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Posts published in “Auto Finance”

FTC Seeks Comments on FCRA Rules Impacting Motor Vehicle Dealers

The FTC will soon propose changes it says are designed to align several existing rules under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act with the Dodd-Frank Act. The impacted rules cover only “motor vehicle dealers” being persons “predominantly engaged in the sale and servicing of motor vehicles, the leasing and servicing of motor vehicles, or both.”

DC Cir. Holds FDCPA Plaintiff Lacked Standing Under Spokeo

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently vacated a summary judgment order against a debtor on her claims against a debt owner and its debt collector for alleged violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because the debtor did not suffer a concrete injury-in-fact traceable to the alleged statutory violations and therefore lacked the required Article III standing.

7th Cir. Holds State Law Determines ‘Present Right to Repossession’ Under FDCPA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that in the absence of an FDCPA-specific rule regarding “present right to possession,” the Court must look to state law to determine whether a repossessor has a present right to possess the property at the time it was seized.

2019 Bankruptcy Year in Review: What We Have Seen and What to Expect in 2020

The year 2020 offers to be an interesting one for bankruptcy litigation. With several issues before the Supreme Court, at least one will have a material effect on financial services. In addition, higher credit costs will spur an increase in the number of bankruptcy filings, both on the consumer and commercial side. With the California Consumer Privacy Act taking effect on Jan. 1, it will not be long before we see issues arising from it percolating into bankruptcy cases. 

3rd Cir. Holds Failure to Turn Over Collateral Repossessed Prior to Bankruptcy Does Not Violate Automatic Stay

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently held, in a case of first impression in that circuit, that a secured creditor’s failure to turn over collateral repossessed prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition does not violate the automatic stay. A copy of the opinion in In re Denby-Peterson is available at:  Link to Opinion. The debtor’s automobile was repossessed after she defaulted on her installment loan. She then filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, notified her creditors and demanded the return of the automobile. The creditors did not comply, and the…

NJ Supreme Court Holds Invalidity of Transaction as a Whole Does Not Negate Arbitration Agreement

The Supreme Court of New Jersey held that where a plaintiff challenges the validity of a transaction as a whole and not specifically the arbitration agreement that is included as part of a transaction, the plaintiff must arbitrate their claims because an arbitration agreement is severable and enforceable, notwithstanding a plaintiff’s general claims about the invalidity of the transaction as a whole. Accordingly, the judgment of the appellate court was reversed and the trial court orders compelling arbitration were reinstated. A copy of the opinion in Goffe v. Foulke Management Corp. is available at:  Link to Opinion. The plaintiffs each purchased cars…

Missouri Supreme Court Reverses Class Cert Due to Overbreadth and Typicality Issues

The Supreme Court of Missouri recently held that a trial court abused its discretion by certifying an overly broad class with a class representative whose claims against the debt collector defendant were not typical of the class. More specifically, the class definition was deemed overbroad because approximately 87 percent of the class members’ claims were either precluded by final deficiency judgments, or estopped by their failure to disclose the claims in bankruptcy, and the class representative failed to meet typicality requirements, because she did not suffer the same alleged injury as the class members. A copy of the opinion in…

7th Cir. Holds Mere Need for Extrinsic Evidence to Interpret Ambiguous Contract May Not Be Enough to Avoid Class Cert.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that merely requiring extrinsic evidence to interpret a provision of a form contract does not render class certification improper, and that absent a more thorough explanation of its reasoning from the trial court, it could not uphold the trial court’s ruling decertifying the class. As a result, the Seventh Circuit vacated the decision of the trial court and remanded for further proceedings. A copy of the opinion in Red Barn Motors, Inc. v. NextGear Capital, Inc. is available at:  Link to Opinion. The plaintiff auto dealerships entered into demand promissory note…

1st Cir. Holds Reference to ‘Auction Price’ Rather Than ‘Fair Market Value’ Insufficient for Deficiency Notice

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently held that, at least under the Massachusetts version of the UCC, automobile post-repossession and post-sale notices must expressly advise the borrower that any deficiency will be calculated using the difference between the amount owed on the loan and the fair market value of the vehicle instead of the difference between the amount owed on the loan and the auction sale price. In so ruling, the Court held that the defendant’s compliance with the safe-harbor provision contained in the Massachusetts UCC that uses the auction sale proceeds to measure any deficiency…

7th Cir. Holds Plaintiff’s Oral Testimony of Payment Demand in Violation of FDCPA Insufficient to Defeat Defendant’s Documentary Evidence

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a plaintiff’s oral testimony that a $100 payment was demanded of her in violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was insufficient to withstand summary judgment where the debt collector defendant produced documentary evidence to support its testimony that no such demand was made. Accordingly, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the ruling of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant. A copy of the opinion in Duncan v. Asset Recovery Specialists, Inc. is available at:  Link to Opinion. After the plaintiff fell behind on her…

11th Cir. Refuses to Compel Arbitration of TCPA Allegations

In an unpublished opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a trial court’s order denying an auto finance company’s motion to compel arbitration pursuant to the terms of a retail installment sales contract with a consumer. In so ruling, the Eleventh Circuit concluded that the consumer’s TCPA claims were an independent cause of action based on rights created under the TCPA, and not subject to the arbitration provision that only covered disputes arising from or related to the agreement or the motor vehicle collateral. A copy of the opinion in Hope Gamble v. New England…