John K. Rossman is a shareholder and Chair of the Creditors' Remedies Practice Group at Moss & Barnett, P.A. Mr. Rossman is a nationally acclaimed authority on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the labyrinth of laws that impact the debt industry. He is a counselor and advisor to national and international companies and noted for his intelligent, creative and successful representation of collection agencies, debt buyers, creditors and fellow attorneys in cases across the country.
A long-established exception to the FDCPA’s “least sophisticated consumer” standard has been communications with consumers’ attorneys. Because how could it be argued that an attorney is not “sophisticated?” But a recent Circuit Court ruling opened new ground on that front when it found that some communications with attorneys should be held to the standard.
Collection agencies and debt buyers continue to be inundated with FDCPA and TCPA lawsuits, many of which drag on through months and even years of expensive discovery and motion practice. What if there existed a single argument that could be made in many consumer cases that would successfully remove the matter from Court and likely end the case in its entirety?
The New York State Department of Financial Services announced recently revised debt collection regulations, culminating more than a year of proposals and comments. While the new regulations provide clarity and consumer protection in some areas, they are fraught with ambiguities and overlap existing laws in several key aspects
In the weeks since the Circuit Court decision in Douglass v. Convergent — the infamous envelope window disclosure case — filings of similar cases against debt collectors have been brisk. Two ARM defense attorneys discuss some specific legal theories upon which debt collectors may defend similar claims.
Numerous recent FDCPA lawsuits challenge the ability of debt collectors to assess interest to accounts. These cases focus on a number of factors including whether collection letters need to disclose the accrual of interest and also interest on purchased accounts.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently began a more aggressive approach to the debt collection industry, bypassing the larger market participant examination process and issuing Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) to a number of debt collectors focused on specific complaints and alleged practices.
Listen to a discussion of specific tactics to avoid issues involving CFPB complaints — specifically call volume, time-barred debt, complaints about creditors, and interest issues
While class action lawsuits are typically associated with hefty litigation expenses, consumer attorneys repeatedly filing boilerplate cases may be just as disruptive. In Tennessee, consumer attorneys recently filed dozens of nearly identical FDCPA lawsuits against debt collectors, debt buyers and collection attorneys. A trifecta of wins should prevent future “frequent filer” FDCPA lawsuits in Tennessee and other jurisdictions.
Most lawsuits claiming violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) are resolved without a court ruling on the merits. Further, debt collectors win a surprising number of these out-of-court resolutions, obtaining dismissals of the cases without paying anything to settle.
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.