Effective communication sounds like it should be instinctive. But all too often, when we try to communicate with others something goes astray. We say one thing, the other person hears something else, and misunderstandings, frustration, and conflicts ensue. This can cause problems in your home, school, and work relationships. For many of us, communicating more clearly and effectively requires learning some important skills. Whether you’re trying to improve communication with your spouse,...
ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, and businesses and organizations from a wide variety of industries secured a decisive victory last Friday from U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in its landmark case: ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission, et al.
In handing down its hotly-anticipated 51-page decision in the pivotal ACA Int’l case, ruling 3-0 in favor of business industries, the D.C. Circuit Court focused on the key issues ACA...
The Internal Revenue Service issued an alert Feb. 13 warning consumers of “criminals” posing as debt collectors working on behalf of the IRS as well as a notice of a quickly growing scam involving erroneous tax refunds being deposited into their accounts.
The alert on the collection calls serves as an important reminder of the distinction between legitimate debt collectors working on behalf of creditors and government agencies to help consumers and fraudulent actors.
The IRS also offered a...
In a memo sent yesterday to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) staff, Acting Director Mick Mulvaney provided insight and guidance into his intentions for the new direction of the Bureau.
He reiterated that he intends to enforce consumer protection laws. However he made it clear that this would look different under his watch than it did under former Director Richard Cordray.
"I think it is fair to say that the previous governing philosophy here was to aggressive...
Below is a summary of key industry measures derived from these two data sources:
• Agencies recovered approximately $78.5 billion in total debt in 2016, on which they earned close to $10.9 billion in commissions and fees. Removing these agency earnings from the total debt recovered leaves nearly $67.6 billion in debt that agencies returned to creditors. The five states with the highest total debt collected are New York ($7.3 billion), Texas ($7.3 billion), California ($5.2 billion), ...
GoBankingRates’ latest survey on debt in the U.S. shows what most of us already know – consumers have various debts of various sizes.
Sixty-five percent of the 2,500 consumers surveyed have mortgage debt while 21 percent have medical debt. Fifty percent of the survey respondents have credit card debt, however the majority of balances are less than $500.
GoBankingRates also finds that 25 percent of respondents have student loan debt, with the most common balance being less than $1,000. Amon...
Yesterday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its Summer Supervisory Highlights report for the first half of 2017 which, among other things, highlighted findings related to debt collection.
You can download a copy of the full report here.
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB is authorized to supervise banks and credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets, as well as certain nonbanks. These include mortgage companies, privat...
On August 30, 2017, in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) case involving almost the exact same facts as a case insideARM wrote about on July 20, 2017, a federal judge in New Jersey disagreed with the judge in the prior New York case and denied a motion for summary judgment in favor of the defendant. The case is Ridgeway v. AR Resources, Inc. (Case No 16-1188, U.S.D.C., District of New Jersey).
A copy of the court’s opinion can be found here.
The case involves a FDCPA c...
Last Wednesday a federal judge in Illinois ruled that a consumer who had two accounts assigned to a debt collector did not effectively revoke consent to be called on a second account when he revoked consent to be called on the first one. The case is Michel v. Credit Protection Association L.P. (Case No. 14-cv-8452, U.S.D.C., Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division).
A copy of the court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order can be found here.
Between January 5, 2013 and January...
Last Friday afternoon the Department of Education (ED) filed a “Status Report” in the United States Court of Federal Claims. The report was required per the August 2, 2017 Sua Sponte Order issued by Judge Susan G. Braden. insideARM wrote about that order on August 3, 2017.
Editor’s Note: “Sua Sponte” is a Latin term used to indicate that a court has taken action without prompting or motion from either party.
In our August 3rd article insideARM commented that portions of Judge Braden’s order...
Yesterday the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a groundbreaking opinion in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) case regarding revocation of consent. The case is Reyes, Jr. v. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services, (Case No 16-2104, Second Circuit Court of Appeals).
A copy of the court’s opinion can be found here.
insideARM originally wrote about this case on July 5, 2016. In that article, we commented that that the issue of “revocation of consent” was going to be a major battle...
In an opinion published earlier this week, a federal judge in New York pulls open the curtain to shed light on the practices and relationship between credit repair organization Credit Shield 360 (CS360) and the New Jersey-based law firm RC Law Group, PLLC. The case is Taylor-Burns v. AR Resources, Inc. (Case No. 16-cv-1259, U.S.D.C. Southern District of New York.
A copy of the court’s opinion can be found here.
Plaintiff Tonya Taylor-Burns filed a lawsuit against AR Resource...
Today the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing entitled “Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime.” One of the bills to be addressed would amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The hearing will address six legislative proposals, including:
R. 1849 (Trott), the Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2017
R. 2359 (Loudermilk), the FCRA Liability Harmonization Act
R. 3312 (Luetkemeyer), the Sys...
In dismissing a claim against a debt collector, brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin found that language used by the debt collector clearly informing the consumer that interest and fees would continue to accrue on the balance did not violate the FDCPA.
In Boucher et al. v. Finance System of Green Bay, Inc. et al., the plaintiffs defaulted on medical debts which were placed with Finance System to collect. Finance S...
One of the biggest challenges faced by both consumers and legitimate businesses is the ability to prove they are who they say they are. Consumers are wary that callers may be scammers. Legitimate collectors must ensure they are speaking with the right consumer, lest they risk disclosing personal matters to a third party. This is also called “authentication.”
In the world of debt collection, this is may be the single biggest barrier to the quality of communication needed to coll...
One year after the Supreme Court appeared to lock the courthouse doors to certain statutory claims for lack of Article III standing, courts around the country continue to leave the door open by finding standing exists for a host of legislatively created rights. Although it has been well-settled for years that, to have standing under Article III, a plaintiff must allege both concrete and particularized harm, in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the Supreme Court assessed those requirements in the context o...
Today CFPB Director Richard Cordray announced that the Bureau will be separating the "right consumer, right amount" aspect of its debt collection rulemaking in order to ensure that complexities are properly addressed by intertwining rules for both creditors and their clients.
At its summer meeting of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Consumer Advisory Board, Director Cordray's opening remarks addressed multiple topics, including:
1. Transparancy in the credit card market
Picture this: You’re talking on the phone with a consumer about her debt when she suddenly says, “I’m not paying this debt. Stop calling me.”
What are your obligations? Are debt collectors obliged to cease all communications with the consumer in these instances? Should they merely stop making calls, or can they ignore such requests altogether?
ACA International’s Senior Compliance Analyst Andrew Pavlik provides an overview of options in the May issue of Collector magazine.
Consulting the Stat...
The use of “scripts” by consumers to bait telephone debt collectors into alleged FDCPA violations is a calculated strategy dating back more than 10 years. Typically a consumer obtains such a script from a consumer attorney or from a website. The consumer will then make an inbound call to a debt collector and read certain questions off of the script, seeking to maneuver the debt collector to make a statement that facially violates the FDCPA. These scripts usually include vague, leading questio...
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the big unknowns in our industry, but sometimes it’s the smaller compliance issues that can have the most impact on your business. What are your debt collectors saying to consumers during the validation period? How does your agency handle out-of-statute debt? When can you add fees?
The answers to these questions may vary slightly depending on the unique variables of your agency, but taking the time to do your homework can help protect your business from seriou...