Archive for November 2015

Massachusetts Collection Law Firms Are Now ‘Debt Collectors’

In an Opinion Letter letter dated Nov. 2, the Massachusetts Division of Banks declared that collection law firms in Massachusetts are required to obtain a debt collector license pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 92, § 24 et. seq. The Opinion Letter was in response to correspondence from a Massachusetts collection law firm inquiring whether

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MD Fla Denies Class Cert. in FDCPA Case, Citing Ascertainability, Predominance Issues

In an action alleging that the defendants violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by sending a form letter attempting to collect on allegedly time-barred debts, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently denied the plaintiff’s motion for class certification. In so ruling, the Court held: The plaintiff failed

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2nd Cir. Holds FDCPA Action Accrues When Injury Occurs, Not Necessarily When Violation Occurs

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently reversed dismissal of a federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claim based on the statute of limitations, holding that an FDCPA violation occurs when a bank freezes a debtor’s bank account, not when a debt collector sends a restraining notice to the bank. In

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Pennsylvania Bill Would Drastically Limit Telephone Calls to Debtors

On Nov. 20, Pennsylvania Senators Greenleaf, Tartaglione, Rafferty and Pileggi introduced SB 1072, which was referred to the Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee.  The legislation, if enacted, would the limit the number of telephone communications that a creditor or debt collector may have with a debtor to three, total. The legislation amends the Pennsylvania

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8th Cir. Rejects FDCPA Claim Based on ‘No Personal Knowledge’ Affidavits

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claim premised solely on the allegation that an affiant who swore to have personal knowledge of the facts did not, in fact, possess personal knowledge when he made the affidavit. In reaching its

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1st Cir. Holds Failure to File Probate Claim Does Not Void Mortgage Under RI Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently held that a failure to file a probate claim does not extinguish a mortgage lien under Rhode Island law.  In so ruling, the Court held that “the piper must be paid.” A copy of the opinion is available at:  Link to Opinion. The plaintiffs, a

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Oregon Fed. Court Holds Request to ‘Please’ Provide Debt Dispute in Writing Violates FDCPA

The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon recently held that a notice provided pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1692g that also contained additional language requesting that a dispute of the debt “please” be sent in writing violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In so ruling, the District Court held that such

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6th Cir. Holds Voicemail to Third Party Did Not Convey Info as to Debt, Did Not Violate FDCPA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently affirmed judgment on the pleadings in favor of a debt collector because the voicemail in question, which was left at the plaintiff’s business, was not a “communication” as defined by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because it did not convey information about

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Fla. UDAAP Class Claim for Injunctive Relief Can Survive Where There is No Actual Loss

Providing a putative class representative with complete relief did not moot his individual and class demand for declaratory and injunctive relief under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) according to a recent decision from a divided panel of Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. In Ahearn v. Mayo Clinic, 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS

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Illinois Bill Provides Welcome Fix to Illinois Collection Agency Act

A recent Illinois bill provides a welcome fix to the Illinois Collection Agency Act (ICAA). The legislation, SB 1369, corrects amendments made to the ICAA this past August.  Those amendments potentially expanded sections of the ICAA to commercial debt and would require disclosures contrary to (and possibly in violation of) the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices

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11th Cir. Confirms Arbitration Delegation Clause Must Be Challenged Specifically

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently held that a party challenging an arbitration agreement containing a delegation clause – requiring threshold determinations, such as whether an arbitration agreement is enforceable, to be made by an arbitrator – must challenge the delegation clause specifically, and not simply the agreement as a whole.

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U.S. Senator Introduces ‘Stop Debt Collection Abuse Act of 2015’

Bill targets collectors seeking repayment of government debt and debt buyers On Nov. 5, U.S. Senator Cory Booker introduced S. 2255, the “Stop Debt Collection Abuse Act of 2015.”  Though primarily targeted toward debt collectors collecting on obligations owed to the federal government, the bill also brings debt buyers into the FDCPA definition of “debt

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