Debt Buyers + Collectors

On April 2, the California Senate Judicial Committee passed Senate Bill 1061. The bill seeks to prevent health care providers and contracted collection agencies from providing information about patients’ medical debt to credit reporting agencies. The bill would also prevent credit reporting agencies from accepting, storing, or sharing information related to medical debt.

In Scott v. Collecto, Inc., the plaintiff filed a complaint in state court alleging a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and common law negligence based on the defendant’s use of a letter vendor to send the plaintiff a demand. The County Court of Florida found that the plaintiff failed to allege an injury sufficient to establish standing.

A U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida recently granted a motion for summary judgment filed by debt collector, I.C. Systems, finding that the plaintiff failed to provide any evidence of an inadequate investigation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

On February 23, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released an order, dated November 30, 2023, establishing supervisory authority over installment lender World Acceptance Corp. The CFPB found that it had reasonable cause to determine that the conduct of World Acceptance “poses risks to consumers with regard to the offering or provision of consumer financial products or services,” and, therefore, the agency could exercise its supervisory powers over the company under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). Notably, this is the CFPB’s first supervisory designation order in a contested matter, andy, as permitted by the Bureau’s amended rules governing this process, the Bureau chose to publicize its decision (and issue a press release about it).

In representing fintech companies and other lenders, we increasingly confront claims against debt buyers or entities with bank partner relationships brought under Pennsylvania’s Consumer Discount Company Act (CDCA) and the Loan Interest and Protection Law (LIPL). This article highlights a recent case addressing the CDCA decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

A federal district court judge in Nevada recently denied competing motions for summary judgment in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) furnisher investigation case, demonstrating the challenges FCRA litigants often face in convincing courts to decide cases on matters of law.

Recently, Lead Bank and its loan servicer Hyphen, LLC, an online lending platform operating Helix Financial, filed a motion to dismiss a purported class action alleging violations of the Georgia Installment Loan Act (GILA) and Georgia racketeering law arising out of a consumer installment or “payday loan.” Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the loan agreement between herself and Lead Bank was “nothing more than a façade, and a temporary one at that” in an attempt to evade Georgia’s restrictions on payday lending.

We are pleased to share our annual review of regulatory and legal developments in the consumer financial services industry. With active federal and state legislatures, consumer financial services providers faced a challenging 2023. Courts across the country issued rulings that will have immediate and lasting impacts on the industry. Our team of more than 140 professionals has prepared this concise, yet thorough analysis of the most important issues and trends throughout our industry. We not only examined what happened in 2023, but also what to expect — and how to prepare — for the months ahead.

The debt purchaser in In re McIntosh argued that because it was enforcing a debt that was not listed correctly on the debtor’s bankruptcy schedules, it was entitled to assume the debt had not been discharged. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida disagreed and entered an award of sanctions in the total amount of $64,686.93 — including $10,000 for emotional distress and over $21,000 in punitive damages.