Consumer Financial Services Legal Update Blog

Ninth Circuit Rules an ATDS Need Only Have the Capacity to “Store Numbers to Be Called” and Dial “Automatically”

In Marks v. Crunch San Diego, No. 14-56834, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26883 (9th Cir. Sept. 20, 2018), a three judge panel found “the term ‘automatic telephone dialing system’ means equipment which has the capacity (1) to store numbers to be called, or (2) to produce numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator-and to dial such numbers automatically (even if the...

Financial Industry Groups Should Have a Pulse on the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018: A Legislative Update on the Strictest Privacy Law in the Country

Financial institutions that are grappling with how the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) may impact their U.S. operations should also be keeping a close eye on the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”). The CCPA, or Assembly Bill (“AB”) No. 375, which was passed on June 28, 2018 and is set to take effect in 2020, mirrors some GDPR protections by providing...

Third Circuit to Debt Collectors: “Use Your Real Name”

If you are a debt collector calling to collect a debt and don’t use your “true name,” you may have violated Section 1692e(14) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). That is one of the lessons from a recent precedential decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In Levins et al. v. Healthcare Revenue Recovery Group LLC, the Third Circuit reversed a New...

Callers Beware: Direct Drop Voicemails Fall Within the Purview of TCPA Liability Says District Court

Is a direct drop voicemail a “call” under the TCPA, as compared to a text message, which we know does constitute a call?  While the FCC has yet to weigh in, in the first judicial opinion on the subject, a federal court in the Western District of Michigan found they were in Saunders v. Dyck O’Neal, 17-cv-335, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121076 (W.D. Mich. July 16, 2018).

3rd Circuit Grants Summary Judgment in Favor of Yahoo! in Reassigned Phone Number Class Action

In a much anticipated opinion and big defense victory, the 3rd Circuit granted summary judgment this week in favor of Defendant Yahoo in a reassigned number class action case involving thousands of text messages to Plaintiff’s cell phone using an autodialer.  The Court noted that lawsuit has always depended upon Plaintiff’s assertion that Yahoo’s Email SMS Service was an “automatic telephone dialing system,” i.e., an...

FTC’s Data Security Authority Curbed by 11th Circuit

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has long been considered the agency best suited to regulate data security. The Eleventh Circuit dealt a serious setback to that authority yesterday in LabMD v. FTC, No. 16-16270, striking down its attempt to subject LabMD to proscriptive future data security measures. With the release of this opinion, companies now have a variety of new tools to push back against...

The Ever-Evolving Interpretation of an ATDS: Where Are We Now? (No, Really!)

On May 5, 2018, a broad range of 18 industry groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, including ACA International and members of the financial services industry, petitioned the FCC to seek clarity on the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system in light of the D.C. Circuit’s March 16, 2018 decision in ACA Int’l. v. FCC, which vacated the FCC’s prior ATDS interpretation as unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious.

Congress Considers So-Called ROBOCOP Bills

While the D.C. Circuit and the FCC have been in the limelight over the past few years for the regulation of automated calls, Capitol Hill is now abuzz with its own efforts to answer the clarion call of consumer complaints over the issue. Democrats in both the Senate and the House have decided to throw their hats in the ring by introducing legislation seeking to enhance protections for consumers besieged by the purported ongoing epidemic of “robocalls.”

PSA: FCC Seeks Comment on Reassigned Number Databases and the Creation of a TCPA Safe Harbor

As we reported last month, on the heels of the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in ACA Int’l v. FCC, the D.C. Circuit has created a tabula rasa for the FCC’s treatment of reassigned numbers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The FCC now seeks to clarify the interplay between that decision and the Commission’s ongoing efforts to establish one or more reassigned number databases.

FCC Leadership to Change Composition as Clyburn Announces Retirement

Last week, Democrat Mignon L. Clyburn announced that she will be stepping down from her position as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission before its next scheduled meeting on May 10. Commissioner Clyburn was first nominated to serve on the FCC by President Barack Obama in August 2009, and she completed her second term with the agency last summer. President Donald Trump and the Senate will be responsible for filling her seat with a Democratic appointee to restore the 3-2 Republican-Democratic split and thereby keep with the custom that three of the FCC’s five commissioners be affiliated with the party of the President.