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

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In Garcia v. CreditorS Specialty Service, Inc., 2016 WL 3345459, at *1 (N.D.Cal., 2016), Judge Freeman allowed a glassine window case to proceed past the pleadings stage. Visible on the face of the envelope was Defendant CSS's name, its return address, and a “large red dollar sign logo,” id. at ¶ 21; Exh. 1 to SAC at 2, ECF 74-1,… Read More

In Datta v. Asset Recovery Solutions, LLC, 2016 WL 3163142, at *5-10 (N.D.Cal., 2016), Judge Koh granted summary judgment to a debt collector who was sued under the Third Circuit's glassine window theory in Douglass.   Notably, district courts in both the Central and Southern Districts of California have adopted the benign language exception. In Masuda v. Thomas Richards & Co.,… Read More

 In Lindblom v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., 2016 WL 2625925, at *3-7 (E.D.Cal., 2016), Chief Judge O'Neill allowed Plaintiff's Rosenthal Act claim to proceed past the pleading stage.Plaintiff made payments on the loan by phone and online through Western Union's “Speedpay” service. To do so, Plaintiff was required to pay a fee to Western Union.   Plaintiff alleges Western Union then remitted… Read More

In Bishop v. Ross Earle & Bonan, P.A., 2016 WL 1169064, at *3 (11th Cir. 2016), the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held that communications between a debt collector and debtor's counsel counsel are subject to the FDCPA, but still are subject to the least sophisticated consumer standard. We join the Third, Fourth, and Seventh Circuits in holding that… Read More

In Gallego v. Northland Group Inc., 2016 WL 697383, at *3-4 (C.A.2 (N.Y.),2016), the Court of Appeals was called on to review the District Court's denial of class certification in an FDCPA class action.  The Court of Appeals first expounded on whether there was a substantial federal question, because the FDCPA claim was grounded in a violation of state law --… Read More

In Kostik v. ARS National Services, Inc., 2016 WL 69904, at *2-4 (M.D.Pa. 2016), Judge Nealon declined to certify a Douglass-type FDPCA case for interlocutory review, believing that there is no substantial grounds for a difference of opinion. Defendant claims that there are substantial grounds for difference of opinion as to whether the disclosure of a barcode allegedly embedded with plaintiff's… Read More

In Berry v. ARS National Services, Inc., 2015 WL 9315993, at *3 (E.D.Pa., 2015), Judge Restrepo extended the Douglass decision beyond account numbers to include barcodes being visible on dunning letter envelopes as well. Initially, it is noted that in Douglass, the Third Circuit held that “§ 1692f(8)'s prohibition on language and symbols applies to markings that are visible through a transparent… Read More

In Palmer v. Credit Collection Services, Inc., 2015 WL 9315986, at *2 (E.D.Pa., 2015), Judge Bartle granted summary judgment to an FDCPA plaintiff in a Douglass-type glassine window case, extending Douglass to prohibiting barcodes visible on dunning letters. The plaintiff here maintains that Douglass is directly on point and supports her summary judgment motion. She equates the visibility of the debtor's account… Read More

In Pirrone v. NCO Financial Systems, Inc., 2015 WL 7766393, at *1 (E.D.Pa., 2015), Judge Beetlestone followed the Douglass decision, finding that a QR code was the same as an account code that the FDCPA prohibited from being seen on or through the envelope. Plaintiff's claims are based on Section 1692f(8) of the FDCPA, which prohibits using “unfair or unconscionable means to… Read More

In Gardner v. Credit Management, LP, here, Judge Failla found for an FDCPA defendant, disagreeing with the Third Circuit's decision in Douglass v. Convergent Outsourcing, 765 F.3d 299 (3d Cir. 2014).  To the extent that the Douglass Court was concerned with an account number’s potential for disclosing the recipient’s status as a debtor should a third party choose to investigate the number’s meaning, this… Read More

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