Consumer Finance Legal Report

A Critical Resource On Consumer Finance Legal Developments

Mortgage service companies (and their lawyers) got a big boost on March 20, 2019, when the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous opinion in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, holding that a business engaged in no more than nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings is not a “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA or Act), except for the limited purpose of §1692f(6). This decision will prevent needless and unfair litigation by borrowers seeking to…
Companies whose primary business purpose is to collect debts—whether or not they actually participate in the debt collection activities—suffered a setback recently. Despite a debt purchaser’s not having any direct contact with the consumer or even approving the debt collection agency’s communications with the consumer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found the debt purchaser to be a “debt collector” under the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and…
Many loan servicers face the daunting task of issuing affidavits for their litigation cases across the United States. For the sake of efficiency, a loan servicer may wonder whether it would be worth it to streamline the affidavit process by using uniform acknowledgment language. However, research suggests that any alteration of an affidavit that replaces the traditional oath or “sworn to statement” with acknowledgment-like language is contrary to both New York statutory and case law…
The Ninth Circuit recently denied a motion for rehearing en banc in Marks v. Crunch, leaving in place a Ninth Circuit decision that broadly defines “automated telephone dialing system” (autodialer) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The decision conflicts with decisions from other circuits. And in the New Year, the FCC is expected to issue its own new interpretation of the term “autodialer” under the TCPA. Amidst this uncertainty, companies should proceed cautiously…
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently made clear that foreclosure actions qualify as “debt collection” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). See Cohen v. Rosicki, Rosicki & Assocs., P.C., 897 F.3d 75 (2d Cir. 2018). Thus, even if a foreclosure action is not seeking a deficiency judgment and the proceeding is strictly in rem, it now falls under the FDCPA debt collection umbrella in the Second Circuit. In…
In Washington State the statute of limitations on actions to enforce a note or deed of trust can be a brutally effective sword for borrowers. The limitations period is six years, and a borrower may sue for quiet title where “an action to foreclose . . . would be barred by the [statute of limitations].” RCW 7.28.300. If successful, the borrower is entitled to “judgment quieting title” against the security instrument. Two commonly litigated issues…
On June 28, 2018, the state of California adopted the strictest general privacy and data security law in the country. The “California Consumer Privacy Act” will become effective on January 1, 2020 and will transform how companies that handle consumer data will do business in California. The Act will regulate the collection and sale of personal information by companies and will increase fines and penalties on businesses that fail to take “reasonable security measures” to…
The linchpin of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is debt collection. Not surprisingly, litigation often focuses on the crucial question of what is a “debt” and who is a “debt collector” for purposes of the FDCPA. In Ho v. ReconTrust Co., NA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently concluded that the enforcement of a security instrument by nonjudicial foreclosure is not debt collection as a matter of law.…
In a Declaratory Ruling and Order issued in 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) sought to clarify key aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), including (1) what device making calls qualifies as an Automated Telephone Dialing System (“ATDS”), (2) whether a call made to a reassigned telephone number where the prior subscriber gave consent constitutes a violation, (3) the manner required for a consumer to revoke consent, and (4) whether healthcare-related calls are exempt. The United…
Because New York residential foreclosures can take several years and several attempts to complete, it is essential for a statute of limitations analysis to be completed during all phases of the foreclosure proceedings. The discussion that follows includes some of the considerations that should be made during a statute of limitations analysis. Background Mortgage debt accrues as each installment becomes due, with a six-year statute of limitations running accordingly. CPLR 213(4); Koeppel v. Carlandia Corp.,…