Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office offered support this week for proposed legislation related to statute of limitations, collection of judgments, and more, that would have a significant effect on creditors and debt collectors.
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FDCPA suits “unexpectedly [caught] fire this year, up more than 1200 suits (+14.5%) over this time in 2014,” according to Gordon. FCRA suits “works out to a dramatic +39% increase over this time last year,” and “TCPA’s YTD numbers have recovered due to the combination of a strong October and a weak few months at the end of 2014. Now up almost 200 suits (+8.7%) over this time last year, TCPA seems to have avoided the likelihood of a decline.” But none of this should be a surprise, so why is it?
In a 2-1 opinion decided and filed on October 22, 2015 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that a voicemail message left at the payroll department of a consumer’s business was not a “communication” as that term is defined in the FDCPA.
How can a collector accurately identify, track, and respond to consumer disputes when the FDCPA does not define what a “dispute” is? How exactly do you define a consumer “dispute”? Are you sure you will know a dispute when you see it?
This week the CFPB issued a Compliance Bulletin concerning the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Regulation E requirements for obtaining a consumer’s authorization for preauthorized electronic fund transfers. The Bulletin also outlines the CFPB’s compliance expectations.
The FTC and other law enforcement authorities around the country announced the first coordinated federal-state enforcement initiative targeting deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. This agencies say the nationwide crackdown encompasses 30 new law enforcement actions against collectors who use illegal tactics such as harassing phone calls and false threats of litigation, arrest, and wage garnishment.
On October 23, 2015, a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision gave TCPA plaintiffs additional ammunition supporting an expanded definition of an “ATDS.” This case highlights the potential exposure to businesses in TCPA litigation. The numbers are staggering.
In an opinion filed on October 28th, a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that a settlement offer in a letter sent to a consumer on time-barred debt did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The case, Ehrich v. Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. involves […]
As with all publicly traded companies, the earnings announcement is usually less interesting, and often less informative, than the conference call that accompanies the quarterly announcement. This was especially true as it relates to the latest PRAA earnings call.
Americans who may have never heard of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) before may have learned about it last night. The American Action Network (AAN), an advocacy group, launched a $500,000 ad campaign that ran throughout the evening on Fox Business, the host of the fourth GOP Primary debate. Additionally, the ad campaign aired during the post-debate commentary on Fox News Channel. The ad will also be online the next four weeks along with the launch of StopCFPB.com. What effect the ad will have, though, is anyone’s guess.
It isn’t uncommon for clients to push debt collection agencies to disqualify job candidates for criminal histories. Agencies may not be able to deliver on that demand much longer. Many states have already adopted a “ban the box” policy, which prohibits employers from asking about criminal convictions in job applications. (Check out our recent and […]
Last Friday, Encore Capital Group (ECPG), an international specialty finance company with operations in eight countries, reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2015, ending September 30, 2015. Third Quarter Highlights Gross collections from the portfolio purchasing and recovery business grew 4% to $422 million, compared to $407 million in the same period of […]
Last week I wrote about the latest budget deal working through Congress, and its inclusion of a provision to allow those collecting federal student loans to call consumer cell phones using an autodialer (ATDS). That two-year budget has since passed the Senate Friday by a vote of 64 to 35, and was signed into law yesterday by President Obama. But you’re not going to want to turn on that autodialer just yet.
JP Morgan Chase, the nation’s biggest bank, will pay $100 million to settle allegations that it used illegal and abusive debt-collection practices in connection with California credit card customers. The settlement specifically collecting incorrect amounts, selling bad credit card debt, and running a debt collection mill that involved illegally “robo-signing” thousands of court documents and improperly obtaining default judgments against military service members.
The FTC wrapped up its three city Debt Dialogue tour in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday afternoon with very animated “dialogues” among regulators and representatives of the credit and collections industry. The wide-ranging discussion covered communication between collectors and consumers, industry self-regulation, collection complaints, and more.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the case of Bock v. Pressler & Pressler. Observers saw this as a significant case, with far-reaching impact upon attorneys who engage in debt collection litigation. From the tone of the Circuit Court’s questions, it was clear that policy consideration were at the center of the Court’s focus.
At oral argument, the justices were split along ideological lines, with the liberal justices siding with the plaintiffs and the conservatives siding with Campbell-Ewald. The conservative justices focused on judicial economy and practicality, emphasizing the lack of adversity arguably resulting in no need for judicial involvement because the plaintiff has been offered everything to which he or she could possibly be entitled. On the other side, the liberal wing took issue with the premise that Campbell-Ewald’s offer was for complete relief, pointing out that the plaintiff also asked for his attorneys’ fees. In response, Justice Scalia noted, “I suppose he could ask for the key to Fort Knox, right? If it’s a frivolous claim, I don’t see why the Court can’t dispose of that initially in connection with the mootness.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced yesterday that it has filed an administrative order against Security National Automotive Acceptance Company (SNAAC), an auto lender specializing in loans to servicemembers, for engaging in illegal debt collection practices. The order requires the company to refund or credit about $2.28 million to servicemembers and other consumers who […]
In February 2013, DBA International launched its Receivables Management Certification Program. This “gold standard” certification program promotes uniform, consumer-oriented, best practice standards for the receivables industry. The goal of the Receivables Management Certification Program is to raise the bar; not just meet the bar. Since program standards exceed many current statutory and regulatory requirements for […]
Western Union denied liability and contended that it had a number of affirmative defenses that would defeat Plaintiff’s claim. In spite of several strong potential defenses, Western Union still agreed to pay $8.5 million to make the case go away.
The long and winding road in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) lawsuit against the Frederick J. Hanna & Associates. P.C. law firm took another turn this week. On Monday, November 16th, The Honorable Amy Totenberg, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, issued an order denying Hanna’s request to certify […]
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced last week that, following a public comment period, they have approved final amendments to a Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including a change that will help protect consumers from fraud by prohibiting four discrete types of payment methods favored by con artists and scammers. “Con artists like payments that are […]
Recent Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) developments have made it vital that collection agencies take a proactive, and sustainable, approach to managing contact consent, as well as revocation of that consent. The following list of questions may be helpful in considering where your process currently stands. Considerations Regarding Consent at the Originator How is consent […]
Weighting auditing forms can affect collection goal bonus eligibility and compliance and quality incentives. An agency can choose to do this separately, or simultaneously. Traditional models would consider reducing the agent’s collection goal bonus when compliance and quality scores are not met. An emerging model is to provide positive reinforcement by assigning a monetary value to an overall quality and compliance score, outside of any considerations for collection goal bonus eligibility.
Regulators from the CFPB and the FTC encourage the debt industry to look at past enforcement actions and other publications to determine what issues are most important to those agencies. A review of the recent enforcement actions by the CFPB and FTC, as well as other publications, reveal three distinct trends: actions involving unfair treatment of service members; the failure of debt collectors to adequately distinguish and investigate FDCPA and FCRA disputes; and, racial bias in debt collection efforts.
Note: This is Part II of a Scorecard Series. Click here to read Part I. If operational effectiveness starts with and is driven by a balanced scorecard, then it is imperative that all of the functional support areas have scorecards that align to and associate closely with the goals of the operation. The talent acquisition […]
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “work smarter, not harder.” In today’s environment you need to do both to grow your business. Utilizing skip trace technology is a business-growth engine because it takes care of “easy” day-to-day activities like phone number identification and change of address, while at the same time working harder to solve […]
Earlier this month the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted Defendant’s motion for Partial Summary Judgment in Thomas Estrella v. LTD Financial Services, LP (LTD). The Plaintiff claimed that LTD placed calls to his cell phone using an ATDS without prior consent. LTD argued that it manually dialed those calls.
LiveVox Inc., a leading provider of cloud contact center solutions for enterprise operations, announced that it will join operations experts from IHMS, in partnership with the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), to provide insights into the top insurance enrollment challenges moving into 2016 and innovative approaches to adapting existing resource to optimize patient engagement and […]
I recently read an excellent article by Kenneth Mikkelsen and Harold Jarche about the need for leaders to stay ahead of the markets they serve. The article begins with a story about racecar driver Juan Manuel Fangio famously slowing down before entering a blind turn in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix, a move that was […]