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CEB Prac. Guide § 2A.35 -- Communications with the Debtor -- Unfair Practices

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In Brown v. MRS BPO, LLC, No. 1:20 CV 06762, 2023 WL 6198815, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 22, 2023), Judge Gettleman dismissed an FDCPA premised on a debt collector's use of a local area code to get debtors to answer calls. When Judith Leavell (“Leavell”) became delinquent with respect to certain debts, including a debt from a Mercury Credit… Read More

The CFPB be issued an Advisory Opinion this Spring prohibiting a debt collector from suing or threatening to sue on a time-barred debt. Regulation F prohibits a debt collector from suing or threatening to sue to collect a timebarred debt. 14 As the CFPB explained in finalizing this prohibition, “a debt collector who sues or threatens to sue a consumer… Read More

In Sanders v. Am. Coradius Int'l LLC, Civil Action No. 2:22-cv-2652 (JXN)(CLW), 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 214456, at *10-11 (D.N.J. Nov. 29, 2022), Judge Neals confirms that 15 USC 1692f's "catch-all" provision cannot be used as a fallback for conduct that already is regulated by other provisions of the FDCPA, such as call frequency and dunning letter disclosures. Plaintiff alleges… Read More

In Ramirez v. Midland Credit Mgmt., Inc., No. 22-cv-02772-VC, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191894 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 20, 2022), Judge Chhabria dismissed a Rosenthal Act case premised on the sale of the debt. Ramirez alleges that Capital One violated section 1692e of the FDCPA, which prohibits debt collectors from using "false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with… Read More

In Valentine v. Unifund CCR, Inc., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44747, the court granted a motion to dismiss on the putative class action claim that the debt collector’s name being visible through a glassine window violated the FDCPA’s prohibition on using a debt collector’s name unless the name does not indicate it is in the debt collection business: As discussed,… Read More

In Iou Cent., Inc. v. Shore Appliance Connection Inc., No. 1:20-cv-2367-MLB, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50674 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 18, 2021), Judge Brown found the FDCPA’s venue provision inapplicable to a dispute because the transaction was commercial and not consumer. Shore Defendants argue the applicable statute is the venue provision in [*6]  the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"): 15 U.S.C.… Read More

In Donovan v. FirstCredit, Inc., No. 20-3485, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 39798 (6th Cir. Dec. 18, 2020) the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit reversed the trial court’s ruling granting FirstCredit’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and in doing so, rejected a “benign language” exception to 15 U.S.C. § 1692f(8) of  the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).… Read More

  In Zablocki v. Merchs. Credit Guide Co., No. 19-2045, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 23737 (7th Cir. July 28, 2020), the Court of Appeals dismissed an FDCPA claim premised on a debt collectors failure to aggregate debts into a single account when reporting to the CRAs. Viewing Merchants's separate reporting of debts from the perspective of an unsophisticated but reasonable… Read More

In Cagayat v. United Collection Bureau, Inc, No. 19-3431, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 7234 (6th Cir. Mar. 9, 2020), the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit adopted and expanded the Third Circuit’s  Douglass decision to apply to an enclosed letter’s text that bleeds through an envelope. The Letters attached as exhibits do not utterly discredit Cagayat's assertion that the… Read More

In Preston v. Midland Credit Mgmt., No. 18-3119, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 1775 (7th Cir. Jan. 21, 2020), the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected a ‘benign language’ exception to section 1692f(8), finding that an envelope’s label “TIME SENSITIVE DOCUMENT” potentially violated the FDCPA. Following his receipt of the letter, Mr. Preston filed this action in which he… Read More

In DiNaples v. MRS BPO, LLC, No. 18-2972, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23937 (3d Cir. Aug. 12, 2019), the Court of Appeals extended its Douglass decision to QR codes. There is no dispute that that provision plainly prohibits the QR code. Still, as other courts have observed, § 1692f(8) is rather expansive when read literally. It would seemingly prohibit including… Read More

In Cooper v. Atl. Credit & Fin., No. 2:18-cv-01254-JHE, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79011, at *15-16 (N.D. Ala. May 10, 2019), Judge England held that the FDCPA's "catch-all" provision under 1692f has limitations where allegedly offending conduct is expressly permitted under another section of the FDCPA. While Cooper cites a few cases standing for the proposition that certain conduct may… Read More

In Hall v. Southwest Credit Sys., L.P., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73350, *5-11 (D.C. Dist. May 1, 2019), Judge Howell found that a debt collector's failure to report to the consumer reporting agencies that the account was "disputed" could violate multiple provisions of the FDCPA. This case concerns one allegation: The defendant reported a debt to credit bureaus that the… Read More

In Brown v. I.C. Sys., No. 16 C 9784, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45384 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 20, 2019), Judge Alonso denied a debt collector’s summary judgment motion, first finding that the call pattern created a question of fact. Defendant argues that its recordings of connected calls show that plaintiff never told defendant to stop calling; on the few occasions… Read More

In Marshall v. CBE Group, Inc., 2018 WL 1567852, at *4–8 (D.Nev., 2018), Judge Navarro followed the ACA Int'l decision and, in the absence of interpretative guidelines by the FCC, applied the TCPA's "plain language". In light of this ruling, the Court will not stray from the statute's language which “mandates that the focus be on whether the equipment has… Read More

In Arias v. Gutman, Mintz, Baker & Sonnenfeldt, LLP, 2017 WL 5330081 (C.A.2 (N.Y.), 2017), the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit did not adopt the argument adopted by other courts that the FDCPA's "general" prohibitions cannot provide an additional basis for liability when there already is a "specific" prohibition set forth elsewhere in the FDCPA. Franklin Arias claims… Read More

In Muhammad v. Reese Law Group, APC,  2017 WL 4557194, at *5 (S.D.Cal., 2017), Judge Anello held that alleged mispresentations made in a debt collection complaint were barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Here, the Court finds Plaintiff's misrepresentation and over-collection claim is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Plaintiff argues she “does not challenge the validity of the 2001 money judgment,” thus Rooker-Feldman is… Read More

In Hart v. Credit Control, LLC, 2017 WL 4216029, at *3–4 (11th Cir. 2017), the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit provided guidance on leaving voicemails for debtors: We find that this voicemail, and other voicemails like it, constitute a communication within the meaning of the FDCPA. Specifically, we hold that a voicemail can, and will, be considered a communication… Read More

In Daubert v. NRA Group., LLC, 2017 WL 2836808, at *4–5 (C.A.3 (Pa.), 2017), the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found that a medical debt servicer did not meet its burden of demonstrating that it or its assignor received consent. The Sixth Circuit found prior express consent where the plaintiffs gave their cell numbers to a hospital-intermediary in… Read More

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