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The committee held its last meeting in January.  A new committee will be formed in February for 2019 with the primary responsibility of drafting RMAI’s response to the CFPB Debt Collection Rules anticipated to be released in March.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, be sure to complete a Committee Volunteer Form


STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY

The 2019-20 state legislative session has officially started in a majority of the states. RMAI  is actively monitoring bill introductions to identify legislation that may impact the receivables industry in both positive and negative ways. Here are a few noteworthy bills that have been recently introduced:

 Illinois HB 281 – This bill would adopt comprehensive reforms concerning the litigation of consumer debt, including but not limited to: (1) requiring a “large print” consumer notice with debtor’s rights be included with all summons issued in a debt collection matter; (2) requiring the court clerk to post a debtor’s rights notice in the hallway in front of courtrooms; (3) reducing the time period to revive a judgment; (4) changing the limitations period for the enforcement of certain judgments; (5) altering statutory provisions regarding wage garnishment, the homestead exemption, and personal property exemptions; and (6) providing that consumer debt judgments of $25,000 or less shall draw interest at a rate of 2% per annum.

Indiana HB 1055 – This bill would extinguish a judgment lien when one or more of the following are recorded with the office of the county recorder where the judgment lien was recorded: (1) a discharge of judgment lien signed by the judgment creditor or the judgment creditor’s attorney; (2) a certified copy of a satisfaction of judgment that was filed with the court that issued the judgment; (3) a certified copy of a court order that discharges the judgment lien; or (4) a copy of the judgment debtor’s discharge in bankruptcy issued by a federal bankruptcy court and a copy of the bankruptcy schedule listing the judgment debt.

Indiana HB 1061 – This bill would require the awarding of attorney’s fees as part of the cost to the prevailing party in all civil actions.

Indiana SB 441 – This bill would calculate the interest rate on judgments for money when there is no contract between the parties to the suit or when the rate of interest was not agreed upon in the original contract at the lesser of 8 percent or the applicable adjusted rate of interest calculated by the department of state revenue for the nonpayment of taxes.

New York AB 876 – This bill requires debt collectors to provide consumers with a written notice of their rights under state law in their initial debt collection correspondence. The bill would also create a private right of action for failure to provide the notice. NOTE: The notice requirement contained in this bill would not be consistent with the notice requirements adopted in regulation by the New York Department of Financial Services in 2014.

Washington SB 5034 / HB 1066 – This bill would prohibit debt collectors from serving an individual with a summons and complaint prior to the filing of a lawsuit with the courts.

January 2018 Court Decisions

New York Passes Law Addressing Collection of Decedents’ Debts

On Dec. 28, 2018, New York Senate Bill 3491 was signed into law and will become effective March 29, 2019.  The legislation, in its final form, simply prohibits “principal creditors” and debt collection agencies from: (a) making  any  representation that a person is required to pay the debt of a family member in a way that contravenes the FDCPA; and (b) making any misrepresentation about the family member’s obligation to pay such debts.

A “principal creditor” is defined under current law as “any person, firm, corporation or organization to whom a consumer claim is owed, due or asserted to be due or owed, or any assignee for value of said person, firm, corporation or organization.”  A “debt collection agency” is newly defined in the legislation as “a person, firm or corporation engaged in business, the principal purpose of which is to regularly collect or attempt to collect debts: (a) owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another; or (b) obtained by, or assigned to, such person, firm or corporation, that are in default when obtained or acquired by such person, firm or corporation.”

This new law is consistent with the Federal Trade Commission’s 2011 final Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection With the Collection of Decedents’ Debts which describes in detail the acceptable parameters of communications with third parties when attempting to collect from decedents’ estates.

The issue of communications in connection with the collection of decedents’ debts will likely be addressed in future CFPB rulemaking, since several proposals on this issue were contained in its 2016 Small Business Review Panel for Debt Collector and Debt Buying Rulemaking Outline of Proposals Under Consideration and Alternatives Considered.

 

7th Cir. Upholds Denial of Class Certification in TCPA Cases Due to Individualized Issues of Consent

Brodsky v. HumanaDental Ins. Co., Nos. 17-3067, 17-3506, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33926 (7th Cir. Dec. 3, 2018) https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca7/17-3506/17-3506-2018-12-03.html

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed a trial courts’ rulings denying class certification to lead plaintiffs who received faxed advertisements that allegedly did not comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Federal Communication Commission’s Solicited Fax Rule.  The court concluded that class treatment was not a superior mechanism for cases involving unsolicited faxes because the question of consent was likely to vary from recipient to recipient where pre-existing arrangements may have existed between the defendant and the recipients.

A copy of the opinion can be accessed here:  Link to Opinion.

Fla. App. Court (3rd DCA) Holds Monthly Text Messages with Link to Terms of Service Sufficient to Compel Arbitration

MetroPCS Communs., Inc. v. Porter, No. 3D17-375, 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 18605 (3d DCA Dec. 26, 2018)

The District Court of Appeal for the Third District of Florida recently reversed a trial court’s order denying a defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, holding that monthly text messages with a hyperlink to the defendant’s terms of service provided the consumer with sufficient notice that disputes regarding his relationship with the defendant were subject to arbitration.

A copy of the opinion can be accessed here:  Link to Opinion.

N.D. Illinois Joins Other Courts in Limiting Scope of ‘ATDS’ Under TCPA

Johnson v. Yahoo !, Inc ., No. 14 CV 2028, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207950 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 29, 2018)

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently held that a phone system was not an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) because it did not use a random or sequential number generator to store or produce phone numbers to be called. In so ruling, the Court reversed a prior order and entered summary judgment in favor of the defendant in light of ACA International v. FCC, 885 F.3d 687, 695 (D.C. Cir. 2018).

The defendant company’s phone system sent text messages to the plaintiff “by pulling her number from a database of stored numbers — an address book — and then automatically sending that number a text message.”  The plaintiff alleged that the company sent her text messages without her prior express consent using an ATDS and sued the company for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).

The District Court observed that ACA International set aside the FCC’s “treatment of the qualifying functions of an ATDS” and “wiped the slate clean” and noted that the 2015 FCC order “reaffirmed” its earlier orders. This necessarily “brought the entire agency definition of ATDS up for review in ACA International.”  The ACA International court plainly reviewed all “pertinent pronouncements” the FCC made concerning the ATDS definition of an ATDS. Thus, the Court concluded that “the FCC’s prior orders are no longer binding.”

The court found no ambiguity in the TCPA requirement that a dialing system has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers, using a random or sequential number generator to qualify as an ATDS.  Because the company’s phone system did not have that capacity and only dialed numbers from a stored list, the court entered judgment in favor of the defendant company.

A copy of the opinion can be accessed here: Link to Opinion.

Need re-certification credits? Working toward becoming a Certified Receivables Compliance Professional (CRCP)? Want the latest information in the Chief Compliance Officer world? RMAI has all this and more with live monthly and pre-recorded webinars.

UPCOMING WEBINARS

RECORDED WEBINARS: Did you miss a live webinar? All recorded monthly webinars are FREE to our members. Special series and select required courses for certification are paid at member rate.

CURRENT ISSUES IN DEBT BUYING (RE-CERTIFICATION ONLY): In addition to the two (2) hour education session at the Annual Conference and Executive Summit, RMAI has identified the following recorded webinars which qualify for one (1) credit out of the four (4) credits of Current Issues in Debt Buying required for re-certification. Click to register.

Congratulations to our new and renewed companies and individuals!

New Companies
National Recovery Solutions, LLC
TrueAccord

Renewed Companies
Federal Pacific Credit Co LLC
Indiana Receivables Inc
National Management Recovery Corporation (NMRC)
Ophrys, LLC
Steel Tower Holdings, LLC dba Atlantic Recovery Solutions

Renewed Individuals
Dara Tarkowski, Actuate Law LLC
Donald Maurice, Jr., Maurice Wutscher LLP
Lily Wood, InvestiNet, LLC
Lisa Soller, Autovest, LLC
Michael Cushing, LiveVox, Inc.
Michelle Wren, Receivables Management Association International
Rozanne Andersen, Ontario Systems, LLC
Scott Richards, Indiana Receivables, Inc.
Steven Cohen, Law Offices of Steven Cohen, LLC
Teresa Mautz, Orion Portfolio Services, LLC

View all certified companies and certified individuals on our website.

For help with certification, contact Michelle Wren at (916) 482-2462 or mwren@rmaintl.org

Welcome new RMAI members!
The RMAI membership continues to grow. Welcome to our newest members:

Aldridge Pite Haan, LLP — Associate Law Firm — Georgia
Gwynn Group, Inc. — Affiliate — Texas
Noble Financial Solutions, Inc. — Associate Collection Agency — Oklahoma
PDCflow — Affliate — Utah
The Oakes Law Firm, LLC — Associate Law Firm — Louisiana

Read more about these members and other members on the Member Search page.

Serve on a committee in 2019!
Looking for a place to share your industry knowledge, talent and passion? Consider strengthening your network and volunteer on an RMAI committee! There are several opportunities to match your skills and interest.

A Call for Committee Participation outreach will be emailed to all RMAI members the end of January. Help shape webinar content and the annual conference — use your editorial skills or help recruit authors for RMAI’s bi-annual magazine … Interested?  Fill out the interest form by clicking this link.

HR Spotlight Brought to You by the RMAI & Insperity Partnership:
5 trusty tips for hiring candidates you can’t afford

RMAI works hard to open new markets and promote the industry at various conferences and events—look for us at these events.

IACC Convention | January 16-18
NADA | January 24-27
RMAI Annual Conference | February 5-7

The RMAI Annual Conference is a must attend event for the receivables management industry.  February 5-7 2019 in Las Vegas @ the Aria Resort and Hotel.  We have a fantastic lineup of education and networking events.  Get industry insights, legal updates, connect with originating creditors and industry professionals.  Visit rmaintl.org/ac19 for more information.

Contribute Now

Thank you January 2018-January 2019 Legislative Fund contributors. Your support allows us to influence threatening legislation, while also promoting and preserving the best interests of our members. Make your contribution today!

Diamond ($25,000)

Certified Debt Buyer
Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC
Resurgent Holdings

Titanium ($15,000)

Certified Debt Buyer
Cavalry Investments

Associate Collection Agency
Financial Recovery Services, Inc.

Platinum ($10,000)

Certified Debt Buyer
Encore Capital Group

Gold ($7,500)

Certified Debt Buyer
Crown Asset Management, LLC

Silver ($5,000)

Certified Debt Buyer
CKS Financial
Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC
JH Capital Group
Plaza Services, LLC
Velocity Portfolio Group

Affiliate
Digital Recognition Network

Bronze ($2,500)

Certified Debt Buyer
Integras Capital Recovery LLC
Resurgence Capital, LLC
Second Round, LP
Security Credit Services, LLC
The Bureaus, Inc.

Associate Collection Agency
Cornerstone Support
National Loan Exchange NLEX

Affiliate
Credit Control, LLC
Glass Mountain Capital

Brass ($1,000)

Certified Debt Buyer
First Financial Asset Management, Inc. FFAM360
Gemini Capital Group, LLC
HS Financial Group
Indiana Receivables, Inc.
NCB Management Services, Inc.
The Cadle Company

Certified Collection Agency
Resurgent Capital Services

Associate Debt Buyer
Atlas Acquisitions

Associate Law Firm
Andreu, Palma, Lavin & Solis, PLLC
Malone and Martin, PLLC
Stenger & Stenger P.C.
Tobin & Marohn

Affiliate
RNN Group, Inc.
TrueAccord

Individuals

Jan Stieger
Jon Mazzoli

Non-member
Kino Financial Co., LLC

Other

Certified Debt Buyer
Acctcorp International, Inc.
Capio Partners, LLC
Collins Asset Group LLC
Credit Management Corporation
Debt Recovery Solutions, LLC
Federal Pacific Credit Company
Galaxy Capital Acquisitions, LLC
Icon Equities, LLC
Investment Retrievers, Inc.
Mid Atlantic Portfolios, LLC
NDS, LLC
PCA Acquisitions V, LLC
Pharus Funding, LLC
Portfolio Group Investors, LLC
Poser Investments, Inc.
Troy Capital, LLC
Unifund CCR LLC
United Debt Holdings, LLC
West Bay Recovery, Inc.

Certified Law Firm
Reynolds Sims & Associates, P.C.
Law Offices of Steven Cohen, LLC

Certified Collection Agency
Full Circle Financial Services, LLC
Halsted Financial Services, LLC

Certified Broker
DebtTrader

Associate Debt Buyer
Alliance Credit Services, Inc.
Balbec Capital
Emergent Business Group Inc.
Genesis Recovery Services
National Recovery Solutions, LLC
NDA Investments
Phoenix Asset Group, LLC
RIP Medical Debt
Western States Financial Management, LLC

Associate Law Firm
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
Butler & Associates, P.A.
Delev & Associates, LLC
Hinshaw & Culbertson
Hudson Cook, LLP
Hunt & Henriques
Keith D. Weiner & Associates Co., LPA
Kirschenbaum & Phillips, PC
Law Offices of Daniel C. Consuegra, P.L.
London & London
Maurice Wutscher LLP
Mullooly, Jeffrey, Rooney & Flynn, LLP
Pressler, Felt and Warshaw, LLP
Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik, LLC
Simmonds & Narita LLP
Slovin & Associates
Sonnek & Goldblatt, Ltd.
Spencer Fane LLP
The Law Offices of Ronald S. Canter, LLC
Vargo & Janson, P.C.
Winn Law Group, APC

Associate Collection Agency
Capital Collection Management, LLC
FMS, Inc.
Noble Financial Solutions, Inc.
Radius Global Solutions
Tate & Kirlin Associates, Inc.
Universal Fidelity, LP
Viking Client Services, Inc.

Affiliate
Accelerated Data Systems
CenterPoint Legal Solutions, LLC
CMS Services
ComplyARM, Inc.
Comtronic Systems, LLC
Convoke, Inc.
Diversified Consultants, Inc.
Equifax, Inc.
FLOCK Specialty Finance
Harvest Strategy Group, Inc.
Metronome Financial, LLC
MicroBilt Corporation
MRS BPO, LLC
Ontario Systems, LLC
Payment Brokers Group, LLC
PCI Group Inc.
ProVest, LLC
Resource Management Services, Inc.
SAM, Inc. – Solutions for Account Management
TransUnion
VeriFacts, Inc.
Vertican Technologies, Inc.
VoApps

Non-member
Central Portfolio Control
David Reid