Collecting for a Creditor vs. Collecting for a Debt Collector?

Section 1692g of the FDCPA requires that “within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall . . . send the consumer a written notice” of the consumer’s validation rights.  But how many such notices are required? Must each successive debt collector…

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What’s In A Name?

On November 1, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals declined to elevate form over substance, affirming a ruling from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissing a consumer’s FDCPA claim that a law firm’s collection letter failed to identify accurately the name of the creditor to whom the debt was…

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Ninth Circuit Clarifies Its View of Materiality

A false statement by a debt collector must be “material” to be actionable under the FDCPA.  This principle has been recognized by the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits.  On August 18, the Ninth Circuit clarified its interpretation of materiality. In Afewerki v. Anaya Law…

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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…

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Bona Fide Error Defense Requires Reasonable, but not Foolproof, Policies and Procedures

New Jersey’s federal district court has provided a measure of comfort under circumstances that will be familiar to most debt collectors.   In Gebhardt v. LJ Ross Assocs., the plaintiff’s attorney sent the defendant a certified letter stating that the plaintiff had retained counsel, and that all communications should be directed to counsel. (The letter also…

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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.…

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