CEB Prac. Guide § 2A.34 -- Communications with the Debtor -- False or Misleading Representations

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In Scott v. Credit Consulting Servs., No. H049063, 2022 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5210, at *21-24 (Aug. 23, 2022), the Court of Appeal in an unpublished decision reversed summary judgment granted by the trial court in favor of the debt collector. The misleading character of a covered communication is material if it could "cause the least sophisticated debtor to suffer… Read More

In Richmond v. Medicredit, Inc., No. 5:21-CV-00068-KDB-DSC, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130092, at *8 (W.D.N.C. July 22, 2022), Judge Bell denied an FDCPA defendant's summary judgment motion. The Court finds that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Medicredit reported Richmond's debts as disputed to the credit reporting agencies ("CRAs"). The FDCPA protects consumers from certain… Read More

We previously reported on this case here:  https://www.severson.com/consumer-finance/district-court-cal-finds-no-fdcpa-claim-based-on-reporting-account-as-disputed-when-debtor-did-not-dispute-the-debt/ Now, again, in Samano v. LVNV Funding, LLC, No. 1:21-cv-01692-SKO, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114028, at *4-8 (E.D. Cal. June 27, 2022), Magistrate Oberta again granted a Motion to Dismiss, but again gave leave to amend, on whether credit reporting constituted debt collection activity. The purposes of the FDCPA are "to eliminate… Read More

On June 29, 2022, the CFPB issued an Advisory Opinion on collection of "convenience fees".  https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-moves-to-reduce-junk-fees-charged-by-debt-collectors/  A copy of the Advisory Opinion can be found here. Severson has been following the CFPB's evolving position(s) and regulation of "convenience fees".   CFPB-2017-S&WConvenience-Fees-Bulletin; 2018-AmericanBarAssociation-Article-on-Convnience-Fees Referring to its 2017 Compliance Bulletin, the CFPB stated: For example, in 2017, the CFPB issued a compliance bulletin… Read More

In Snyder v. Finley & Co., L.P.A., No. 21-3997, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 16512, at *1 (6th Cir. June 15, 2022), the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit explained how, and when, a debt collector can be found liable when losing litigation on the debt itself; i.e. does the debt collector ipso facto violate the FDCPA when it loses… Read More

In Thompson v. Renner, No. 21-1366, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 11706, at *10-12 (6th Cir. Apr. 28, 2022), the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit found that a garnishment application to a state court was a communication under under 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5) But even without state-specific rules regarding affirmative representations, filing a garnishment request without reasonable belief that… Read More

In a strange fact pattern, in Samano v. LVNV Funding, LLC, No. 1:21-cv-01692-SKO, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72102, at *11-14 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 18, 2022), Magistrate Judge Oberto dismissed FDCPA claims derived from Plaintiff's complaint that the debt collector reported the Account as disputed when the Plaintiff previously had written to the debt collector to advise that he did not… Read More

In Almada v. Krieger Law Firm, A.P.C., No. 21-55275, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 1946, at *4-5 (9th Cir. Jan. 24, 2022), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a dunning letter was not deceptive because "fees" claimed were "paralegal" fees. Almada argues that Kriger's assessment of the prelien fee violates the FDCPA because the fee was not… Read More

In Mariscal v. Flagstar Bank, FSB, No. ED CV 19-2023-DMG (SHKx), 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171374, at *4-8 (C.D. Cal. Sep. 9, 2021), Judge Gee dismissed, a second time, the Plaintiff's Rosenthal Act Class Action challenging a mortgage company's "pay-to-pay" fees. The fee itself need not be a debt, as long as it is connected to the collection of a… Read More

In Canady v. Kaps & Co. (USA) Ltd. Liab. Co., No. 4:20-CV-1253-CLM, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148878, at *7-9 (N.D. Ala. Aug. 9, 2021), Judge Maze found that an FDCPA Plaintiff stated a 1692e(8) claim. Kaps also argues that Canady's complaint fails to state a claim under § 1692e(8) because Canady alleges that she disputed the debt only after Kaps… Read More

In Wood v. Sec. Credit Servs., LLC, No. 20-cv-02369, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135926, at *5 (N.D. Ill. July 19, 2021), Judge Norgle denied summary judgment against a debt collector due to a question of fact regarding the debt collector's knowledge of a dispute regarding the reporting of the debt.  The District Court outlined the legal standards under 15 USC… Read More

In Smith v. Stewart, Zlimen & Jungers, Ltd. (8th Cir. 2021) 990 F.3d 640, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of consolidation actions under the FDCPA against the same debt collection law firm and declined to hold that a FDCPA claim is stated ipso facto because the debt collector lost the underlying collection action. In underlying collections actions… Read More

The 3rd Circuit upheld a summary judgment ruling that dismissed a putative class action against a law firm: Candace Moyer brought a putative class action against Patenaude  &  Felix,  A.P.C.  under  the  Fair  Debt  Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) after Patenaude sent her a collection letter inviting her to “eliminate further collection action” by calling  Patenaude.  Moyer  claimed  that  this  invitation … Read More

In Kaiser v. Cascade Capital, LLC, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 6754, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of the District Court for the District of Oregon that granted a motion to dismiss where the District Court reasoned the debt collector did not violate the FDCPA prohibitions on attempting to collect on a time barred debt because the… Read More

In Elbert v. RoundPoint Mortg. Servicing Corp., No. 20-cv-00250-MMC, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221611 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 25, 2020), Judge Chesney allowed a Rosenthal Act claim to proceed against a mortgage servicer based on charges assessed when the consumer made payments by telephone. As noted, a violation of the FDCPA constitutes a violation of the Rosenthal Act as well. See… Read More

In Lembeck v. Arvest Cent. Mortg. Co., No. 20-cv-03277-VC, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205511, at *1-5 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 3, 2020), Judge Chhabria denied a mortgage servicer's FRCP 12(b)(6) motion regarding the propriety of the servicer's charging the Plaintiffs an IVR fee to make their mortgage payments. Valerie Lembeck alleges that her mortgage servicer, Arvest Central Mortgage Company, violates California… Read More

In Ruiz v. Hunt & Henriques, No. D075286, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4847 (July 29, 2020), in the context of an anti-SLAPP motion brought by the debt collection law firm, the Court of Appeal found that a debtor need not dispute the debt to challenge the amount of the debt stated. Hunt alternatively argues that Ruiz cannot recover under… Read More

In Webster v. Receivables Performance Mgmt., No. 1:18-cv-03940-TWP-DML, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128233 (S.D. Ind. July 21, 2020), Judge Walton Pratt found that a debt collector violated the FDCPA by failing to report an account as ‘disputed’ despite the fact that the consumer did not dispute the debt within the 30-day validation period and despite the consumer’s faxing a dispute… Read More

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