A judge in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York this week sided with a debt collection agency in dismissing a case, with prejudice, that alleged violations of the FDCPA in collection letter language. The judge offered interesting commentary on the “least sophisticated consumer” standard in her opinion.
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The CFPB and FTC this week said in a court brief that “actual or threatened litigation is not a necessary predicate for an FDCPA violation in the context of time-barred debt.” The brief argues that under certain circumstances, a settlement offer — and other collection activity — on an out-of-statute account can mislead the consumer and could be a violation of the FDCPA.
The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against a group of affiliated collection agencies and their owners over the use of words like “Federal” in their names and collectors directly stating or implying that the company had the power to arrest consumers.
Mobile computing has not only arrived, but in just a few short years has now matured to the point that tablet and smartphone sales are beginning to outpace PC’s and laptops. Yet, many collection software vendors have not kept up with the pace of these advances.
Most sellers anticipate being on the receiving end of a due diligence process. While this is accurate, I strongly encourage owners and executives to reverse the diligence process on the buyer and find out as much as possible, as early as possible.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley Monday asked state regulators to prevent casinos from placing liens on the homes of people with unpaid gambling debts. The request was made after a weekend article exposing the practice.
Those in the collection business know that industry professionals and their agencies constantly seek ways to improve processes and be successful. With the constant demand to find the right solutions to our business objectives, it’s easy to forget the more basic components of success.
A jurist praised by The New York Times for his administration of credit card debt collection cases was recently the subject of a harsh rebuke from a New York appellate court for the same judicial practices.
Debt buyer Asta Funding, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASFI) Monday reported financial results for its first fiscal quarter of 2014, ended December 31, 2013. The company also announced an acquisition which closed on the last day of the year.
The Federal Trade Commission Wednesday issued its annual report on enforcement of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The letter noted that the FTC has stepped up its law enforcement actions under the FDCPA as the CFPB takes over most other responsibilities.
Following a week of staring deep into TDX Group’s crystal ball, we can now provide our view on the key themes for 2014.
The U.S. House of Representatives late Thursday passed a bill that would dramatically change the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and limit the powers the agency was given to regulate the consumer finance industry, including rulemaking authority.
One of the highlights of the DBA International conference was a conversation with the CFPB. Incoming DBA President Bryan Faliero moderated an informal panel discussion with three key division leaders: Tom Pahl, managing counsel for Regulations; Scott Pluta, assistant director for the Office of Consumer Response; and Larry DeMille-Wagman, acting director of Collection Supervision.
According to a variety of sources, Capital One is preparing to launch a team of suited collectors to visit people’s homes and offices in pursuit of missed credit card payments. The LA Times put it this way: “Credit card issuer Capital One isn’t shy about getting into customers’ faces. The company recently sent a contract update to cardholders that makes clear it can drop by any time it pleases.” Only this is not a recent update, and the credit card company claims its only using this clause in repossession efforts.
In one of the largest acquisitions in accounts receivable management industry history, Norfolk, Va.-based Portfolio Recovery Associates (NASDAQ: PRAA) announced late Wednesday that it will buy Oslo, Norway-based debt buyer Aktiv Kapital, a company that specializes in accounts from Europe and Canada.
Market changes since the FDCPA’s passage in 1977 and the postcrisis shift toward regulation have opened the door to significantly enhanced consumer protections. The CFPB’s rulemaking has the potential to alter dynamics in every corner of the industry, from reducing recovery rates and limiting post-charge-off sale options and pricing to driving further consolidation by firms with sophisticated processes, systems, and controls.
The social media revolution has given consumers a powerful voice in dealing with companies. And we’ve seen the same trend recently across the debt collection industry where the customer’s voice is now being heard, loud and clear.
One of the key outputs of the US debt industry focus on compliance and regulatory adherence is the increased rigor around policy and process audits conducted on suppliers such as collection agencies and debt buyers.
A newly-proposed Senate bill would restrict data brokers from collecting or soliciting consumer information in deceptive ways. The Data Broker Accountability and Transparency Act, introduced by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), would also let consumers access and correct their information, and opt out of having it sold for marketing purposes. “Consumers deserve to know […]
Most consumer advocates and collectors agree that the validation language required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is stilted and obscure. Two recent cases in different Federal Courts of Appeal examined questions about the wording of specific validation notices and have caused concern for collectors about the language used.
U.S. debt buyer Encore Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ECPG) announced today that it will acquire UK-based debt buyer Marlin Financial Services for £295 million (approximately $481 million) through Cabot Credit Management, a UK subsidiary of Encore acquired last year.
Today, insideARM.com is announcing the launch of a new section of the site focused on state licensing and bonding requirements for debt collection agencies and ARM firms. The State Licensing Resources page is the latest in our push to cover all of the compliance topics in the ARM industry.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Friday issued a public notice and request for comment over a plan to mail surveys to consumers “to learn about their experiences interacting with the debt collection industry.” The CFPB plans to use the survey data to inform its rulemaking process for debt collection, but the timeframe of the survey may push back any new rules.
“As a species, we’re vulnerable to hype – whether it’s diet fads or celebrity news or late night advertisements for juicers or exercise equipment. I’m sure we don’t mean to be so credulous; and yet it’s easy to be swayed, often, by the loudest voice in the room.” Maria Wacker, Vice President of New Business Development […]
An article appearing earlier this week in American Banker focused on the use of resolution conferences in certain court jurisdictions to handle debt collection cases was largely incorrect and based on a fundamental fallacy, according to ARM attorneys with experience in the counties profiled.
In the latest exchange in an increasing arms race among public U.S. debt buyers, Encore Capital Group said it acquired a controlling stake in a debt purchaser in Latin America and a UK-based firm that handles bankruptcies in that country.
Veldos, a leading business process management provider, announced recently the completion of three important acquisitions which will grow its market position significantly and diversify the business verticals it serves.
The Federal Trade Commission last week released the 2013 annual report on its Consumer Sentinel complaints collection system. The highlights: identity theft complaints once again topped the list and debt collection complaints increased very slightly to 204,644. But an analysis of CFPB debt collection complaint data shows only a fraction of the FTC’s number.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray Wednesday gave an update on the Bureau’s activities to a group of state attorneys general. The address covered a wide range of topics, including cooperation with AGs in debt collection regulation and rulemaking.
TECH LOCK, Inc. announces Tennessee-based collection company Automated Collection Services, Inc. (ACSI) has achieved the industry gold standard for ensuring federal and state security compliance with its TECH LOCK® Certified audit.