The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed an update to the Communication Act that expands caller ID spoofing provisions to text messages and calls made over VoIP. The bill was sent to the Senate where it awaits committee action.
A district judge in New York this week certified a class action TCPA case against a debt collection agency where the defendant argued it had express prior consent to call a cell phone because the plaintiff had provided that number to the creditor. The ruling referenced and ignored an FCC order that allowed for autodialed calls to cell phones with express consent.
The FTC and the CFPB both announced enforcement actions Wednesday against separate payday lenders for very similar behavior, namely funding unapproved loans for consumers who did not request them and then taking payments directly from checking accounts, also without approval. And for questionable debt sales and collection practices, of course.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said Tuesday that it has sued for-profit college operator Corinthian Colleges, Inc. for creating a loan program that was so complicated in structure, it actually exposed Corinthian to liability under the FDCPA as a collection agency. The company is also accused of a host of other financial violations.
In a split decision, the First Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld a lower court ruling that a collection letter send by a law firm violated the FDCPA because it gave the impression that the consumer could not dispute the debt and that payment was the only option to avoid litigation.
Debt collection law firm Frederick J. Hanna & Associates filed a motion Friday to dismiss an enforcement action initiated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB’s lawsuit accused the firm of filing too many collection lawsuits, which it said was a violation of the FDCPA.
A collection agency that late last month lost an appeal in the Third Circuit has filed a petition for a rehearing, according to ACA International. The case involved an account number being visible through the clear window of an envelope.
At a collection conference in Las Vegas, regulators shared some insight into how they view out-of-statute debt. They called for fuller disclosures to consumers, both on legal action (agencies can’t take any) and responsibility to pay (the consumer, in an out-of-stat-debt situation, has none). Will the insight make it into the Policies and Procedures of collection agencies, though?
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) will propose a bill Wednesday that changes many key provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) including a reduction in the time negative information can stay on credit reports and the removal of accounts in collection once paid off.
Last fall, Bank of America entered into a $32 million settlement to resolve a TCPA lawsuit over debt collection calls the bank made within its credit card and mortgage units. It has been called the largest TCPA settlement ever. Late last month, the judge in the case drastically lowered the amount of money the plaintiffs’ attorneys will see for their work in the final settlement approval.