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James K. Trefil is counsel in Troutman Pepper’s Consumer Financial Services practice, with a primary focus on Financial Services Litigation. His practice includes the representation of clients in federal and state court, both at the trial and appellate level, with a focus on areas of complex litigation, financial services litigation and consumer litigation. James has represented clients within these areas in a wide variety of litigation matters involving class actions, contracts, torts, and federal and state consumer protection laws.

Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Duguid v. Facebook to decide, once and for all, whether an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS), as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) defines the phrase, requires random or sequential number generation. The case will be argued before the Court in the October 2020 Term.


In its

The United States Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants on Monday, July 6, striking down the government-backed debt exemption in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The Court did not go so far as to invalidate the TCPA as a whole, however, finding instead that the unconstitutional

On January 3, 2020, in Buchholz v. Meyer Njus Tanick, P.A., No. 18-2261 (6th Cir. 2020), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s decision dismissing a complaint alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked Article III standing. The Court found the

On August 8, 2019, in Lavallee v. Med-1 Solutions, LLC, No. 17-3244 (7th Cir. 2019), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a debt collector’s argument that its email, which contained only a “secure message” hyperlink, was a “communication” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because the email did not convey any

On February 26, the Northern District of California held in Banneck v. Federal National Mortgage Association that the defendant, commonly referred to as “Fannie Mae,” was not a consumer reporting agency, or “CRA,” as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, granting summary judgment in a putative nationwide class action.  The lawsuit had alleged violations

2018 was a busy year in the consumer financial services world. As we navigate the continuing heavy volume of regulatory change and forthcoming developments from the Trump administration, Troutman Sanders is uniquely positioned to help its clients successfully resolve problems and stay ahead of the compliance curve.  

In this report, we share developments on

Effective January 1, Troutman Sanders promoted 13 attorneys to the partnership, including Virginia Flynn and Ethan Ostroff, two active contributors to the Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor blog. In addition, contributors Mohsin Reza and James Trefil were promoted to counsel, and Kyle Deak was named the managing partner of Troutman Sanders’ Raleigh

A wave of lawsuits filed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, especially in the Second Circuit, continues regarding disclosures of interest and fees in collection letters.  Consumers have complained about failure to warn of interest and fees continuing to accrue, as well as failure to disclose that interest and fees did not accrue.  The

On November 14, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court, arguing a law firm’s nonjudicial foreclosure actions to enforce a security interest on a mortgage debt fell outside the purview of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because the activity did not constitute “debt collection.”

As Congress’ emboldened majority has sought to lessen the federal government’s regulatory footprint, the states have not always been quiet, as one summertime example amply shows.

In 2017, two congressmen introduced two bills which, if enacted, would expand the scope of federal preemption to include non-bank entities. Introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the