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.
Credit card giant American Express last week saw a judge in Illinois deny its motion to dismiss a TCPA class action lawsuit that argues the financial services company is directly liable for damages under the statute even though it did not make the calls in question.
A federal district judge in California last week granted summary judgment to the defendant in a TCPA case that hinged on whether the company was using an “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) under the statute. While not an ARM industry case, the ruling explores present vs. potential capacity in an ATDS.
A coalition of dozens of national associations and business groups Monday sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the regulator to address issues that have been raised in numerous petitions concerning the modern application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
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?
A well-established third-party debt buyer needed help. The company excelled at the core collections process, with strong predictive modeling identifying customers most likely to repay, but needed to be more efficient in contacting right parties – while mitigating risk to TCPA compliance.
In 2014, there were 9,720 lawsuits filed in federal courts claiming violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a decline of 5.7 percent from 2013. It was the third straight year of significant declines in consumer FDCPA case filings.
The plaintiff in a case decided last week in federal district court argued that because a debt collection agency technically violated the TCPA in a call to the defendant, the company was also on the hook for an FDCPA claim under that law’s prohibition on “illegal acts.” But the judge disagreed, ruling in favor of the debt collector.
Ask any collection agency executive about their top three compliance issues, and “voicemail messages” will most likely be among them. The reason? The FDCPA can present agencies with a real Catch 22. But the Zortman case offers an intriguing workaround with specific language.
Collection organizations and agencies are under intense scrutiny concerning the manner in which they contact consumers, and compliance risks are at an all-time high. There are many different statutes and regulations enforced at the federal and state levels. Additionally, collection organizations often have their own internal governance rules.