidated before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, a decision from the Third Circuit in 2017 may provide guidance on how it will rule in favor of the debt collectors.    

In the most recent episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, Moss & Barnett attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin are joined by their colleague, attorney Aylix Jensen, to discuss the Third Circuit validation issues, including the Jewsevskyj case, compliance with the new California privacy law (the CCPA) and credit reporting accounts in bankruptcy (see recent article on this issue http://www.insidearm.com/news/00044941-credit-reporting-debts-bankruptcy-deluge-/)

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Should Collectors Change the Validation Notices into PA

Debt collectors face an historic onslaught of FDCPA cases in Pennsylvania (and to a lesser extent New Jersey), all of which allege that statutory language in collection letters which tracks the FDCPA somehow violates the law.  The Courts in these cases take the position that a consumer must be apprised that a dispute must be in writing to be effective, even though this position is contrary to the plain language of the FDCPA and rulings by the Second, Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal.  This issue has been addressed extensively in InsideARM:

http://www.insidearm.com/news/00044725-22m-settlement-proposed-fcra-case-pulling/

http://www.insidearm.com/news/00044669-open-letter-cfpb-1692g-issues-within-thir/

In this episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin directly address whether debt collectors should change notices sent into Pennsylvania and also discuss the impact of the settlement in the Crunch v. Marks decision along with the recent California out-of-statute disclosure.

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Federal Courts Hold that Standard Validation Notice Violates FDCPA. Now What?!

Collectors frequently point to contradictory language among the FDCPA and other statutes as proof that standardized debt collection rules are needed in this industry.  However, even in an industry where consumer attorneys frequently make “creative” arguments, it is rare to see a claim that the FDCPA itself contains contradictory language. In a number of recent cases, consumer attorneys are arguing that the validation language from the statute – the same language collectors have been using since the FDCPA was enacted in 1977 — is now somehow unclear and confusing.   Specifically, consumer attorneys argue that the first sentence of the validation notice (relating to disputes), which does not contain an “in writing” requirement, contradicts the second sentence of the notice, which does require a written request from the consumer to receive verification.  Unfortunately, two Courts in New Jersey within the past year sided with the consumers in denying debt collectors’ motions to dismiss on this issue.  Two more cases on the issue – on which the debt collectors prevailed – are pending before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

In this episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, Moss & Barnett attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin examine the recent cases alleging that the standard validation language violates the FDCPA and provide guidance for debt collectors seeking to avoid liability on this issue.

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