There has been a lot of litigation relating to envelopes recently, but section 1692f(8) of the FDCPA, which regulates collection envelopes, is not new. It has been a source of frustration for collectors for decades. Fortunately, some courts have recognized that a strict application of section 1692f(8) may lead to absurd results, and have held that “benign language” on an envelope does not violate the FDCPA. Unfortunately, the word “benign” can be VERY slippery.
A federal judge in Indiana last week dismissed part of an enforcement action brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against a for-profit college under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) because TILA actions are subject to a one-year statute of limitations. A collection law firm currently embroiled in a nasty legal fight with the CFPB jumped on the opportunity to note that the FDCPA carries similar restrictions.
A recent trend has evolved in FDCPA litigation where courts have allowed bankrupt debtors to file FDCPA claims based on the alleged invalidity of a proof of claim filed by a third party collector and/or debt buyer. But a precedential Circuit Court ruling Tuesday appears to limit the timing of some of those suits.
The Federal Trade Commission, jointly with the New York State Office of the Attorney General, has filed lawsuits aimed at shutting down two particularly egregious and abusive debt collection operations centered in Buffalo, N.Y. that target consumers nationwide
The number of lawsuits filed by consumers under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) increased in January compared to the same period in 2014. Lawsuits citing violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) were down in year-over-year comparison. It reverses a trend from the past three years, but 2015 is still young.
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.
A bill introduced in the New York State Senate last week would make it illegal for debt collectors and original creditors to use social media in their collection efforts. The bill uses vague language in its prohibitions, but its intent is very clear.
A federal judge recently noted in an opinion that the FDCPA is not a game, admonishing a consumer and their attorney for bringing a lawsuit against a collection agency. But a recent class action settlement, combined with others similar to it every day, show that the statute is the playing field in a big game between ARM firms and plaintiffs attorneys.
“This case…goes beyond anything that the Court has seen. It represents a deliberate and transparent attempt by a sophisticated debtor to entrap a collection company into a technical violation. Even more problematically, plaintiff chose to bring this action even though there is a tape recording showing that the attempt at entrapment utterly failed.” — Judge Brian M. Cogan
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that his office has filed a lawsuit against a Buffalo, N.Y. collection agency with accusations including the impersonation of Ohio government agencies and threats of arrest. The firm allegedly spoofed caller IDs to make it appear the calls were coming from real government office numbers.