Category Archives: Acts & Regulations

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Legal Issues in Cause-Related Marketing

Cause-related marketing is frequently used by businesses to bolster sales, improve brand reputation, and improve public relations. Under the laws of a number of states, when a business advertises that it will make a charitable contribution to a charity when a consumer purchases a product, the business becomes a commercial co-venturer with the charity. Successful … Continue reading this entry

State Attorneys General Return to Health Care Reform in U.S. Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in what is being teed up to be “Round 2” on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the case King v. Burwell, the question before the Court is whether the IRS can extend tax credit subsidies to those using the federal health care exchange when the … Continue reading this entry

State AGs Take Sides as U.S. Supreme Court Hears Housing Discrimination Case

On January 21st, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, on the question of whether disparate impact claims for discrimination are recognized under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The third time may be the charm as the Supreme Court has twice dismissed recent … Continue reading this entry

The Supreme Court Hears Case Regarding Private Enforcement of the Medicaid Act Against States

On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a significant Medicaid-preemption case from the Ninth Circuit, Exceptional Child Center, Inc. v. Armstrong. In that case, Medicaid-participating health care facilities in Idaho sued the state’s Department of Health and Welfare officials for failure to properly reimburse the providers for their … Continue reading this entry

The Supreme Court Just Held that TILA Rescission is Accomplished with Notice Alone

Until today, courts were split over what steps borrowers must take to rescind a home loan. Some courts had ruled that a borrower simply had to send a rescission notice to his creditor within three years after taking out a loan. Others said the notice alone does not suffice; a lawsuit must be filed within three … Continue reading this entry

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Natural Gas Case in Which 21 State AGs File Brief

On Monday, January 12, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the preemption case, Oneok v. Learjet. In reliance on state law private action remedies, Learjet sued Oneok over market manipulation in natural gas prices to large volume purchasers. 21 bipartisan state Attorneys General filed an amicus brief defending their state regulatory authority on … Continue reading this entry

Eleventh Circuit Hears Oral Argument in Landmark TCPA Case

RESPA
Industry now waits as the Eleventh Circuit considers whether to overturn a Florida district court decision rejecting the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of prior express consent under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. On September 18, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit heard argument in the Mais v. Gulf Coast Collection … Continue reading this entry

Truth in Lending Act and Consumer Leasing Act Dollar Thresholds Raised: Fewer Transactions Exempt

More consumer credit and leasing transactions will be subject to the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Consumer Leasing Act (CLA) in 2015. Effective January 1, 2015, the dollar threshold for exemption of most consumer credit transactions and consumer leases from TILA, the CLA, and their implementing regulations (Regulations Z and M) was increased from $53,500 (the … Continue reading this entry

Credit Card Issuers Beware: CFPB Fires Warning Shot on Promotional APRs

Who could possibly object to zero or low promotional interest rates offered for convenience checks, balance transfers or new purchases? The Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB), that’s who. In a new Bulletin based on its findings from examinations of large banks and card issuers, the CFPB warns that some credit card issuers may be engaging in deceptive … Continue reading this entry

Federal Reserve Board Proposes to Repeal Its Regulation AA (Unfair Credit Practices)

acts and regulations
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is requesting comment on its proposal to repeal its Regulation AA, which for nearly 30 years has prohibited banks from engaging in specified unfair and deceptive credit practices. In the Federal Trade Commission Act (the FTC Act), Congress directed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Reserve … Continue reading this entry

Time is Running Out to Complain About the Complaint Portal

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
You have 4 days! August 22, 2014 is the deadline to submit your comments in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed disclosure of consumer complaint narrative data. (https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-17274). The CFPB maintains a public Consumer Complaint Database through which consumers may file complaints regarding financial services and products (commonly referred to as the “Complaint … Continue reading this entry

Blast Fax Cases Now Harder to Certify

acts and regulations
Blast fax cases filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act just became harder to certify in Minnesota. On August 5, 2014 U.S. District Court Judge David S. Doty, in the case Sandusky Wellness Center LLC v. Medtox Scientific, denied Sandusky’s motion for class certification because the members of the proposed class were not objectively ascertainable. Here … Continue reading this entry

Remedies Against Receiver Must Be Exhausted Before Claim Against Assignee

From the consumer plaintiffs’ perspective, a recent appellate decision in Rundgren v. Washington Mutual Bank, FA, is far from Utopia. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims brought by singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren and his wife Michelle Rundgren against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Chase). Since the Rundgrens’ claims relate to alleged … Continue reading this entry

Eleventh Circuit Further Muddies the Waters for Collectors

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s safe harbor for calls made with the prior express consent of the called party is destroyed the moment the debtor says, “Stop calling me!” So too, a collector can be liable for autodialed calls to a third party even though a debtor gives that number as her own. These are … Continue reading this entry

When Is a Debt Not a Debt? The Supreme Court May Need to Decide

A recent decision by the Seventh Circuit has held that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is violated when a debt collector sends a dunning letter seeking to settle a time-barred debt, even when no litigation is threatened. The Third and Eighth Circuits have disagreed. This sets up a split in the Circuits that … Continue reading this entry

Statements Rendered Credit Report Reseller a Credit Repair Organization

Sounding a cautionary note to the hypercompetitive credit report resale and monitoring industry, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that a reseller’s statements on its website and in television advertisements made it a “credit repair organization” under the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), 15 U.S.C. sec. 1679 et seq. (Title IV … Continue reading this entry

Ninth Circuit Holds Attempted Collection of Foreclosure-Related Fees Violates Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a successor mortgage servicer violated Section 533(c) of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) when it attempted to collect, or failed to remove, fees incurred in connection with a rescinded Notice of Default. In Brewster v. Sun Trust Mortgage, Inc., No. 12-56560, ___ F.3d ___ … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Prepares to Overhaul Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is preparing to make significant revisions to the regulations promulgated under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975 (HMDA)  (Regulation C) by requiring home mortgage lenders to disclose far more information to regulators.  In its first step toward these revisions, the CFPB is convening a Small Business Review Panel … Continue reading this entry

Ninth Circuit Remands FCRA Case – Actual Injury Not Required for Article III Standing

On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit remanded Robins v. Spokeo, Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-05306-ODW-AGR on the basis that the district court erred in finding that the Plaintiff, Thomas Robins (“Robins”), did not have Article III “injury-in fact” standing to file his suit alleging violations of Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) §§1681b(b)(1), 1681e(b), and 1681j(a).… Continue reading this entry

Fourth Circuit Lets Consumers Orally Dispute Validity of Debts

In a per curiam decision which vacated the lower court’s dismissal of a consumer class action under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in a case of first impression in that circuit, found that debt collection notices violate the FDCPA if they require consumers’ disputes of the … Continue reading this entry

Failure to Request and Obtain Required USDA Loan Guarantee Requires ECOA Adverse Action Notice

In the case of Cross v. Prospect Mortgage, LLC, No. 1:12-cv-1455 (E.D. Va., Nov. 27, 2013), a federal district court found that a mortgage lender violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) when the lender failed to provide the borrower with an “adverse action” notice stating that the lender did not obtain a requested U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural … Continue reading this entry

Seventh Circuit Affirms Rulings on Debt Collection Notices

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in a consolidated appeal of four separate cases, recently affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of four separate cases for failure to state claims under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In Gruber v. Creditors’ Protection Service, Inc., Nos. 13-2084, 13-2164, 13-2297 and 13-2351, __ F.3d … Continue reading this entry

Good Faith as a TCPA Defense?

Good faith might be a defense to a TCPA claim according to Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. In Chyba v. First Financial Asset Management, Inc. plaintiff Pamela Chyba sued First Financial Asset Management, Inc. under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. She claimed that First Financial … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Unveils New Integrated Disclosures Under RESPA and TILA

Today, in a broadcast streamed live on the internet, the CFPB unveiled the long awaited final rule that contains the Integrated Mortgage Disclosures under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), Regulation X, and the Truth-In-Lending Act (“TILA”), Regulation Z.[1] The final rule applies to most closed-end consumer mortgage loans (including timeshare estate products), but … Continue reading this entry