Consumer Financial Services Legal Update Blog

Courts Appear to Be Losing Patience with ACA Int’l Stay Requests as One-Year Anniversary Looms

This coming Thursday will mark the one-year anniversary of the oral argument in the big ACA, Int’l appeal of the FCC’s Omnibus TCPA ruling. District courts handling TCPA cases under the shadow of the ACA, Int’l appeal appear to have run out of patience with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal, or at least lost their faith that the ruling will be made swiftly. This is reflected by the increasingly number of denials of defendant motions to stay TCPA cases pending the outcome of the ACA Int’l appeal.

Court Issues Epic Smackdown to Professional TCPA Plaintiff Seeking to Sue PACER In Forma Pauperis

If the TCPA has a “rock bottom,” we may have just hit it. As recently explained by Judge Cynthia Bashant of the Southern District of California: “Roy Tuck and his wife Deborah Tuck, together with their son Richard Caruso and mother-in-law Clarice Tuck, appear to have developed a cottage industry suing their creditors for violations of the TCPA, the FDCPA and the FCRA. In each case, the parties request to proceed [in forma pauperis], listing liabilities that far exceed assets. Curiously, however, despite the fact that they have received settlements from approximately a dozen different defendants, their assets and cash in their bank accounts remained unchanged.”

Do Constitutional Protections Allow for the Reduction of TCPA Statutory Damage Awards? A Closer Look at Golan

Sometimes the toughest job a court faces is finding a way to do the right thing. When it comes to the crushing damages afforded by statute for violations of the TCPA, the “right” thing is often to reduce the award to something that loosely resembles the harm caused by the illegal conduct. But does the U.S. Constitution really afford an avenue to reduce damages to a prevailing plaintiff based upon due process or other concerns?

The CFPB Says Fees and Fee-Related Disclosures For Payments-By-Phone May Constitute an Unfair and Deceptive Practice and Violate Federal Debt Collection Statutes

In a Compliance Bulletin released July 27, 2017, the CFPB cautioned covered persons and service providers that fees for pay-by-phone services may run afoul of “sections 1031 and 1036 of the [Dodd-Frank Act’s] prohibition on engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices . . . when assessing phone pay fees.” The CFPB also provided guidance to debt collectors who receive phone pay fees about the possible consequences under the FDCPA.

Atlanta Federal Judge Orders Discovery Sanctions Against CFPB and Dismisses CFPB’s Claims

Last Friday, Judge Richard Story (USDC, N.D. Ga.) entered an order in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Universal Debt Solutions, LLC, et al., granting a defendant’s motion for Rule 37 discovery sanctions and striking Counts 8, 9, 10, and 11 from the CFPB’s complaint. This order is another example of judicial decisions resolving a significant issue for the CFPB in recent years: how to handle Rule 30(b)(6) depositions.

Court Finds that Revocation of TCPA Consent Is Debt Specific, Sanity Follows

It is a scenario that our clients commonly face: when calling a customer to discuss a specific delinquency on a specific account, the customer says “stop calling me.” But what if the customer has multiple accounts or even debts related to multiple product lines with the caller? Is the caller to cease all effort to contact the customer on all accounts, no matter how diverse and for any reason whatsoever? Or is the caller only required to stop calling regarding this specific delinquency and on this specific account? Or is it something in-between?

Why the Bank Examination Privilege Doesn’t Work as Intended

In a new article published in the Yale Journal on Regulation, Dorsey & Whitney partner Eric B. Epstein examines the growing rift between how one would expect the bank examination privilege to operate and how the privilege actually works when banks become involved in litigation with nongovernmental parties.

CFPB Suffers Setback in RESPA Lawsuit

A District Court in Kentucky recently rejected the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s claim against a law firm brought under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, granting the law firm summary judgment in connection with its activities with nine real estate joint ventures surrounding the sale of title insurance policies because the Court found that the law firm’s activities fell within RESPA’s safe harbor provision.