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Posts tagged as “Supreme Court”

Supreme Court: FDCPA Claims Run from Date of Violation – Not from Date of Discovery

There is no discovery rule for federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims, the U.S. Supreme Court held today. Affirming the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit's decision in Rotkiske v. Klemm, today’s opinion also overrules an earlier ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Mangum v. Action Collection Serv., Inc. There, the Ninth Circuit permitted FDCPA claims to run from when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the violation.

SCOTUS Adopts ‘Objectively Reasonable’ Standard for Violations of Bankruptcy Discharge Orders

In determining the legal standard for holding a creditor in civil contempt for attempting to collect a debt in violation of a bankruptcy discharge order, the Supreme Court of the United States adopted an “objectively reasonable” standard, and held that a court may hold a creditor in civil contempt if there is “no fair ground of doubt” as to whether the order barred the creditor’s conduct. Accordingly, the Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, which had applied a subjective standard for civil contempt. A copy of the opinion in Taggart v. Lorenzen is available at:  Link to Opinion. The…

SCOTUS Holds Ambiguous Agreement Not Enough for Classwide Arbitration

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States  recently held that under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), an ambiguous agreement cannot provide the necessary contractual basis for concluding that the parties agreed to submit to class arbitration. Accordingly, the contrary ruling of the Ninth Circuit was reversed and the matter was remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. A copy of the opinion in Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela is available at:  Link to Opinion. The defendant company sells light fixtures and related products.  In 2016, a hacker impersonating a company official tricked a company employee into…

9th Cir. Holds That Citizenship of Bank Acting as Trustee Generally Controls for Diversity Purposes

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Americold Realty Trust v. ConAgra Foods, Inc. did not upset the Supreme Court’s prior holding in Navarro Ass’n v. Lee, and that “when a trustee files a lawsuit or is sued in her own name her citizenship is all that matters for diversity purposes.” Accordingly, the Ninth Circuit held that the trial court properly exercised its jurisdiction over the matter where the bank — acting as trustee — was sued in its own name, and along with the other named…

SCOTUS Vacates Class Action Settlement Citing Spokeo

The Supreme Court of the United States recently vacated the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s approval of a class action settlement against a prominent technology company claiming violations of the Stored Communications Act. In so doing, the Supreme Court concluded that significant questions regarding the class plaintiffs’ Article III standing had not yet been adequately considered by the lower courts following its ruling in Spokeo v. Robins, 578 U.S. ___ , and remanded for consideration of whether any of the named plaintiffs has alleged SCA violations that are sufficiently concrete and particularized to support standing in federal…

U.S. Supreme Court Holds FDCPA Has Extremely Limited Applicability to Persons Engaging in Nonjudicial Foreclosure Proceedings

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated opinion in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP on March 20, ruling the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not cover persons engaged in “non-judicial foreclosures” except with respect to a single provision contained in the FDCPA. Colorado, like many western states, has a procedure that allows a lender to foreclose property without the need to file a lawsuit. Here, as you may recall, a Colorado borrower defaulted on his home loan and the mortgage servicer hired a law firm to pursue a non-judicial foreclosure.  The borrower informed the law firm he was disputing…

SCOTUS Rules Credit Card Company’s Anti-Steering Rules Did Not Violate Antitrust Law

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States held that anti-steering provisions in agreements between a credit card company and merchants wishing to accept the card do not violate federal antitrust law. A copy of the opinion in Ohio v. American Express Co. is available at:  Link to Opinion. The defendant credit card company required merchants who wanted to accept the company’s credit cards to agree to an anti-steering contractual provision. Under the company’s business model, and unlike other credit card companies, it earned most of its revenues not from collecting interest from cardholders but from merchant…

To the U.S. Supreme Court: Does the FDCPA Apply to Non-Judicial Foreclosure Proceedings?

On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP that presents the question “whether the FDCPA applies to non-judicial foreclosure proceedings.” The borrower in the underlying case defaulted on his home loan and the mortgage servicer hired a law firm to pursue a non-judicial foreclosure.  The borrower informed the law firm he was disputing the debt and the law firm, without responding to the dispute, proceeded with the non-judicial foreclosure. The borrower then filed a lawsuit against the mortgage servicer and law firm alleging, among other things,…

U.S. Supreme Court Offers Some Clarity in Assessing Debt Purchaser FDCPA Liability

With its unanimous ruling yesterday that a debt buyer is not a “debt collector” under at least one reading of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the U.S. Supreme Court offered some clarity to the financial services industry seeking to assess debt purchaser FDCPA liability. It did, however, refuse to address an alternative interpretation that will likely be used in an attempt to end-run the ruling. The decision in Henson v. Santander Consumer USA Inc. is available at: Link to Opinion. Debt Collector Must Be Collecting for ‘Another’ Santander Consumer USA Inc. acquired defaulted loans from CitiFinancial Auto and then…

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Debt Purchaser Collecting Its Own Debt Is Not Subject to FDCPA

A purchaser of a defaulted debt who then seeks to collect the debt for itself is not a “debt collector” subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act under an opinion delivered today by the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue before the Court was whether a purchaser of defaulted debt meets the FDCPA’s definition of a “debt collector” as one who “regularly collects or attempts to collect . . . debts owed or due . . . another.” 15 U. S. C. §1692a(6). Here, Santander Consumer USA Inc. acquired defaulted loans from CitiFinancial Auto and then began to collect…

Could Spokeo Mean Rough Road Ahead for FCRA, TCPA, FDCPA Plaintiffs?

Yesterday’s oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in Spokeo v. Robins suggests a struggle to fashion an understanding of what can constitute an “injury in fact.” It pitted the issue of whether a plaintiff’s standing to sue requires a tangible, concrete injury (loss of money, a job or property right) against the concept that the law can identify a “harm” (in this case, inaccurate information in a credit report) which itself is a real injury. Finding the Injury Spokeo v. Robins concerns an alleged violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Robins claimed Spokeo compiled a report about him that contained false information…