The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday unanimously reversed a lower court ruling in Mais v. Gulf Coast Collection Bureau, a case that was extremely controversial in the debt collection industry due to the district judge deliberately ignoring an FCC ruling regarding consent to call a cell phone. Monday’s decision and opinion is seen as a major victory for debt collectors.
A hot issue in TCPA litigation is the scope of consent necessary to place automated calls to consumers where the consumer has provided a cell phone number to a company in connection with a specific transaction or application.
A district judge in New York this week certified a class action TCPA case against a debt collection agency where the defendant argued it had express prior consent to call a cell phone because the plaintiff had provided that number to the creditor. The ruling referenced and ignored an FCC order that allowed for autodialed calls to cell phones with express consent.
Last fall, Bank of America entered into a $32 million settlement to resolve a TCPA lawsuit over debt collection calls the bank made within its credit card and mortgage units. It has been called the largest TCPA settlement ever. Late last month, the judge in the case drastically lowered the amount of money the plaintiffs’ attorneys will see for their work in the final settlement approval.
If you think developing a compliance management system is too costly — try getting sued. A growing trend in CFPB compliance for small- and medium-sized collection agencies and debt buyers is to retain a third party with the experience, skills and infrastructure to help them develop, support and drive their in house compliance management system. […]
Lawsuits against ARM firms citing violations of the FDCPA increased slightly in July, but were still on pace to finish far below the number filed in 2013. TCPA lawsuits also bucked their 2014 trend by decreasing on a month-over-month basis, but still remain on pace to grow significantly for the year.
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently being urged to provide guidance and make rules more clear in its regulation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Two separate petitions for clarification have received attention lately, including from a group of U.S. Representatives.
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.
What headlines fail to acknowledge is that by levying outrageous fines, our regulators are failing to recognize the rapidly changing landscape of the American phone user and the essential need of superior collection techniques to help restore our essential credit economy.