Debt Buyers + Collectors

On June 11, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released a proposed rule amending Regulation V, which implements the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), concerning medical debt. The proposed rule would remove a regulatory exception that currently allows creditors to obtain and use information on medical debts for credit eligibility determinations. Additionally, the proposed rule would generally prohibit consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) from furnishing consumer reports containing medical debt information to creditors. Comments on the proposed rule are being accepted until August 12, 2024. The Bureau aims to finalize the rule by early 2025.

The Court of Appeals of Indiana recently upheld a lower court’s decision that a debt buyer who purchased a portfolio of defaulted student loans and placed an account with a collection agency qualifies as a “debt collector” under both Indiana state law and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has recently underscored the fact that a plaintiff does not automatically gain Article III standing under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) simply because they are confused by a letter.

A U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Missouri recently granted a defendant’s summary judgment motion in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) case, holding that the plaintiff lacked standing because she did not show an injury in fact traceable to the defendant’s alleged consumer reporting.

Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) submitted letters to senators in Connecticut and California supporting their proposals to prohibit medical debt reporting.

In March, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss a claim that the defendant violated § 1692e(8) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when it failed to report a debt as disputed. Specifically, the court determined it could disregard the allegations in the complaint that the plaintiff had disputed the debt during a telephone call, because the defendant attached the transcript of the call to the motion to dismiss that contradicted the plaintiff’s allegations.

In a recent speech at the National Consumer Law Center/National Association of Consumer Advocates Spring Training, Seth Frotman, General Counsel of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau), focused on medical billing and collections and tenant screening and debt, emphasizing the CFPB’s enforcement of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in these areas.

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.