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
KWA’s own Scott Paris presented two sessions at the National Business Institute’s 2014 Guide to Collection Law Seminar on May 5, 2014: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act Compliance; and Collecting Through the Bankruptcy Process. Written materials can be found here:
In 2005, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act to amend the United States Bankruptcy Code (the “Act”). The changes made to the Act were designed to make it theoretically more difficult for people to file Chapter 7 Liquidation bankruptcy, forcing more filers into reorganization (repayment) through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While these changes had the intended effect in the short term, the 2007 financial crisis threw a wrench in the gears of Congress’s intent in amending the Act. According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, the number of filings consistently increased from 2006 through 2011, and by 2010 had reached pre-2005 amendment levels. Since 2011, filings have steadily decreased. This decrease is good for both the economy and the collections industry, but as collection attorneys, knowledge of the Bankruptcy Act and Rules is necessary for a successful practice. Read more
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) was passed in 1991, largely as a response to what Congress saw as an excess of unsolicited telemarketing and facsimile communications to residential, emergency and mobile telephone numbers. At its inception, the TCPA did not appear to be directed toward the regulation of debt collection phone calls where an existing commercial/consumer relationship existed. However, over the past 20 years the FCC and various Courts have applied the dictates of the TCPA to debt collectors, specifically those who call consumer debtor mobile phones. Read more