The Debt Collection Drill

Debt collectors will long remember 2013 as a watershed year for the regulation of our industry. The CFPB issued its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking while continuing on-site examinations of debt collector larger market participants, enforcement actions and publishing data from its complaint portal. The FTC issued a record fine against a debt collector and joined the CFPB in several important amicus briefs submitted in pending FDCPA cases. Numerous States also tightened regulation on the debt industry. All of this regulation of the debt industry is apparently aimed at aiding consumers. However, a recent study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia empirically established that stricter debt laws actually harm consumers by reducing their access to credit.

In this episode of The Debt Collection Drill attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss this Federal Reserve Bank study from May 2013 and its impact on future regulation of the debt industry. A link to the study is below.

http://www.phil.frb.org/research-and-data/publications/working-papers/2013/wp13-38.pdf

Direct download: TDCD_ep34.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am CST

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is moving forward with plans to overhaul the FDCPA, focusing specifically on debt documentation, call frequency and modernizing the law to account for technology changes since the FDCPA was enacted in 1977. In this episode of The Debt Collection Drill, attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss the CFPB’s recent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and identify three areas of potential change for the industry.

Direct download: TDCD_ep33.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am CST

Creditors seeking to reduce collection costs often ask collection agencies for "precollect" efforts at a discount from normal contingent fee rates.  Some collection agencies provide lettering services – with all calls and payments directed to the creditor – at a flat rate per letter or account.  Unfortunately, the FDCPA prohibits such flat fee arrangements in some circumstances.  Further, consumer attorneys are aggressively pursuing FDCPA lawsuits against debt collectors and their clients for precollect "flat-rating," which often drives a wedge because the debt collector and its client.

In the latest episode of The Debt Collection Drill, attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss the recent surge in precollect "flat-rating" cases against collectors and creditors and also reveal some strategies for avoiding these claims.

Direct download: TDCD_ep32.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:24pm CST

With the CFPB scheduled to commence exercise of its rule making authority later this year, many collection industry experts were surprised by a joint amicus brief filed by the FTC and the CFPB stating that ". . . in some circumstances, 'a debt collector may seek voluntary payment of a time-barred debt' without violating the FDCPA, even if the communication is silent as to the statute of limitations."  Click here to read the full amicus brief by the FTC and the CFPB:

http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201309_cfpb_agency-brief_12-cv-04057.pdf

Consent orders earlier this year by the FTC regarding credit card surcharges (convenience fees) and voice mail messaging indicate an willingness by Federal regulators to allow these practices, but provide little guidance for the industry. 

Attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin examine the recent rulings the CFPB and FTC – and the possibly implications of CFPB rulemaking – in the latest episode of The Debt Collection Drill.

Direct download: TDCD_ep31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm CST

Lawsuits alleging that debt collection letters violate the FDCPA decreased over the past few years as consumer attorneys focused litigation on Foti and TCPA claims.  Recently, letter violation lawsuits spiked with novel claims that are gaining traction in some Courts.  Attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss three new letter violation claims that are being used to challenge collection letters across the country in the latest episode of The Debt Collection Drill.

Direct download: TDCD_ep30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm CST

Last week, a $3.2 million consent order between the FTC and a major debt collector shook collection industry to its core.  Not only was the amount of the fine unprecedented, but the subsequent restrictions placed on the debt collector by the FTC have broad implications.  Importantly, the consent order apparently prohibits the use of the widely accepted Foti phone message in certain circumstances and also requires debt collectors to honor verbal cease requests and disputes.  Attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin break down the consent order and offer ideas for future compliance during the latest episode of The Debt Collection Drill.

Direct download: TDCD_ep29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:24pm CST

Your agency likely spends significant time formulating and refining a service-oriented and FDCPA compliant process for responding to consumer disputes. Recently, collection agencies face lawsuits and regulatory questions arising from state laws that impose dispute response burdens substantially in excess of the FDCPA. Attorney John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss compliance with these state laws in the current episode of The Debt Collection Drill.

Are you uncertain how to listen to a podcast such at The Debt Collection Drill? Click here for a timely article on easy and productive ways to listen to a podcast:

http://www.insidearm.com/opinion/keep-up-with-changes-in-arm-three-easy-ways-to-listen-to-a-podcast-while-multi-tasking/.

Direct download: TDCD_ep28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am CST

In this episode of The Debt Collection Drill audio blog, attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss recent actions by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs seeking six figure fines from debt collectors for failure to comply with New York City laws and some simple steps all agencies can take to avoid liability.

Direct download: TDCD_ep272.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:26pm CST

In this episode of The Debt Collection Drill, attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin examine three recent court decisions that, if up held, will severely restrict the ability of debt collectors to call consumers. They also discuss some practical strategies for debt collectors to make calls while complying with the law.

Direct download: TDCD_ep26.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am CST

In this episode of The Debt Collection Drill, attorney's John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss recent media "horror stories" about criminals posing as debt collectors and provide a simple and effective solution for every industry to improve its mistaken image.

Direct download: TDCD_ep25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:50pm CST

In this episode of The Debt Collection Drill podcast series, attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin examine the real difficulties with obtaining sanctions in FDCPA cases and discuss specific scenarios where sanctions motions may be warrented.

Direct download: TDCD_ep24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:28pm CST

In this latest episode of the Debt Collection Drill, attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss strategies for avoiding TCPA lawsuits including issues involving consent, the definition of an automated dialing machine and wrong number calls.

Direct download: TDCD_ep23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:10pm CST

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