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Posts published in “Bankruptcy”

Bankruptcy Court Holds TCPA Revocation of Consent Must Be ‘Express and Clear’

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida recently held that: 1)  A bankruptcy trustee was entitled to recover $1,000 in statutory damages on behalf of each of the husband and wife debtors against a loan servicer for violating the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) by contacting the debtors after they were represented by counsel; and 2)  The servicer could not set off the $2,000 in FCCPA damages against the balance owed on the mortgage loan because, according to the Court, allowing a set off would thwart the FCCPA’s goal of deterring abusive debt collection practices; and…

SD Fla Holds Borrowers of ‘Surrendered’ Property Have No Right to Contest Foreclosure

In a case addressing what it means to “surrender” property under the Bankruptcy Code, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently held that a Chapter 7 trustee’s abandonment of real property only restores legal title to the debtors as if no bankruptcy petition had been filed, and does not also give the debtors the right to contest the mortgagee’s foreclosure if the debtors elected to surrender the property. A copy of the opinion in Failla v. Citibank, NA is available at: Link to Opinion. Husband and wife debtors defaulted on their mortgage and the mortgagee sued to foreclose.…

FDCPA Lawsuit Tossed for Failure to Disclose Claim in Bankruptcy Petition

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey recently dismissed a debtor’s claims for violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the New Jersey Truth in Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA), holding the debtor’s failure to schedule his lawsuit as an asset of his bankruptcy estate deprived him of standing to later assert the claims. A copy of the opinion in Lewis v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC is available at: Link to Opinion. In March 2015, the debtor filed a lawsuit alleging the defendant sent him a letter in an attempt to collect a debt…

9th Cir. Holds ‘Chapter 20’ Debtor May Void Mortgage in Chapter 13 After Obtaining Discharge in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a case of first impression, recently held that section 1328(f) of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), which bars so-called “Chapter 20” debtors from receiving a discharge at the conclusion of their Chapter 13 reorganization if they received a Chapter 7 discharge within four years of filing the petition for Chapter 13 relief, does not prevent a debtor from voiding a secured creditor’s lien under section 506(d) of the Bankruptcy Code. A copy of the opinion is available at: Link to Opinion. In 2007, husband and wife…

Florida Bankruptcy Court Holds Debtor Who ‘Surrenders’ Property in BK Cannot Impede Foreclosure

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida recently held that, at a minimum, “surrender” under Bankruptcy Code §§ 521 and 1325 means a debtor cannot take an overt act that impedes a secured creditor from foreclosing its interest in secured property. In so holding, the Court found that actively contesting a post-bankruptcy foreclosure case is inconsistent with a “surrender” of the property. A copy of the opinion is available at:  Link to Opinion. The Court addressed two separate bankruptcy cases.  The first was a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, in which the mortgagee instituted a foreclosure action five…

Webinar to Review Credit Reporting Risks in Bankruptcy

Furnishing information during and after a consumer bankruptcy is a complex task, and implicates the Bankruptcy Code, Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Recent litigation suggests that both the content and the timing of the furnished information poses unique risk to the credit and collections industry. And a recent string of lawsuits is raising the stakes on information furnished prior to bankruptcy. On Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. Eastern, we will offer our take on the top issues coming out of recent decisions and what you can do to contain risk and enhance your credit reporting…

Eighth Circuit BAP Rejects Crawford

The United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Eighth Circuit recently held that filing a proof of claim on a time-barred debt is not, alone, a prohibited debt collection practice under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A copy of the opinion is available at: Link to Opinion. Husband and wife debtors filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. A medical services provider filed a proof of claim shortly thereafter. After their Chapter 13 plan was confirmed, the debtors filed an adversary proceeding against the medical services provider for damages under the FDCPA, arguing that because the debt was time…

Consumer Financial Services Conference Slated for Nov. 19-20 in Chicago

The Annual Consumer Financial Services Conference organized by The Conference on Consumer Finance Law, and co-sponsored by the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Maurice Wutscher and other law firms, will be held Nov. 19-20, in Chicago. The conference will include presentations by some 45 of the best and brightest speakers and practitioners in the country, on the following topics: TCPA: The New FCC Order Fair Lending and HMDA CFPB Administrative Appeals Arbitration Developments UDAAP Cybersecurity CFPB Regulation of Non-Bank Auto Finance TRID: Issues and Implementation Flood and Lender-Placed Insurance Mortgage Servicing and Bankruptcy State Regulation of Debt Collection/Debt Buyers Credit…

No FDCPA Violations in Simon After Remand

Two years ago, in Simon v. FIA Card Services, N.A., the Third Circuit held that alleged violations of the FDCPA resulting from conduct in a bankruptcy case were not precluded by the Bankruptcy Code. At issue was whether the defendants engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct in connection with their service of a subpoena for a Rule 2004 examination.  The certification of service on the subpoenas indicated service both directly on the plaintiffs and on their attorney whereas they were actually only served on the attorney. In addition, the location provided for the examination was improper under the bankruptcy…

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Chapter 7 Debtor Cannot ‘Strip Off’ Wholly Unsecured Junior Mortgage

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that a debtor in a Chapter 7 case cannot “strip-off” or void a wholly unsecured junior mortgage under section 506(d) of the Bankruptcy Code. A copy of the opinion is available at: Link to Opinion. The debtors in the consolidated cases both had two mortgages on their homes. The petitioner held a second-position mortgage on each of the homes. The senior mortgage on each home exceeded its fair market value, meaning that the junior mortgages were entirely unsecured and “underwater.” Each debtor moved to “strip-off” or void the junior mortgage liens pursuant to section 506(d)…

7th Circuit Rules Secured Creditor Must File Timely Claim to Receive Chapter 13 Plan Distributions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that a secured creditor must file its proof of claim no later than the 90-day deadline under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3002(c) in order to receive distributions under a Chapter 13 plan of reorganization. A copy of the opinion is available here:  Link to Opinion. An individual debtor filed his petition under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. The clerk of the Bankruptcy Court mailed the “Notice of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines” to the debtor’s creditors. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3002(c),…

Crawford, Progeny – More than Proofs of Claim on Time-Barred Debt

It has been several months since the Eleventh Circuit handed down its decision holding that filing a proof of claim on “time-barred” debt violates the FDCPA. The request for rehearing, which I reported about this past summer, was denied. While a petition for certification to the Supreme Court is possible, even if the court accepts the case (and that’s a tall order itself) we would not see a decision before 2016. A Multitude of Crawford-type Claims While it was a safe bet a new round of FDCPA claims would be spawned by Crawford, the sheer number of claims being filed outside the Eleventh Circuit is surprising.…