On Jan. 19, a federal court in Pennsylvania dismissed a complaint against a debt buyer which alleged violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act stemming from an alleged failure to be licensed under the Pennsylvania Consumer Discount Company Act.
Posts published in “State & Local Regulation”
During what was an extraordinary and difficult year, there was an abundance of activity at the state and federal levels and a good deal of it was driven by the present COVID-19 pandemic. Here is my take on some of the most significant regulatory activities from the past year in consumer debt collection that will continue to impact both consumers and creditors in the years to come.
In a year when society, families and business were forced to make immediate and radical adjustments, government offices also scrambled to proceed in a new environment. Regulators shifted resources in order to comply and respond to complaints of price-gouging while also continuing the investigations and enforcement actions already on the books.
On Sept. 9, 2020, California Assembly Bill 1885 was enacted, significantly increasing the amount of California’s homestead exemption. The amendment becomes effective Jan. 1, 2021.
On June 27, the City of New York’s new rules aimed at language access in debt collection become effective. I am often asked whether they apply to creditors as well. It appears that particular provisions of the new rules do cover creditors collecting their own debt.
Yesterday ARM industry trade associations ACA, New York State Collectors Association and the Receivables Management Association International (RMAI), along with the National Creditors Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association submitted a joint letter to the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs) requesting a 60-day extension to the effective date of its new language preference rules.
The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection has adopted new rules requiring debt collectors to provide consumers with language preference disclosures and an affirmative obligation to request and record the consumer’s language preference.
On March 26, the Texas attorney general acted swiftly, filing a lawsuit against Auctions Unlimited LLC over an online auction that ended on March 24. The auction sparked an article published by the Chicago Tribune entitled “more than 750,000 masks auctioned for huge markup in Texas while hospitals run out nationwide.”
A number of states have tolled the statutes of limitations on legal actions in response to COVID-19. The Iowa Supreme Court announced a toll on statutes of limitations in a March 17 order regarding court procedures. According to a March 23 operations summary from the Iowa Judicial Branch: “The March 17th order is intended to toll the statute of limitations or similar deadline for commencing an action in district court by 48 days. Tolling means you add that amount of time to the statute of limitations. So, for example, if the statute would otherwise run on April 8, 2020, it…
The Maryland Court of Appeals recently held that victims on whose behalf money is collected or property is recovered by the Maryland Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office (CPD) or federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have no authority, through a private settlement, whether or not approved by a court, to preclude the CPD or CFPB from pursuing their own remedies.
The “Minnesota Consumer Data Privacy Act,” HF 3936, is a walleye-size privacy bill that significantly expands on the California Consumer Privacy Act. Unlike the CCPA, it does not include a dollar threshold for applicability.
Instead of introducing one all-encompassing bill addressing consumer data privacy issues, legislators in Wisconsin have introduced three consecutively-numbered privacy bills.