News

2014 Guide to Collection Law Seminar

by KWA KWA

KWA’s own Scott Paris will be presenting at the National Business Institute’s 2014 Guide to Collection Law Seminar. Scott will be conducting two sessions: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act Compliance; and Collecting Through the Bankruptcy Process. This seminar will be held on May 5, 2014 at the Holiday Inn Independence, Ohio. Information on registration and/or purchase of written materials can be found at:

http://www.866seminars.com/Training-Seminar/2014-Guide-to-Collection-Law/619033/seminar_details.aspx?city=Independence&state=OH

Judicial conference increases amounts exempt from execution

by Crystal Duplay Crystal Duplay

Beginning in April 2010, and continuing every 3rd year, the judicial conference shall adjust amounts that are exempt from execution.[i]   This adjustment is based on the consumer price index for all urban consumers or other comparable lists.[ii]  The adjustments include, but are not limited to, exemptions for vehicles, jewelry, wages, and bank attachments.  In 2013, this amount for bank attachments was adjusted from $425.00 to $450.00.  Read more

House Bill Would Exempt Collection Attorneys Engaged in Litigation from the FDCPA

by Dean Kanellis Dean Kanellis

A bill that was recently introduced in the House of Representatives would exempt debt collection attorneys from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) “when taking certain actions.” The Bill, which was introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), is described as a technical fix that does not erode the consumer protections afforded by the FDCPA. Read more

To Leave a Voicemail, or Not to Leave a Voicemail: A Collection Industry Dilemna

by Scott Paris Scott Paris

Over the past five years, debt collection agencies and law firms have had to struggle with the question of whether or not to leave voicemail messages for debtors. The source of this quagmire, and its potential consequences, lay in the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and its interpretation by Federal Courts since 2007. It should be noted at the outset that under federal law, communications from an original creditor does not fall under the rubric of the FDCPA. However, individual state laws may have their own requirements for communications from original creditors. This article only addresses voicemail messages left by collection agencies, law firms or third party collection entities on your behalf. Read more

Debt Collection & Technology: Using Email, Wireless Communications & Social Networking in the Collection of Debts

by Scott Paris Scott Paris

Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (“FDCPA”) on September 20, 1977 to protect consumers by eliminating abusive debt collection practices. At that time, the only modes of communication in debt collection were land-line telephones and U.S. Mail (now known as “snail mail”). Steve Jobs had just invented the first Apple I personal computer, the first cellular network had not yet been installed in the United States and Mark Zuckerberg (the “co-founder” of Facebook) was not yet born. For those of you familiar with the text and application of the FDCPA, it is painfully clear that Congress did not anticipate the emergence of new technologies utilized in the consumer collection of debts. Case law addressing the use of voicemail messages confirms this conclusion. Read more

Ohio State Spotlight Webinar FDCPA Update

by Dean Kanellis Dean Kanellis

Sometime in June 2012, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that a law firm could be liable, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), for stating the wrong identity of the mortgage owner in a foreclosure complaint. In effect, the Sixth Circuit held that a pre-assignment foreclosure filing could violate the FDCPA. Read more

Ohio Contemplates Sales Tax on Service Industry: How this may affect your legal bill and your business in the Buckeye State

by Dean Kanellis Dean Kanellis

Ohio’s Governor Kasich has proposed a two-year budget plan for Ohio that focuses on cutting income tax, while broadening the scope of the state sales tax. The proposal would impose a tax on formerly exempt services, such as accounting and legal services. Governor Kasich’s budget plan would reduce the sales tax rate from the current 5.5% to 5%, but would ultimately increase the state’s revenue from sales tax by widening the scope of taxable services. Read more

William M. LeRoy: A New PHOENIX Rises

by Dean Kanellis Dean Kanellis

13531_william_leroyPERSON OF THE WEEK: By all accounts, William M. LeRoy has the right to rest on his laurels: A 23-year industry veteran and founding CEO of the American Legal & Financial Network, he is one of the most respected leaders in the mortgage banking world. But LeRoy doesn’t have time to rest on his laurels – he recently launched a new national attorney organization called The PHOENIX Group Network LLC, which serves the mortgage servicing industry. MortgageOrb spoke with LeRoy about this new undertaking and the state of mortgage servicing….”

Read More: MortgageOrb — A New Phoenix Rises

Prevailing Debt Collector Can Recover Costs in FDCPA Suit Without A Finding of Bad Faith

by Dean Kanellis Dean Kanellis

In what some have characterized as a defeat for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the United States Supreme Court has ruled that a prevailing defendant in a FDCPA suit can recover costs without having to show that the suit was filed in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment. This decision not only represents a rejection of the position that was taken by the CFPB and the FTC in a jointly filed amicus brief, but it should also serve to discourage frivolous nuisance suits claiming violations of the FDCPA. Read more