Supreme Court Rules that an Ambiguous Agreement Cannot Be a Basis to Compel Class Arbitration

In Stolt-Nielsen S. A. v. Animal Feeds Int’l Corp., the Supreme Court held in 2010 that a court may not compel arbitration on a class-wide basis when an agreement is “silent” on the availability of class arbitration.  The court recognized in Stolt and later cases that  class arbitration fundamentally changes the nature of the “traditional…

Read More

Seventh Circuit Vacates Fee Award Based on Mootness

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has vacated an award of over $70,000 in fees and costs to a prevailing plaintiff in an FDCPA case.  In Portalatin v. Blatt, Hasenmiller, Leibsker & Moore, LLC, the plaintiff sued a law firm and its debt-buyer client for filing suit in the wrong venue…

Read More

Supreme Court Rejects Discovery Rule in FDCPA Cases

The United States Supreme Court has affirmed the Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Rotkiske v. Klemm, holding that Section 1692k(d) of the FDCPA “unambiguously sets the date of the violation as the event that starts the one-year limitations period.” The decision overrules cases from multiple circuits that have allowed application of the “discovery…

Read More

Supreme Court Provides Harsh Lesson on the Importance of a Writing

Bankruptcy is intended to allow an honest but unfortunate debtor to obtain a fresh start.  In order to keep dishonest debtors from abusing the process, Congress has defined a class of debts which cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.   One of the common exceptions to discharge is debts incurred through fraud.   However, the Bankruptcy…

Read More

Second Circuit Narrows Revocation of Consent Under the TCPA

Earlier this month, Justice Gorsuch’s opinion in Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc. served as a reminder that courts should refrain from reading absent terms into clear and unambiguous statutory language.  On June 22, the Second Circuit followed this directive in Reyes v. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services, and affirmed dismissal of a consumer’s claim that…

Read More

Henson v. Santander: For Debt Buyers, Neither Smoke Nor Fire

In his debut opinion, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote for a unanimous United States Supreme Court, holding that banks and financial companies that purchase and collect defaulted debt are not “debt collectors” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. At first blush, the Court’s affirmance of the Fourth Circuit’s holding in Henson, et. al. v.…

Read More