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Debt Collector Opens Its Doors to ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

Gordon Beck, Chief Operating Officer of Diversified Consultants, Inc., based in Jacksonville, Florida, sat for an interview last week with ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. Beck said ABC set out to investigate TCPA lawsuits where companies – including collection agencies – dialed wrong numbers. ABC producers told Beck that he was the only collection agency official that agreed to be interviewed.

Customer service team working in headsets, woman in front.

Capital One and Three ARM Firms Agree to $75 million TCPA Settlement

In what is being touted as the largest TCPA settlement ever, Capital One and three collection agencies have agreed to pay $75.5 million into a settlement fund to end litigation in a combined class action. The agreement admits no wrongdoing on the part of the companies for allegedly using autodialers and/or pre-recorded messages in calls to cell phones without the consumers’ express consent.


Circuit Court Upholds Award of Fees for Defendant in an Absolutely Crazy FDCPA Case

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday upheld a lower court’s ruling that a defendant collection agency was entitled to some $33,000 in attorney’s fees and costs in an FDCPA case found to be brought in bad faith and specifically for the purpose of harassment.

Is that interesting enough? No? Well, it involved an outspoken consumer advocate’s gloating posts on a debtor-focused message board, posts that ultimately led to the awarding of fees.


Washington Lawsuit Scrutinizes Use of Prosecutor’s Seal on Debt Collection Letters

A federal class action lawsuit in Seattle alleges that a collection agency used the King County prosecutor’s seals on debt collection letters to consumers, while failing to disclose that the letter was from a collection agency and not a law enforcement office. The plaintiffs say they received seemingly official letters from Missouri-based collection agency Bounceback which included threats of jail time if consumers didn’t pay the amount of the debt and more than $180 in fees. Bounceback was able to use the county prosecutor’s seal on these collection letters because it participates in a “check enforcement program,” where county prosecutors rent out the prosecutor’s seal and letterhead in exchange for a cut of the collection fees.

Business conference

A High-Level Discussion of Debt Collectors, Involving no Debt Collectors

NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show aired a segment yesterday called “Inside America’s Debt Collection Industry.” Among the four guests, there were no representatives from the debt collection industry. What’s also interesting is that, in fact, most of the discussion was not about third party debt collectors, but creditors, debt buyers, and credit reporting agencies.


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State of Idaho Issues Guidance for Licensed Collection Agencies

The Idaho Department of Finance recently issued guidance to assist licensed collection agencies in complying with the Idaho Collection Agency Act. The department issued the guidance in response to an Idaho Supreme Court decision that impacts the way collection agencies are required to operate under the provisions of the act. The Supreme Court decision specifically addressed a collection agency’s ability to collect fees and other charges related to a consumer’s debt.

business handshake

Encore Capital Group Buys Collection Agency Atlantic Credit & Finance for Nearly $200 million

Debt buyer Encore Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ECPG) late Thursday announced that it has acquired Atlantic Credit & Finance (ACF), a leader in collecting fresh, higher-balance accounts, for approximately $70 million in cash. Encore also said it made additional payments totaling approximately $126 million to retire certain indebtedness and obligations of ACF.


Join LiveVox Counsel and Audit Experts for TCPA/CFPB Chat

LiveVox Inc., the leading provider of cloud contact center solutions for enterprise operations, announced that its In-House Counsel, Mark Mallah, will join audit consultants to discuss the top questions asked and strategies created by today’s ARM contact center leaders in response to TCPA and CFPB pressures. The webinar takes place Wednesday, September 17th at 2:30pm EDT/ 11:30 am PDT.


LiveVox Receives the 2014 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award for Its Leading Compliance Tools

LiveVox Inc., the leading provider of cloud contact center solutions for enterprise operations, announced that TMC, a global community of communication technology leaders, awarded LiveVox with the 2014 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award for providing comprehensive cloud-enabled compliance capabilities.

Recording Phone Calls

California Call Recording Law Loses its Teeth; Collectors to Benefit

Many debt collection companies record calls to ensure quality and compliance in their operations. This practice has proven a double-edged sword, as it makes agencies possibly vulnerable to liability under state statutes regulating call recording. California’s call recording statute may be the most draconian of all, but that might be changing after a recent ruling.