New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Jan. 16 signed into law Senate Bill 332, making New Jersey the 13th state to enact a comprehensive consumer data privacy law, following California, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Montana, Texas, Oregon and Delaware. The law will go into effect Jan. 16, 2025.
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The upward trend in data privacy legislation continued in 2023. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “[a]t least 40 states and Puerto Rico introduced or considered at least 350 consumer privacy bills in 2023,” a significant increase from the 200 bills in 2022.
A new law in New York, which prohibits the furnishing of medical debt to a consumer reporting agency and could create compliance concerns for the debt collection industry, came into effect on Dec. 13. The text of the Fair Medical Debt Reporting Act (FMDRA) can be found here.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 16 released its annual report regarding its activities taken in 2023 to administer the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, spotlighting, among other topics, the collection of medical debt.
The Federal Trade Commission recently announced approval of an amendment to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Safeguards Rule to require nonbank financial institutions to report to the FTC the unauthorized acquisition of unencrypted customer information involving at least 500 consumers (a “notification event”).
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed a trial court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a debt collector asserting a bona fide error defense to an action under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, recently affirmed the dismissal of a claim for supposed violations of the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act where the consumer plaintiff failed to allege facts that the money sought to be collected was a “debt” as defined by section 1692a(5) of the FDCPA, and the demand letter from the defendant law firm indicated that the debt was commercial in nature.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on June 18 signed into law House Bill 4, the Texas Data Privacy and Security Act. This makes Texas the 10th state to enact a comprehensive consumer data privacy law, following California, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, and Montana.
March 15 was the deadline for the New York State Department of Financial Services to publish its proposed amendments to its debt collection rule. It didn’t and so they have expired. While the latest version of the proposed amendments has expired, you can bet on DFS releasing an updated version in the coming months.
The New York Department of Financial Services and the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection are simultaneously engaged in amending their consumer debt collection rules. While the DFS rulemaking has been underway for nearly two years, the DCWP began its efforts last fall.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau increased the maximum civil penalty it can impose within its jurisdiction after Jan. 15, 2023. The increases are mandated by federal law, which requires agencies to adjust for inflation each civil monetary penalty within an agency’s jurisdiction by Jan. 15, 2023.
Just a few years ago, the annual review would primarily encompass federal activity. But a shift began in 2018, and by the close of this year, it’s clear there is far more state activity impacting consumer debt collection.