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FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in 1977 to protect consumers from abusive, unfair, and deceptive practices by third-party debt collectors. The law details when and how a collector may contact a debtor. The government enforcer of the law has historically been the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but some regulatory duties may be shared with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection housed within the Federal Reserve, created in 2010.

The FDCPA is a strict civil liability law, which means that a consumer need not prove actual damages in order to claim statutory damages of up to $1,000 per violation plus reasonable attorney fees.

It is commonly believed that the FDCPA will be amended and/or updated in the 112th Congress (2011-2012).

The complete Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (PDF, 326 KB)

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9th Cir. Holds Discovery Rule Applies in All Types of FDCPA Cases

This article was originally published on the Maurice Wutscher blog and is republished here with permission. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that the discovery rule applies equally regardless of the nature of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violation alleged by a plaintiff. Therefore, according to the Ninth Circuit, […]

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Judge Slashes Consumer Attorney’s Fee Request After Accepted Offer of Judgment

A federal Judge from the Eastern District of Tennessee has dramatically reduced a consumer attorney’s request for an award of attorney’s fees and costs in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) cases involving an accepted Offer of Judgment.  The cases were LaPointe v. Midland Funding, LLC (Case Nos. 2:15-CV-171 and 2:15-CV-172, United States District Court, […]

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FDCPA Case Law Review for May 2016

insideARM maintains a free FDCPA resources page to provide the ARM community a destination for timely and topical information on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). This page is generously supported by TransUnion. See the page here or find it in our main navigation bar from any page on insideARM.  The cornerstone of the page is […]

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Debt Collection Lawsuits Revisited: Seventh Circuit Rules Collectors Not Required To Go To Trial

The Seventh Circuit’s ruling stems from three consumers that brought suit against three debt collection agencies for violating the FDCPA’s broad prohibition on false, deceptive or misleading representations threatening to take action that collectors do not intend to actually take. 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5). In each case, the agency had previously filed suit against the consumer in state court. The consumers argued in their lawsuits, however, that the suits against them violated the FDCPA because the agencies never had the intention of proceeding to trial; rather, the consumers alleged that the suits were brought solely to obtain a default judgment or settlement. The proof, the consumers argued, was the fact that each debt collector later moved for voluntary dismissal of their lawsuits.

Podcast: Do Consumers Need to Show “Concrete” Injury to Sue Debt Collectors?

The Supreme Court decision in Spokeo v. Robins was expected to provide clarity to debt industry defendants facing FDCPA and related consumer lawsuits where the Plaintiffs’ allege no actual harm. Unfortunately, the case did little to specify exactly what type of “concrete” harm a consumer must allege to pursue a claim, but did provide some excellent language that can be used to refute consumer lawsuits where no actual harm is or could be alleged.

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Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Determines that a “Debt Collector” filing a Bankruptcy Court Proof of Claim on a Time-Barred Account is an FDCPA Violation

In an opinion issued yesterday in two consolidated cases, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined that “a particular subset of creditors—debt collectors”—may be liable under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) for bankruptcy Proof of Claim filings on debt they know to be time-barred. Both cases were appeals from decisions from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

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Appeals Court Affirms that FDCPA Does Not Require Debt Collector Intent to Proceed to Trial When Filing Lawsuit

Yesterday the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rendered its opinion in Paula St. John, Yvonne Owusumensah, et al., & Bryan Sirota v. CACH, LLC, Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC; & Unifund CCR Partners, Inc. At issue was whether 15 U.S.C. sec. 1692 e(5) dictates that a debt collector must intend to proceed to trial when it files a lawsuit to collect a debt. The Court agreed with Appellees that e(5) contains no such requirement.