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The “Least Sophisticated Debtor” Is Getting More Sophisticated, And Has An Improved Memory Too

When collectors get sued in an FDCPA action, they face a steep uphill battle. Courts apply the very pro-consumer “least sophisticated debtor” standard when evaluating a collector’s communications, and most violations of the Act are “strict liability.” However, courts have gradually been demanding more and have rejected suits based on hyper-technicalities.

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Judge Cites “Zone of Interests” Protections, Dismisses “Nomorobo” TCPA Lawsuit

On August 8, 2016 a Federal Judge in Illinois dismissed a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) case by determining that the Plaintiff in the matter was not an individual or entity in the “zone of interests” intended to be protected by the TCPA. The Plaintiff in the case, Telephone Science Corporation (TSC) is the operator of a service called “Nomorobo.” On the website the company claims they have stopped over 125,504,140 robocalls. In 2013, the FTC declared Nomorobo a winner of its contest to “design a system to stop unsolicited telemarketing calls before the calls can ring through to the subscriber of the called telephone number.”

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FCC Releases Rules Limiting Federal Government Debt Collection Calls

Yesterday the FCC released its Final Rules to implement an amendment passed by Congress in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Published two weeks after the CFPB published its Outline of Proposed Rules governing debt collection, we now see the possibility that rules on calls to collect government debt could be more restrictive than calls to collect other types of debt.

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FDCPA Safe Harbor Buried within CFPB Mortgage Rules

On August 4, 2016 the CFPB released a rule providing safe harbors from liability under the FDCPA for certain actions taken in compliance with mortgage servicing rules, but after the consumer has made a cease communication request. This will interest the ARM industry more broadly as it may signal a willingness to provide safe harbor where notification requirements are in conflict with the consumer’s interests.

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PRAA Announces Financial Results for Q2 2016; Comments On CFPB Outline of Proposed Debt Collection Rules

On Monday, PRA Group (PRAA) reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2016. The company also hosted a conference call for investors.  PRAA is one of the largest purchasers of defaulted receivables worldwide. Second Quarter 2016 Highlights Cash collections of $387.2 million, (currency adjusted cash collections of $391.3) million versus $389.6 million in […]

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Nixes Bill Connected to His Former Business Life in Debt Collection

According to an article in the Chicago Sun Times today, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill last Friday that would have allowed Cook County and Chicago to use third party debt collectors to pursue delinquent tax debts. Evidently, Rauner felt that this would “penalize property owners who are already facing skyrocketing property taxes.” The […]