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Washington Lawsuit Scrutinizes Use of Prosecutor’s Seal on Debt Collection Letters

A federal class action lawsuit in Seattle alleges that a collection agency used the King County prosecutor’s seals on debt collection letters to consumers, while failing to disclose that the letter was from a collection agency and not a law enforcement office. The plaintiffs say they received seemingly official letters from Missouri-based collection agency Bounceback which included threats of jail time if consumers didn’t pay the amount of the debt and more than $180 in fees. Bounceback was able to use the county prosecutor’s seal on these collection letters because it participates in a “check enforcement program,” where county prosecutors rent out the prosecutor’s seal and letterhead in exchange for a cut of the collection fees.

DIANE SAWYER

Debt Collector Opens Its Doors to ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

Gordon Beck, Chief Operating Officer of Diversified Consultants, Inc., based in Jacksonville, Florida, sat for an interview last week with ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. Beck said ABC set out to investigate TCPA lawsuits where companies – including collection agencies – dialed wrong numbers. ABC producers told Beck that he was the only collection agency official that agreed to be interviewed.

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Debt Industry Responds to New York’s New Rules for Collectors, Buyers

Now that the industry has had the chance to take a deeper dive into the details of the New York Department of Financial Services’ proposed regulations for debt collection by third-party debt collectors and debt buyers, experts and organizations are submitting their feedback on how to further improve the regulations. Specific questions remain about the correct language to use in consumer notices, and how the rules may impact creditors.

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CFPB Takes Direct Aim at Policing Legal Profession

On July 14, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), a Federal regulatory body created by the Dodd Frank Act of 2010 mounted a frontal attack on this bedrock of separation of powers principle by filing suit in the United States District Court against a prominent consumer collection law firm, Frederick J. Hanna and Associates, P.C. of Atlanta Georgia.