Civil asset forfeiture

Good news.  The Supreme Court will hear a civil asset forfeiture case next term.  Hopefully we can end this ugly practice.

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Orders from the court

In Hardin from September of 2017 the Sixth Circuit, thru some tortured logic comes to the conclusion that  orders emanating from the court or the court clerk aren’t required to have the FDCPA warnings on them. Congress could solve these questions by simply making it clear that nothing filed with a court or coming from a court are subject to the FDCPA in any way.

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Garnishment and registration of foreign judgments

In Fish v. Stone the W.D. of TN addresses claims that registration of a sister state judgment in a county other than the consumer’s county of residence violates the venue provisions of the FDCPA and that the lack of the required notice “This is an attempt to collect a debt” on garnishment papers violates the FDCPA as well.  The court shoots down both of these arguments.  Victory for the collector.

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Spokeo helps… .sometimes

The requirement in the recent Supreme Court case of Spokeo which requires an actual injury that a plaintiff can point to in order to recover damages has not had a lot of effect in the FDCPA world.  Most courts have found a mere violation of the statute alone is sufficient to allow recovery.

However, in January of this year, the Sixth Circuit put a stop to that theory, at least in the limited circumstances presented by the facts in Hagy v. Demers  &  Adams.  This case should bring some comfort to debt collection attorneys in the Sixth Circuit.

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The 7th Circuit stabs the debt collector in the back

The 7th Circuit had previously laid out safe harbor language that collectors could use when collecting debt with a variable balance.  In a recent decision, the court refuses to allow the safe harbor language to protect the collector due to a very technical reading of the situation.  Frankly, IMHO, this goes too far.  I believe that the District Court’s decision was correct and the 7th Circuit reversal was wrong.

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FTC enforcement action

The FTC continues to file enforcement actions under the FDCPA.  The defendant here is incarcerated and proceeding pro se. Can’t say I am surprised he didn’t prevail.

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A creditor win in Indiana

It isn’t often you see a law firm or collection agency defeat an FDCPA claim based on the bona fide error defense 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(c).  However, this collection agency-Defendant won on cross-motions for summary judgment based on the defense when one of its form letters was changed and the FDCPA validation notice was altered.  The agency had very little in the way of procedures in place to avoid such errors, but the court held that what they did have was good enough.

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