This article reviews all 25 published Fair Debt Collection Practices Act appellate court decisions from 2019 broken down by category. FDCPA rulings were published by the Supreme Court and the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits.
This article sets out nine steps for reducing or eliminating hospital debt for lower-income patients. Federal law provides rights for debt owed to nonprofit hospitals and state law offers relief for debt owed to both for-profit and nonprofit hospitals. The article includes a number of practice pointers in guiding patients through the process.
A new January Supreme Court decision affects the automatic stay a consumer receives upon filing bankruptcy. As discussed in this article, creditors now must file any appeal to a denial of stay relief within fourteen days. In other bankruptcy news, a new option for chapter 11 small business and individual filers became effective February 20.
Congress has just revived and extended the QPRI exclusion, an important protection for struggling homeowners. As discussed in this article, now a homeowner with a short sale or other modification of their home mortgage loan principal can avoid tax liability on debt forgiven during tax years 2018, 2019, and 2020, despite receiving a 1099 indicating the forgiven debt as income.
The Supreme Court this December clarified when the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s one-year statute of limitations begins to run. This article explains the practical import of the Court’s decision and considers other issues concerning the FDCPA’s limitations period, as well as alternative approaches where the period has run.
Almost every FDCPA (as well as TCPA, FCRA, and TILA) case these days faces a Spokeo challenge. All consumer litigant in federal court must understand the latest Spokeo rulings. This article provides a survey of all circuit court FDCPA Spokeo rulings, as well as setting out key strategic decisions in bringing federal court consumer claims.
On June 3, the Supreme Court set the standard for consumer recovery of damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees for collection of debts discharged in bankruptcy. This article also explains that judgments on discharged debts are void, describes the advantages of FDCPA remedies, and provides a comparison between remedies for automatic stay violations and discharge violations.
A Supreme Court May 28 ruling supports the right of consumers sued in state court to avoid removal to federal court when they bring class or federal claims in that state court action, even against third parties. As examined in this article, the ruling gives consumers some control over the decision whether to litigate in state or federal court.
A recent Supreme Court decision in Cochise Consultancy is favorable for private litigation under the federal False Claims Act (FCA). This article explains how the decision also underscores that FCA litigation has a number of advantages to challenge consumer abuses compared with class actions under traditional consumer causes of action.
Effective April 1, consumers filing bankruptcy will be able to exempt more of their equity in their homes, cars, household goods, and even retirement accounts. This article describes all the bankruptcy dollar amount changes going into effect April 1.
This article lists federal and state consumer law changes that already are scheduled to go into effect in 2020. The article also lists several changes that were effective in December of 2019. Of course, other consumer law changes will be enacted later this year and go into effect this year; this article lists those changes whose effective dates have already been scheduled for this year.
About 94% of employers and 90% of landlords contract for criminal background checks to evaluate prospective employees and tenants, but these reports are riddled with errors, including erroneous reports of criminal convictions. This article describes widespread errors in criminal background check reports and examines applicable FCRA claims and remedies for these errors.
This article provides step-by-step advice on how to successfully proceed in arbitration. When a challenge to an arbitration requirement fails, proper client representation may require resorting to arbitration as the only available avenue for relief. Every consumer attorney should be prepared to arbitrate a case—the right case before the right arbitrator will produce excellent results.
This article describes important new legislation providing added protections for veterans, servicemembers, and their dependents in bankruptcy cases. It also analyzes new bankruptcy rules, effective December 1, 2019, and a must-read Fifth Circuit decision on the ability to discharge private student loans.
This article explains the implications for private litigation of a significant change, effective January 1, 2020, to the federal statute providing remedies for odometer and vehicle titling fraud. Older vehicles formerly exempt will now be covered by strict requirements whose violation will lead to powerful consumer remedies, including $10,000 minimum damages, treble damages, and attorney fees.
This article explains what every attorney needs to know about protecting clients from wage garnishment and seizure of public benefits, wages, and other funds in bank accounts. The article explains how to both evaluate and reduce a consumer’s exposure to these post-judgment remedies, considers the special case of federal student loans, and details important federal and state law protections in each of the 50 states.
Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice (12th ed. 2020) (1,776 pp. in two volumes) is now available, both in print and in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. The definitive consumer bankruptcy treatise is updated with the latest case law and changes to the Bankruptcy Code, initial forms, bankruptcy rules, and means test data. Subscribe now for instant access to this treatise. Learn more and read Chapter One for free.
As discussed in this article, a slew of 2019 court rulings are reshaping private litigation against robocallers. The federal student loan collectors’ exemption was declared unconstitutional; the Supreme Court issued smoke signals on the weight given FCC orders; the TCPA was ruled applicable to new types of robocalls; cases interpreted whether predictive dialers are covered; and Spokeo challenges generally lost.
Student Loan Law (6th ed. October 2019) (744 pp) is now available, both in print and in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library, with the latest on repayment options, deferments, tax intercepts, private student loans, challenges to collection and servicing abuses, private student loans, predatory schools, and more. Learn more, read the first chapter, and subscribe here.
Mortgage Lending (3d ed. September 2019) (936 pp) is now available, both in print and in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. The new edition covers all you need to know on mortgage origination, preemption, and litigation. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here. All subscribers have digital access now, and Print + Digital subscribers will receive their print revisions in early October.