Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor

Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor

monitoring the financial services industry to help companies navigate through regulatory compliance, enforcement, and litigation issues

Tim J. St. George

Tim J. St. George

Blog Role:
Contributor – Credit Reporting & Data Brokers

CFS Value:
Tim specializes in the areas of business disputes and complex litigation in the financial services industry.

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District Court Rejects FCRA Class Action Settlement for Lack of Standing

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening
In Robertson v. Allied Solutions, LLC, plaintiff Shameca Robertson brought a class action claim in the Southern District of Indiana against Allied Solutions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  In the complaint, Robertson asserted two claims against Allied Solutions: (1) that the company failed to provide her with an FCRA-compliant disclosure informing her that it… Continue Reading

Debt Collector Defeats FDCPA Suit with Bona Fide Error Defense

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Debt Buyers & Collectors
A federal judge in Utah has ruled that a debt collector may rely on the “bona fide error” defense to defeat a claim for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq.  Analyzing the compliance procedures that the debt collector had in place, the Court granted summary judgment for… Continue Reading

New York Passes Law Overhauling Process for Sealing Old Felony Convictions

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening
Effective October 7, New York law now authorizes state courts to seal nonviolent criminal convictions that are more than ten years old.  The newly enacted New York Criminal Procedure Law § 160.59 allows criminal defendants to apply to seal one felony and one misdemeanor conviction, or two misdemeanor convictions, for offenses other than violent and… Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Guidance to Small Businesses on Complying With Rule Banning Class Action Waivers

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers
On July 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its long-awaited final Rule banning class action waivers in arbitration provisions for covered entities, as well as requiring the covered entities to provide information to the CFPB regarding any efforts to compel arbitration.  This Rule is of significance to any financial services company that utilizes consumer… Continue Reading

No Vacancy – Court Denies Class Certification in FCRA Case Against Hyatt

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers
On March 13, 2017, Carlos Guarisma filed a class action complaint against Hyatt Equities, alleging violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  The complaint alleges that Hyatt printed more than the last five digits of customers’ credit card numbers on hotel receipts.  Guarisma sought to represent a class of Hyatt hotel guests.  This past week,… Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Other Business Associations Sue to Overturn Ban on Class Action Waivers

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to invalidate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Rule banning class action waivers in arbitration provisions contained in financial institutions’ contracts with consumers.  Compliance with the Rule would be required beginning March 19, 2018.  The lawsuit was filed in the United… Continue Reading

District of New Jersey Judge Allows Consumer’s 1099C Disclosure Case to Continue

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Debt Buyers & Collectors
On September 28, 2017, the District of New Jersey denied a debt collector’s motion to dismiss a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) claim based on 1099C language contained in a collection letter.  This decision continues a recent trend, particularly within the courts of the Third Circuit, in denying motions to dismiss on this issue.  … Continue Reading

Northern District of Illinois Says that Revocation of Consent for One is Not Revocation of Consent for All

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Debt Buyers & Collectors
On August 23, a federal judge in Illinois ruled that a consumer who had multiple accounts with different creditors assigned to the same collection agency did not effectively revoke consent for all accounts merely by revoking consent for one.  Specifically, the Court said that when a consumer told a collection agency to stop calling him… Continue Reading

11th Circuit Applies Totality-of-the-Circumstance Analysis to Judicial Estoppel

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Debt Buyers & Collectors, Mortgage Lenders & Servicers
On September 18, in an en banc review, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overruled, in part, seminal cases Barger v. City of Cartersville, 348 F.3d 1289 (11th Cir. 2003) and Burnes v. Pemco Aeroplex, Inc., 291 F.3d 1282 (11th Cir. 2002), adopting a totality-of-the-circumstances analysis when facing questions of judicial estoppel.  In… Continue Reading

District Court Denies Motion to Strike in FCRA Background Check Class Action

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening
In Fosbrink v. Area Wide Protective, Inc., William Fosbrink sued defendant Area Wide Protective in a class action complaint for allegedly violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s provisions regarding employment background checks.  According to Fosbrink, Area Wide violated the FCRA in three ways: (1) it failed to provide him with a stand-alone disclosure informing him… Continue Reading

Plaintiff’s Counsel Ordered to Pay Defendant’s Fees and Costs in Bad Faith FDCPA Action

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Debt Buyers & Collectors
On September 20, a United States District judge for the Northern District of California granted defendant United Recovery System’s motion for attorneys’ fees and costs arising from its successful defense of a lawsuit based on alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, also known as… Continue Reading

Starbucks Hit with FCRA Class Action

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening
Starbucks Corp. has been sued in a proposed class action in the Northern District of Georgia for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act with its employment application process.  Plaintiff Kevin Wills claims Starbucks rejected job applicants based on consumer reports without first providing a copy of the reports to the applicants and notifying… Continue Reading

NYDFS Directed to Regulate Consumer Reporting Agencies

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers
On September 18, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a press release directing the New York Department of Financial Services to impose new rules on consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”).  The new regulation would require CRAs to register with New York for the first time and comply with the state’s cybersecurity standard.  The standard – which… Continue Reading

West Virginia Federal Court Preliminarily Approves Nearly $30M TCPA Class Action Settlement

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Cyber Security, Information Governance & Privacy
In re Monitronics International, Inc., pending in the Northern District of West Virginia, is a consolidated class action lawsuit brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  After years of contentious litigation, this past week the Court preliminarily approved a class action settlement of $28 million.  This significant settlement serves as another example of the high… Continue Reading

FTC Says Its Focus Must Be on Instances of Real Harm to Consumers

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers, Cyber Security, Information Governance & Privacy, Mortgage Lenders & Servicers, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
In a September 19 speech at the Federal Communications Bar Association in Washington, FTC Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen stated that the Commission should focus on addressing instances of “substantial consumer injury” in deciding which cases to pursue.  Echoing (intentionally or not) the language of the Supreme Court’s foundational decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins,… Continue Reading

Bill to Cap FCRA Liability Gets Hearing Before Congressional Subcommittee

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers
This past May, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) introduced H.R. 2359, the FCRA Liability Harmonization Act, which would cap class action damages in Fair Credit Reporting Act claims at $500,000 or one percent of the defendant’s net worth, whichever is less, and eliminate punitive damages.  Such changes would align the Fair Credit Reporting Act with numerous… Continue Reading

Join Us at the National Association of Professional Background Screeners Annual Conference

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening, CFS Events
We are pleased to announce that Troutman Sanders partners David Anthony, Cindy Hanson, and Tim St. George will be featured speakers at the upcoming National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Annual Conference, to be held in Orlando, Florida on September 17-19, 2017. On Tuesday, September 19, David, Cindy and Tim will speak on a panel entitled “FCRA… Continue Reading

Court Finds Congress Has Waived Governmental Sovereign Immunity for FCRA Violations

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers
In Kent v. TransUnion, plaintiff Rowdy Kent sued multiple consumer reporting agencies and the United States Defense Finance and Accounting Services for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  DFAS moved to dismiss Kent’s claims, arguing that it possesses sovereign immunity from claims under the FCRA.  On August 25, the District Court for the… Continue Reading

Indiana Becomes First State to Prohibit Ban-the-Box Ordinances

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening
Countering a nationwide trend of “ban the box” ordinances that prohibit employers from asking about an individual’s criminal history at the initial application stage, Indiana has become the first state to ensure through legislation that employers can inquire into applicants’ criminal histories.  The legislation prohibits localities from implementing “ban the box” ordinances.  The measure has… Continue Reading

Courier Service Settles Lawsuit Challenging Background Check Disclosure Form and Notices

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers, Featured Posts
The recent matter of Nesbitt, et al. v. Postmates Inc., Case No. CGC15547146 in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco, demonstrates the continuing trend of litigation regarding the content of background disclosure forms, as well as ongoing issues regarding the failure of employers to provide notice of adverse action… Continue Reading

Defendant Seeks To Stymie Plaintiff’s ‘False Pretense’ Claim Under the FCRA

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening
In Patel v. Comcast Corporation, plaintiff consumer Mounang Patel brought a purported class action lawsuit against defendant Comcast Corporation, arguing that Comcast unlawfully obtains background checks (also referred to as consumer reports) on consumers under false pretenses.  On July 17, Comcast moved to dismiss this class claim on the ground that Patel failed to allege… Continue Reading

Indiana Governor Issues Executive Order “Banning the Box”

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has issued an executive order “banning the box” for jobs within the executive branch.  Effective July 1, applicants for employment in the executive branch will no longer be subject to inquiries about their criminal history at the initial application stage, unless the conviction for a specific crime would disqualify the applicant… Continue Reading

Arbitration Rule Compliance Date Set for March 19, 2018

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers, Featured Posts, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
Financial institutions with arbitration clauses in consumer contracts are on the clock. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new Arbitration Rule was published in the Federal Register today, with an effective date of September 18, 2017 and a compliance date of March 19, 2018. Absent congressional action or successful litigation challenge, those financial institutions that… Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Rule Banning Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Provisions

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers, Featured Posts, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
On July 10, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its long-awaited final rule banning class action waivers in arbitration provisions for covered entities, as well as requiring the covered entities to provide information to the CFPB regarding any efforts to compel arbitration. This rule is of significance to any financial services company that utilizes… Continue Reading