CEB Prac. Guide § 2A.25 -- Communications with Third Parties -- Communications Regarding the Debt -- Federal

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In Best v. Ocwen Loan Servicing (May 21, 2021) ___Cal.App.5th___ [2021 Cal. App. LEXIS 423] the court rejected arguments by a mortgage loan servicer and beneficiary that the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Pracitices Act did not apply to non-judicial foreclosures, relying on Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP (2019) 139 S.Ct. 1029 and Davidson v. Seterus, Inc. (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th… Read More

In Hunstein v. Prefeerred Collection and Management Services, Inc., the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit addressed the question whether a debt collector's use of a mail-service to send its dunning letters, and sharing the debtor's information required to do so, violates the FDCPA. The short story: A debt collector electronically transmitted data concerning a consumer’s debt—including his name,… Read More

In Plumb v. Prof'l Account Servs., No. 3:19-cv-00085-SLG, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84064, at *7 (D. Alaska May 13, 2020), Judge Gleason dismissed an FDCPA action based on communications between counsel. Counts I and II of the FAC arise from Ms. Sanders's fax to Plaintiff's counsel ("the Fax"). In Count I, Plaintiff alleges that the Fax falsely represents that Ms.… Read More

In Scribner v. Works & Lentz, Inc., 2016 WL 3981435, at *1 (C.A.10 (Okla.), 2016), the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit resolved the FDCPA's statutory conflict prohibiting communications which directly or indirectly disclose the debt (15 USC 1692c(b) and permissible communications to obtain location information (15 USC 1692b) In Marx v. General Revenue Corp., 668 F.3d 1174, 1177-78… Read More

In Peak v. Professional Credit Service, 2015 WL 7862774, at *5-6 (D.Or., 2015), Judge Aiken granted summary judgment to a debt collector who was sued by a debtor for a collection v/m to which the debtor allowed access to a third party. Finally, defendant contends the voicemail messages were not communications “with” third parties because it had no reason to suspect… Read More

In Litt v. Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC, 2015 WL 7351781, at *7-8 (E.D.Mich. 2015), Judge Borman found that the debtor had standing, and a valid claim, to sue for 200+ "wrong number" calls to the debtor's parents, even if most of them went unanswered.  The District Court found that the Plaintiff should be entitled to summary judgment on his claim for violation… Read More

In Brown v. Van Ru Credit Corp., 2015 WL 6220521, at *2-5 (C.A.6 (Mich.),2015), the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the granting of judgment on the pleadings in favor of a debt collector based on the allegation that a voicemail message left violated the FDCPA.  In Brown,  a Van Ru employee called Brown's business and left the following voicemail… Read More

In Zweigenhaft v. Receivables Performance Management, LLC, 2014 WL 6085912 (E.D.N.Y. 2014), Judge Dearie found a voicemail message did not violate the FDCPA. The case involved a voicemail message stating that a call was from a debt collector coupled with a return phone call where the voicemail message’s intended recipient is disclosed to a third-party. Courts addressing whether overheard voicemails… Read More

In Travers v. Collecto, Inc., 2013 WL 65452 (D.Mass. 2013), Judge O'Toole found that a voicemail message left for the debtor at a phone number/residence with which he was no longer associated stated a claim under the FDCPA. EOS does not challenge that the automated messages where communications about a debt made to a third party. Rather, EOS asks this Court to… Read More

In Angel v. American Recovery Services Inc., 2012 WL 3594371 (W.D.Wash.), Judge Coughenour followed the 9th Circuit’s rule in Guerrero that the FDCPA does not apply to communications with debtor’s counsel. ARSI contends that any relief for Plaintiff on the facts alleged is foreclosed by the Ninth Circuit's decision in Guerrero v. RJM Acquisitions, 499 F.3d 926 (9th Cir.2007). In… Read More

The Court of Appeals issued its ruling yesterday.  In Evon v. Law Offices of Mickel, here, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found deceptive the practice of sending collection letters to the debtors at their employer's address. Next, even if Mickell assumed that some debtors receive mail at their place of employment, it is not reasonable for Mickell… Read More

In McEndree v. Rash Curtis & Associates, 2012 WL 1640465 (E.D.Cal. 2012), Judge England found that liability cascaded down through the Rosenthal Act and FDCPA when a debt collector communicated about the debt with a girlfriend whom the debt collector mistakenly believed was the debtor's spouse.  Judge England found liability for impermissibly violating the prohibition against discussing more than location information… Read More

In Marx v. General Revenue Corporation, the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court's ruling after a bench trial that a fax by a debt collector to a debtor's employer to verify employment for purposes of wage garnishment was not a prohibited third party communication under the FDCPA.  The Court of Appeals explained: The facsimile in… Read More

In Zortman v. J.C. Christensen & Associates, Inc.,  2011 WL 1576475 (D.Minn. 2011), Judge Ericksen discussed the Foti chronology, and held that an FDCPA claim could be stated where a third party intercepts a voicemail message – even the post-Foti semi-anonymous ones -- if the debt collector had reason to suspect that someone other than the debtor would hear it. … Read More

The Federal Trade Commission requests public comment on a proposed statement of enforcement policy regarding communications in connection with collection of a decedent's debts.  here   The statement addresses three issues pertaining to debt collectors who attempt to collect on the debts of deceased debtors.   First, the proposed statement announces that the FTC will not bring  enforcement actions for violations of Section… Read More

In Gryzbowski v. I.C. System, Inc. --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2010 WL 774386 (M.D.Pa. 2010), Judge Vanaski held that cell phone messages are subject to Foti, explaining: Although there is no Third Circuit case law dealing with the appropriateness of identification of a debt-collector in a voicemail or answering machine message, numerous district courts have been faced with the issue and… Read More

Not all Plaintiffs are created equal under the FDCPA.  In Bank v. Pentagroup Financial, LLC, 2009 WL 1606420 (E.D.N.Y. 2009), Judge Gleeson held that a non-debtor has no standing to pursue a claim under 15 USC 1692c (debt collector can only communicate with the debtor, his attorney, or designated representative about the debt), but did have standing to pursue a harasment claim under… Read More

In Wideman v. Monterey Financial Services, Inc., 2009 WL 1292830 (W.D.Pa. 2009), Magistrate Judge Hay held that an obtuse e-mail sent to a third party about a debtor could state a claim for third party disclosure violation under the FDCPA.  In Wideman, the Plaintiff claimed that the debt collector violated § 1692c(b) when it left a message with the plaintiff’s… Read More