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Third Circuit Reiterates that a 1692f(1) Claim Arising from a Communication to Debtor’s Counsel is not Barred by NJ’s Litigation Privilege

Yesterday, the Third Circuit again held that a communication from a debt collector to a debtor’s counsel is not barred by New Jersey’s common-law litigation privilege. The Court reversed the District Court’s dismissal of a §1692f(1) claim relying on its decision last month in Allen v. LaSalle Bank. As I wrote last month in discussing Allen, the appeal in Ogbin was pending at the time Allen was decided (http://tinyurl.com/4rsyevr). This decision did not offer any surprises or further reasoning into why the state common-law litigation privilege is ineffective against FDCPA claims. The decision is available here: Ogbin v Fein Such

Violation of the New Jersey Professional Services Corporation Act Sufficient Basis for Violation of the FDCPA

When a New Jersey law firm purchased charged-off debt, then filed suit to collect it, it found itself facing a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) putative class action. The lawsuit alleged that Hudson Law Offices, P.C. violated the New Jersey Professional Services Corporation Act (“PSCA”) by engaging in the business of purchasing defaulted credit-card debt and then suing alleged consumers to collect those debts. In denying the law firm’s motion to dismiss the Complaint, a New Jersey Federal Court Judge found that the a law firm organized under the New Jersey PSCA is prohibited from engaging in any business…

NJ Court Allows Mortgage Assignee to Foreclose Despite Lost Note

In Bank of America v. Alvarado, BER-F-47941-08 (January 7, 2011), Alvarado obtained a mortgage loan from Washington Mutual in 2006. After the loan was closed, Washington Mutual lost the note. It made an Affidavit of Lost Note dated July 14, 2006. Ownership of the mortgage loan, which included the Affidavit of Lost Note, was subsequently assigned to LaSalle Bank, as a trustee of a pool of mortgage loans. LaSalle Bank was then acquired in a merger by Bank of America. When the loan defaulted in 2008, Bank of America commenced a foreclosure action. Alvarado defended the foreclosure action on the…

Third Circuit – Communication by a Debt Collection Attorney with Debtor’s Counsel Actionable under FDCPA; No Litigation Privilege

In a blow to debt collection attorneys, the Third Circuit ruled that a letter sent by a foreclosure attorney to the mortgagee’s attorney could form the basis of a violation under 15 U.S.C. 1692f(1) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In addition, the debt collection attorney is not shielded by New Jersey’s common-law litigation privilege. The decision, Allen v. LaSalle, is available here: Allen v LaSalle Bank. In response to a request from the debtor’s attorney, the debt collection attorney sent a payoff letter which allegedly sought to collect fees and charges not permitted by New Jersey law. The…

Illinois Attorney Faces Discipline for FDCPA and Credit Restoration Referral Fees Paid to Non-Attorney

An Illinois attorney faces disciplinary discipline charges allegeing the attorney violated the Rules of Professional Conduct when he paid referral fees to a non-lawyer. The attorney was a principal in the “Consumer Credit Defense Network” (CCDN) self-styled as “a network of attorneys across the nation the nation . . . that specialize in the unsecured debt relief, negotiation and litigation arena (sic).” In addition to the referral fees, the Board alleges that the attorney deceived his clients in the nature of services provided. A client would receive a “Debt Reconciliation Program Enrollment Manual” after paying a fee between $2,500 and $4,800. The Manual outlined…