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CEB Prac. Guide § 2A.59 -- Defenses -- Statutory Safe Harbor for Bona Fide Errors -- Mistakes of Fact or Law

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In Williams v. Enhanced Recovery Co., LLC, No. 18-cv-03699-HSG, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137631 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2019), Judge Gilliam granted summary judgment to a debt collector. The Court finds that ERC has carried its burden to establish an entitlement to the bona fide error defense, and the Court thus does not consider whether there is a material dispute… 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 Verburg v. Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A., 2018 WL 346834, at *2–3 (W.D.Mich., 2018), Judge Jonker granted an FDCPA Plaintiff's Motion in Limine to exclude a debt collector's reliance on the bona fide error defense. Lacking binding authority directly on point, the Court concludes that an affirmative defense based on mistake of state law is not available to… 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

In Pasquale v. Law Offices of Nelson & Kennard, 2013 WL 1618020 (N.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Spero held that a debt collection law firm violated the FDCPA by failing to identify in subsequent voicemail messages to a debtor that it was a debt collector under 15 USC 1692e(11), but that its failure to do so was entitled to protection under the… Read More

In Engelen v. Erin Capital Management, 2012 WL 12680 (S.D.Cal. 2012), Judge Benitez found applicable the debt collector’s affirmative defense of ‘bona fide’ error when the debt collector continued to collect on an obligation that already had been satisfied due to garnishment.  The facts were as follows.  On December 5, 2007, Erin, with Eltman acting as legal counsel, brought a… Read More

In Coleman v. Credit Management, here, Judge Lynn held that section 1692c of the FDCPA – related to communications with consumers at inconvenient times or places – does not apply to non-consumers.   Even though §1692d – related to harassing any person -- does apply to non-consumers, the section is not violated where the debt collector only makes fourteen phone calls in… Read More

In Vester v. Asset Acceptance, L.L.C., 2011 WL 4591948 (D.Colo. 2011), Judge Krieger was asked to reconsider an FDCPA ruling adverse to the consumer on the basis that the 9th Circuit’s decision in McCullough v. Johnson, Rodenburg & Lauinger, LLC, 637 F.3d 939 (9th Cir.2011) and its holding regarding the evidentiary value of generic credit card agreements to prove-up a… Read More

In Owen v. I.C. System, Inc. --- F.3d ----, 2011 WL 43525 (11th Cir. 2011), the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit gave guidance in the post-Jerman world on the application of the bona-fide error defense. The Court explained that a ‘legal error’ under Jerman actually requires some exercise of legal judgment, explaining: There is no evidence, nor does… Read More

The FDCPA offers no definitive number on how many telephone calls constitutes harassment under 15 U.S.C. 1692d(5) and Civil Code 1788.11(e).  Recent jurisprudence, at least under the FDCPA, has suggested that a showing of pattern, intent, and consumer complaints about the excessive calls may be required.  For example, in Winberry v. United Collection Bureau, Inc., 2010 WL 996144 (M.D.Ala. 2010), Judge… Read More

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