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Podcast: Do Consumers Need to Show “Concrete” Injury to Sue Debt Collectors?

The Supreme Court decision in Spokeo v. Robins was expected to provide clarity to debt industry defendants facing FDCPA and related consumer lawsuits where the Plaintiffs’ allege no actual harm. Unfortunately, the case did little to specify exactly what type of “concrete” harm a consumer must allege to pursue a claim, but did provide some excellent language that can be used to refute consumer lawsuits where no actual harm is or could be alleged.

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Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Determines that a “Debt Collector” filing a Bankruptcy Court Proof of Claim on a Time-Barred Account is an FDCPA Violation

In an opinion issued yesterday in two consolidated cases, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined that “a particular subset of creditors—debt collectors”—may be liable under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) for bankruptcy Proof of Claim filings on debt they know to be time-barred. Both cases were appeals from decisions from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

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State Court Opinion in TCPA Class Action Lawsuit Takes TCPA to Task; And Includes Interesting Insurance Sub-plot

Court: “This case is typical of the TCPA class action cases… members received notice of the settlement more than five years after receiving the unsolicited fax, making the likelihood of filing a claim very low. In this appeal, which consists of a 12-volume record and 120 pages worth of briefs… the only ones who stand to reap any significant benefit from a favorable outcome are the attorneys for the class.”

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Appeals Court Affirms that FDCPA Does Not Require Debt Collector Intent to Proceed to Trial When Filing Lawsuit

Yesterday the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rendered its opinion in Paula St. John, Yvonne Owusumensah, et al., & Bryan Sirota v. CACH, LLC, Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC; & Unifund CCR Partners, Inc. At issue was whether 15 U.S.C. sec. 1692 e(5) dictates that a debt collector must intend to proceed to trial when it files a lawsuit to collect a debt. The Court agreed with Appellees that e(5) contains no such requirement.

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Consent Order Compliance: Navigating The CFPB’s Unofficial “Rules” Governing Debt Collection

The CFPB has entered into consent orders with major creditors, debt buyers, and law firms during the past year relating to key areas of their collection practices.  The consent orders impose significant new requirements relating to data integrity, dispute handling, debt substantiation, debt sales, affidavit practices, and litigation practices.  The orders are not formal “rules” […]

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How Spokeo May Limit Consumer Financial Services Litigation

This week’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Spokeo v. Robins should bolster the defense of companies subject to several federal consumer protection statutes. The ruling addresses lawsuits that claim an injury created solely by the violation of a federal statute and require the plaintiff to demonstrate not only that the statute was violated, but that the plaintiff herself suffered harm.

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U.S. District Court in New York Grants Debt Collector Motion to Certify Important FDCPA Issue for Interlocutory Appeal

In an Order dated May 5, 2016 a Federal Judge in New York has determined that a decision he rendered in the matter of Halberstam v. Global Credit and Collection Corp. (U.S. District Court, ED, NY, 15-cv-5696 (BMC) earlier this year should be certified for an immediate interlocutory appeal. (Editor’s Note: Interlocutory actions are certified by courts when an issue presents a question of law that should be answered by an appellate court before a trial may proceed or to prevent irreparable harm from occurring to a person or property during the pendency of a lawsuit or proceeding. Generally, courts are generally reluctant to make interlocutory orders.)