The CFPB issued a bulletin to remind supervised financial institutions, including nonbank companies that may be unfamiliar with federal supervision, of existing regulatory requirements regarding confidential supervisory information. The Bureau also used the opportunity to formally note that non-disclosure agreements signed by a company do not trump its obligations to comply with CFPB supervisory requests.
In its first full year of taking and publishing consumer complaints about debt collection, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) made public just over 39,000 grievances logged against collection agencies, debt buyers, and creditors for actions taken in the debt recovery process.
A bill introduced in the Minnesota Senate would explicitly add to the definition of “collection agency” and “collector” language that includes debt buyers. This would force debt buyers to get licensed as collectors in the state.
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 Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that on its behalf, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit in federal court against a Texas-based debt collection operation and its current and former principals for illegally threatening consumers with false claims that unless they pay a debt, they will face legal action or wage garnishment.
The Federal Trade Commission Tuesday announced the publication of a short graphic novel intended to help Spanish-speaking consumers know their rights when dealing with debt collectors. The publication describes the rules debt collectors must follow, and what consumers should do if they don’t.
The Department of Education will likely be delayed for several more months in announcing the winners of its debt collection contracts for larger companies. The procurement process in the Unrestricted category has been slowed by protests and amendments to the contract.
The American Bankers Association this week sent a letter to the Federal Reserve’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) offering support for two ongoing audits of the CFPB’s complaints database and urging the OIG to expand the scope of the audits to address, among other things, the CFPB’s proposed plan to publish consumer narratives alongside complaints.
A district judge in Georgia last week sided with a debt collector in an FDCPA suit where the consumer plaintiff claimed violations because collection efforts continued after she orally disputed a debt and did not dispute the debt in writing for seven months. The ruling, while positive for the ARM company, further confuses the oral vs. written dispute issue.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a 2-1 decision that merely offering a settlement on a time-barred debt can run afoul of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because a consumer might consider the word “settlement” to be a legal term and may assume they are being sued or that they could be sued in the future.