The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has joined the split from holdings by the Fifth and Eighth Circuits regarding a "benign language" exception for debt collection letters. The Sixth Circuit instead joined with the Seventh Circuit in holding that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") does not contain a "benign language" exception to the requirement that the envelope for a debt collection letter contain no language other than that necessary to facilitate mail delivery. Donovan v. FirstCredit Inc.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has split from holdings by the Fifth and Eighth Circuits in holding that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") does not contain a "benign language" exception to the requirement that the envelope for a debt collection letter contain no language other than the debt collector's address. Preston v. Midland Credit Management, Inc.
Until the Supreme Court's recent decision in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, 139 S. Ct. 1029 (2019), if you were an entity engaged solely in the enforcement of security interests on loans, such as through nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the "FDCPA") would have been applied to you in some states but not others. That is because the United States Courts of Appeals were divided on the issue, with the Ninth and Tenth Circuits finding that the Act did not apply, and the Third, Fourth, and Sixth Circuits finding that it did apply. The Supreme Court resolved that Circuit split last month when it found that businesses engaged solely in security-interest enforcement do not qualify as "debt collectors" under the FDCPA.
In an important decision for debt investors, the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that passive debt buyers are not "debt collectors" under the Massachusetts Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("MDCPA"). The decision, Dorrian v. LVNV Funding, LLC, can be found here.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has found that a debt collector's use of a web-based dialing system to contact an individual's cell phone without permission does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's ("TCPA"), 47 U.S.C. § 227, prohibition on the use of Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems ("ATDS"). The plaintiff in Arora v. Transworld Systems Inc., 2017 WL 3620742 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 23, 2017) alleged that Transworld System Inc.'s ("Transworld") calls to his cell phone without his consent constituted prohibited use of an ATDS pursuant to the TCPA.