RMA Update January 2018

/RMA Update January 2018

RMA is currently tracking more than 130 bills at the state level that impact the receivables industry in both positive and negative ways. Here are a few noteworthy bills that have had recent activity:

California AB 1526 – This bill would require collection agencies and originating creditors to provide a consumer notice when attempting to collect on a debt that is beyond the statute of limitations. The notice informs the consumer that they cannot sue them because of the age of their debt and indicates whether they are allowed or prohibited from reporting the debt to a credit bureau. Debt buyers are already required to provide this notice under the California Fair Debt Buying Practices Act. It also provides that when the statute of limitations has run, a debt collector is prohibited from bringing suit or initiating arbitration or other legal proceeding to collect the debt.

District of Columbia Bill 71 – This bill would amend the District of Columbia’s Debt Collect Law to: (1) expand the definition of debt collector to include debt buyers; (2) require specific data and documents concerning the debt to be in the possession of the debt collector; (3) limit the frequency of consumer contact using a reasonableness standard; (4) require pre-charge-off itemization of interest and fees; (5) prohibit bringing suit when the debt is beyond the statute of limitations and reviving the statute through payment; and (6) remove “willful” from intent for purposes of determining if a violation occurred. In addition, the following provisions in the bill would only apply to debt buyers: (1) expunges the debt after the statute of limitations expires; (2) requires 11 months of account statements; (3) requires a consumer notice detailing the consumer’s right to obtain copies of all the data and documents required by the act; (4) requires a copy of any payment schedule or settlement agreement to be provided to the consumer within 15 days; (5) when bringing suit, requires all of the data and documents to be attached to the complaint; (6) requires authenticated business records; (7) makes debt buyers liable for actual damages, attorney’s fees, punitive damages, and an “additional penalty” of between $500 and $4,000 per violation of the act (including for minor clerical errors); and (8) indicates that any violation of the act by a debt buyer is an automatic ban on future collection activity on the account by anyone. [RMA has retained a lobbyist to oppose this bill. A public hearing on the bill is anticipated to take place in January or February 2018 at which time RMA members will be encouraged to testify in opposition. More information will be forthcoming.]

Massachusetts HB 1982 – This bill would require passive debt buyers to be licensed as debt collectors in Massachusetts. Currently, third party collection agencies and active debt buyers are regulated and licensed by the Massachusetts Division of Banks while passive debt buyers are regulated by the Attorney General’s Office and not required to be licensed. This bill would also exempt debt buying companies from bonding requirements and allow affiliated companies to be licensed under a single license and subject to a single examination [RMA has been advocating for uniformity and consistency in state licensing laws. Maintaining the Massachusetts bifurcated regulatory scheme does not make sense and adds to industry and consumer confusion. RMA has retained a Massachusetts lobbyist to assist us in our efforts. RMA testified in support of this bill at a legislative hearing in Boston on September 26th. There was no opposition to the bill.]

Massachusetts SB 120 – This bill among other things would: (1) reduce the statute of limitations in an action for the collection of a consumer debt from six to four years to be measured from the earlier of the date of charge-off, placement for collection, or 180 days after the last regular payment; (2) prohibit payments made prior to the limitations period expiring from tolling the statute; (3) prohibit any attempt to collect a consumer debt once the statute of limitations has expired but would allow a debt collector to accept an unsolicited voluntary consumer payment on a debt; (4) extinguish judgments after five years unless the creditor takes action to enforce the judgment; and (5) reduce the percentage that is subject to wage garnishment. [RMA lobbyist has been retained to oppose the bill in its current form. RMA testified in opposition of this bill at a legislative hearing in Boston on September 25th.]

Vermont HB 596 – This bill would make it an unfair and deceptive act to attempt to collect a consumer debt that is six years or longer from: (1) the date the consumer defaults on the debt; (2) the date the consumer through a writing signed by the consumer acknowledges that he or she is obligated to pay the debt in part or in full; or (3) the date the consumer last makes a payment on the debt.

Attorney General Activity

  • RMA met with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and senior staff on January 9th to discuss issues of importance to the receivables management industry and highlight RMA’s certification program. Representatives also discussed concerns regarding recently amended court rules.
  • RMA’s attorney general consultant will be attending next month’s National Association of Attorneys General Conference in Washington, D.C.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the RMA state tracking list, please contact David Reid at dreid@rmassociation.org.

Delaware Limitations Period Not Tolled for NJ Lawsuit

Panico v. Portfolio Recovery Assoc., LLC, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-3852 (Jan. 2, 2018)

The statute of limitations for a New Jersey collection lawsuit based on a contract which contained a Delaware choice of law provision was not tolled by Delaware law under this recent decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Portfolio Recovery Associates (“PRA”) sued Panico on an unpaid debt in New Jersey state court. The parties stipulated that the contract applicable to the debt was subject to Delaware law and that Delaware’s three-year statute of limitations was applicable. The collection lawsuit was filed after the Delaware limitations period had run. Panico alleged the collection lawsuit was therefore barred by Delaware law. PRA contended that the limitations period had not expired because Delaware law tolled the running of the limitations period because Panico could not be served in Delaware. The Third Circuit rejected PRA’s argument finding that the Delaware tolling statute applied only to lawsuits filed in Delaware. Because the lawsuit here was filed in New Jersey (and Panico was served with the lawsuit in New Jersey), the Delaware tolling provision was inapplicable. A copy of the decision is available here.

Lawsuit by “Current Creditor” Who Identified Itself As the “Original Creditor” Found to Violate FDCPA

Winslow v. Forster & Garbus, LLP, United States Dist. Ct., E.D.N.Y, No. CV 15-2996 (AYS) (Dec. 13, 2017)

It was a false and misleading statement in violation of the FDCPA to file a lawsuit identifying a trust which had acquired the debt at issue after charge-off as the “original creditor,” according to this decision from a federal court in New York. Finding that the FDCPA “draws distinctions between the party who offers credit, and a person to whom a debt is owed,” a state court complaint that identified the assignee of a debt as the “original creditor” was not only a false statement, but was “material as a matter of law” because it can mislead a consumer as to the nature and legal status of the debt. In addition, the court certified the matter as a class action.

A copy of the opinion is available here.

Need re-certification credits? Working toward becoming a Certified Receivables Compliance Professional (CRCP)? Want the latest information in the Chief Compliance Officer world? RMA has all this and more with live and pre-recorded webinars and in-person education at the 2018 Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

UPCOMING WEBINAR

Best Practices for the Small Agency–How to Tackle the Big Compliance Pieces as a Small Company – Thursday, January 18, 2018

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, RMA 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:

The CFPB’s New Enforcement Tool: Bankruptcy Code Section 105
Getting Your Feet Wet: Purchasing a New Type of Debt
Issues with Purchased Judgments

Congratulations to our new and renewed companies and individuals!

Renewed Companies
Security Credit Services, LLC

New Individuals
Jennifer Cristao, Compliance Officer, Portfolio Group Investors, LLC

Renewed Individuals
David VanDerHeyden, Civil Trial Specialist, VanDerHeyden Law Office, P.A.
Michael Crossan, COO, Collins Asset Group, LLC

View all certified companies and certified individuals on our website.

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

Serve on a committee in 2018!

Looking for a place to share your industry knowledge, talent and passion? Consider strengthening your network and volunteer on an RMA committee! There are myriad opportunities to match your skills and interest, and leverage your network for the betterment of the industry and association. A Call for Committee Participation outreach will be emailed to all RMA members the end of January.

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

Debtrade, LLC – Associate Debt Buyer – Minnesota
Hyundai Capital America – Originating Creditor – Texas
Perfection Collection – Associate Debt Buyer – Utah
Provana, LLC – Affiliate – Illinois
Quantrax Corporation, Inc. – Affiliate – Maryland
Renkim Corporation – Affiliate – Michigan
Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel – Associate Law Firm – Louisiana
Sync Now, LLC – Affiliate – California
The Blacklist Alliance – Affiliate – California
United Collection Agency – Associate Collection Agency – New York
VoApps – Affiliate – Georgia

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

Annual Conference

The receivables management event of the year is mere weeks away! Have you registered for the 21st Annual Conference and booked your hotel room yet? Be sure to check out our website to see what’s new in 2018 (hint: LOTS of networking opportunities). Take advantage of multiple-attendee discounts, affordable meeting space, and a chance to contribute to the RMA Legislative Fund by donating an item to the Silent Auction.

Contribute Now
Contribute Now

Thank you 2017 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!

Titanium ($15,000)
Certified Debt Buyer
Cavalry Investments, LLC

Platinum ($10,000)
Certified Debt Buyer
Encore Capital Group

Associate Collection Agency
Financial Recovery Services, Inc.

Gold ($7,500)
Certified Debt Buyer
Unifund CCR LLC

Silver ($5,000)
Certified Debt Buyer
CKS Financial
Crown Asset Management, LLC
JH Capital Group
Plaza Services, LLC
Velocity Portfolio Group

Associate Debt Buyer
U.S. Equities Corp.

Associate Collection Agency
Credit Control, LLC

Affiliate
Digital Recognition Network
National Loan Exchange NLEX

Bronze ($2,500)
Certified Debt Buyer
Absolute Resolutions Corp.
Capital Alliance Financial, LLC
Cornerstone Support
First Financial Asset Management, Inc. FFAM360
Galaxy Asset Management, LLC
Integras Capital Recovery LLC
RAzOR Capital
Security Credit Services, LLC

Associate Collection Agency
Glass Mountain Capital, LLC

Associate Law Firm
Maurice Wutscher LLP

Affiliate
EZ Messenger

Brass ($1,000)
Certified Debt Buyer
Collins Asset Group
Jormandy, LLC
Mjollnir Group
National Recovery Solutions, LLC
Resurgence Capital, LLC
The Bureaus, Inc.
The Cadle Company

Certified Collection Agency
Stoneleigh Recovery Associates
Halsted Financial Services, LLC

Certified Law Firm
Peroutka, Miller, Klima & Peters, P.A.

Associate Debt Buyer
Balbec Capital
International Debt Buying Consultants, LLC dba Portfolio Management Group
Western States Financial Management, LLC

Associate Law Firm
Andreu, Palma, Lavin & Solis, PLLC
Bedard Law Group, P.C.
Mullooly, Jeffrey, Rooney & Flynn, LLP
Simmonds & Narita, LLP
The Law Offices of Ronald S. Canter, LLC
Tobin & Marohn
Vargo & Janson, P.C.

Affiliate
CMS Services
Full Circle Financial Services, LLC
Resource Management Services, Inc.
VeriFacts, Inc.

Individual / Non-members
Century Support Services, LLC
Dara Tarkowski

Other
Certified Debt Buyer
Acctcorp International, Inc.
Atlantic Credit & Finance, Inc.
Autovest, LLC
Cascade Capital, LLC
Converging Capital, LLC.
Credit Management Corporation
Gemini Capital Group, LLC
HS Financial Group, LLC
Icon Equities, LLC
Indiana Receivables, Inc.
Investment Retrievers, Inc.
Jefferson Capital Systems
NCB Management Services, Inc.
Poser Investments, Inc.
Quantum3 Group, LLC
Troy Capital, LLC
USI Solutions, Inc.
West Bay Recovery, Inc.

Certified Broker
DebtTrader

Certified Collection Agency
Frontline Asset Strategies, LLC

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

Associate Debt Buyer
ABC Collections LLC
Allen & Durrant Corp.
Alliance Credit Services, Inc.
Atlas Acquisitions
Convergence Acquisitions LLC
Fair Collections & Outsourcing, Inc.
Genesis Recovery Services
National Check Resolution, Inc.
PerSolve, LLC
Pharus Funding, LLC
Phoenix Asset Group, LLC
RIP Medical Debt
US Asset Management

Associate Collection Agency
A-1 Collection Service
Adams London & Weiss, LLC
Alpha Recovery Corp.
Apple Recovery, LLC
Capital Collection Management, LLC
Crisis Consulting and Marketing
DRS Processing, LLC
FMS, Inc.
Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc.
Midwest Recovery Systems, LLC
Nationwide Credit & Collection, Inc.
SIMM Associates, Inc.
Superlative RM
TCF & Associates

Associate Law Firm
Butler & Associates, P.A.
Delev & Associates, LLC
Faloni & Associates, LLC
Harrington, Anderson & DeBlasio
Hudson Cook, LLP
Hunt & Henriques
Kirschenbaum & Phillips, P.C.
Law Offices of Daniel C. Consuegra, P.L.
Malone Akerly Martin PLLC
Pressler and Pressler, LLP
Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik, LLC
Schachter Portnoy, LLC, Attorneys at Law
Venable, LLP
Winn Law Group, APC

Affiliate
Accelerated Data Systems
Acumen Solutions Group
ComplyARM, Inc.
Comtronic Systems, LLC
Convoke, Inc.
Court Appearance Professionals
Debt Sales Partners
FLOCK Specialty Finance
Harvest Strategy Group, Inc.
Metronome Financial, LLC
MicroBilt Corporation
MRS BPO, LLC
PCI Group Inc.
SAM, Inc. – Solutions for Account Management
TransUnion
Vertican Technologies, Inc.
Y2Payment Systems, Inc.

Individual(s) / Non-member(s)
Central Portfolio Control, Inc.
Dan Crowley
David Reid
Greenberg Advisors
Jan Stieger
Mike Colby

2018-01-15T15:51:51+00:00 January 12, 2018|RMA Update|