A basic premise of debt collection law is that a creditor cannot collect a debt from someone whom does not owe that debt. However, what if one were to flip that premise? What if a person whom didn’t owe a debt filed suit under the FDCPA against a law firm which previously filed an “in rem” foreclosure action and named that person as a party in the foreclosure action? Read more
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, introduced The FHA Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2019 in an attempt to combat foreclosures for borrowers with FHA mortgages. The Act would increase HUD oversight of FHA mortgage servicers in an effort to make sure every homeowner with an FHA mortgage is given fair opportunities to avoid foreclosure once they have defaulted. Read more
Introduced May 21, Ohio H.B. 251 has been referred to the House’s Civil Justice Committee. This bill is essentially a re-introduction of the previously withdrawn H.B. No. 694 from May 2018. H.B. 694 was withdrawn from committee consideration in early December 2018. KWA previously reported on this in January.
H.B. 251 would amend R.C. 2305.06 and R.C. 2305.07 by reducing the statute of limitation on written contracts from eight (8) years to three (3) years and from six (6) years to three (3) years on non-written contracts. Section 4 of the bill mandates for written or non-written contracts that, “the period of limitations for causes of action would be three years from the bill’s effective dates, or the expiration of the period of limitations that was in effect prior to the bill’s effective dates, whichever occurs first.” Read more
Creditors should keep a watchful eye on the state capital this new year, as there may be a significant updates to Ohio Revised Codes §2305.06 and 2305.07. On May 22, 2018, Rep. George Lang introduced House Bill 694, which proposes to shorten the statute of limitations for all contracts. Co-sponsors of the bill include: Rep. Reineke, Rep. Riedel, Rep. Romanchuk, and Rep. Becker. Read more
Judge Nugent issued his final ruling in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Weltman, Weinberg, & Reis Co., LPA on July 25, 2018. This decision was a big win for Weltman and the creditors’ bar generally. In this case, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) argued that Weltman violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) by sending letters to debtors on its letterhead, under the theory that the letters constituted an implicit representation that an attorney had been meaningfully involved in the file, when in fact no attorney had been so involved. The Court held that Weltman did not violate the FDCPA in sending demand letters on its letterhead because attorneys were meaningfully involved in the handling of the files on which letters were sent. Read more
The case brought against Weltman, Weinberg, & Reis (“WWR”) by the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) moved one step closer to resolution, if not clarity, this month. Senior U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent will issue a verdict after considering the jury’s conclusions of fact, which were returned on two questions:
- Did WWR’s initial demand letters contain “false, deceptive, or misleading representations or means”? The jury concluded that they did.
- Did the CFPB prove that WWR’s attorneys were not meaningfully involved in the debt collection process? The jury concluded that it did not.
KWA is pleased to announce the hiring of its new HR Manager, Brad Hanson. Our search took over 4 months as we interviewed several qualified candidates. Brad stood out based upon his prior experience at CommutAir where he was employed as an HRIS Administrator and an HR Generalist and by virtue of his strong background in computer software, and familiarity with ADP software and processes. Brad is also attending evening classes for his Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resources Management at John Carroll University. Read more
On June 23, 2017, Michael Berkowitz, who is KWA’s managing collection attorney, volunteered his time at the NARCA 2017 Summer Litigation Boot Camp sponsored by the National Creditor’s Bar Association/NARCA to discuss the business records exception to Ohio’s Hearsay rule, specifically, Ohio Evidentiary Rule 803(6). Read more
On June 24, 2017, the Firm’s principal, Keith Weiner, volunteered along with other Cleveland Marshall graduates to provide legal advice and counsel to individuals and families living in the City of Cleveland. The event was sponsored by the Social Outreach Committee of the Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. Marshall Grads with experience in numerous legal areas, such as landlord-tenant or domestic relations, were on hand to provide advice and counsel and in some cases accept pro-bono referrals. Keith Weiner was able to help a few folks with debtor/creditor issues. The event was organized by Cleveland Magistrate Pablo Castro who serves as the Chair Person of the Social Outreach Committee. All in all it was a great event. The Cleveland residents who received counsel were very appreciative and the Cleveland Marshall graduates receive the reward of helping others.
A majority of federal court circuits have adopted the least-sophisticated consumer standard in analyzing Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims. The least-sophisticated consumer standard is to ensure that the FDCPA protects gullible as well as shrewd consumers. Creditor Rights advocates have had to contend with this standard, which essentially lowers the burden for a consumer, for years. Although the standard provides deference to the consumer, it is still fairly objective; it merely asks whether the least sophisticated consumer would have been misled by the actions of the debt collector. Read more