RMA Update March 2018

/RMA Update March 2018

The Federal Committee has a full agenda for 2018. Kicking off the year’s activities is preparing responses to the seven RFI’s issued by the CFPB. The responses are due in 60 to 90 days. Committee members will draft responses that will be reviewed by the full committee. Links to the RFI’s follows. If you would like to submit any comments to be used in drafting the formal RMA International response, please send your comments to jstieger@rmassociation.org.

RMA is currently tracking more than 190 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:

Connecticut HB 5490 – This is an omnibus banking law bill introduced by the Joint Committee on Banking. The provisions impacting the collection industry can be found in sections 78 and 79 of the bill. The bill would: (1) authorize the Banking Department to use the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) to license consumer collection agencies (a very common development as more states are joining NMLS to streamline their licensing requirements); (2) clean up how debt buying companies are referenced in parts of the Consumer Collection Agency Act (technical non-substantive amendments); and (3) exempt debt buying companies from the requirement of maintaining a minimum tangible net worth of fifty thousand dollars.

Connecticut HB 5491 – This bill would impose an automatic $1,000 exemption on garnishments of consumer bank accounts. [RMA opposes this bill as the average bank garnishment is below the $1,000 threshold, thereby effectively ending this practice in CT.]

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. The bill was unanimously reported out of committee with the recommendation to pass on 2/7/18.]

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 has retained a lobbyist to oppose the bill in its current form. RMA testified in opposition of this bill at a legislative hearing in Boston on September 25th. The bill was reported out of committee to the Ways & Means Committee on 12/18/17.]

Rhode Island HB 7929 – Creates the “Expired Debt Act” which would among other things: (1) prohibit consumer contact until the collector “possesses verifiable information documenting” chain of title, the amount of the debt, and the connection of the debtor to the debt; (2) require consumer notices on out of statute debt in every communication when the debt is beyond the statute of limitations; (3) prohibits default judgments on out of stat debt; and (4) provides damages for mental distress and emotional anguish. [RMA opposes this bill in its current form. RMA is working with industry participants in seeking amendments and is planning to testify in opposition to the bill in committee.]

Vermont HB 482 (text not yet available on VT legislative website) – This bill is being amended in committee to, among other things: (1) prohibit debt collectors from contacting consumers after the statute of limitations expires on any asset class; (2) reduce the statute of limitations from six to three years on credit card debts; (3) adopt some fairly basic prohibited debt collection practices; and (4) establish a new civil penalty of $500.00 for a first violation and $1,000.00 for each subsequent violation. [RMA has retained a lobbyist to oppose the bill in its current draft form. RMA testified in opposition to the bill in February. Negotiations are ongoing but it appears that consumer advocates have agreed to maintain the six year SOL, adopt SOL language consistent with RMA’s certification standard # 12, and cap civil penalties at $5,000.]

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

Third Circuit Holds “Settlement Offer” on Time-Barred Debt Triggers FDCPA Claim
Tatis v. Allied Interstate, LLC, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-4022 (Feb. 12, 2018)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a collection letter sent to collect a time-barred debt that makes a “settlement offer” to accept payment “in settlement of” the debt could potentially violate the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s (FDCPA) general prohibition against “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.”  15 U.S.C. § 1692e. A copy of the opinion is available here.

The defendant debt collection company sent a letter dated May 18, 2015 that read as follows: “[The creditor] is willing to accept payment in the amount of $128.99 in settlement of this debt.  You can take advantage of this settlement offer if we receive payment of this amount or if you make another mutually acceptable payment arrangement within 40 days . . .”

At the time the letter was sent, the six-year New Jersey statute of limitations applicable to debt-collection actions had already run.

The debtor filed a class action in federal district court alleging that the company’s letter violated the FDCPA.  The debtor alleged that she interpreted the word “settlement” in the letter to mean she had a legal obligation to pay, and that the least-sophisticated debtor would hold a similar belief.  She claimed that the letter was therefore false, deceptive, or misleading under section 1692e of the FDCPA.

The Third Circuit noted that “three other United States Courts of Appeals have addressed the question presented in this appeal,” and “[a]ll three have determined that, even absent threats of litigation, it is plausible that offers to ‘settle’ time-barred debts could mislead the least-sophisticated debtor.”  See McMahon v. LVNV Funding, LLC, 744 F.3d 1010 (7th Cir. 2014); Buchanan v. Northland Group, Inc., 776 F.3d 393 (6th Cir. 2015); Daugherty v. Convergent Outsourcing, Inc., 836 F.3d 507 (5th Cir. 2016).

Noting that it was not bound by these precedents, the Third Circuit was “persuaded their considered view is the best interpretation of the FDCPA.”

9th Cir. Affirms Dismissal of FCRA Putative Class Action for Lack of Standing
Bassett v. ABM Parking Services, Inc., Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-35933. (Feb. 21, 2018)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a consumer’s putative class action alleging willful violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for lack of standing under Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016).

In so ruling, the Court held that merely printing a credit card receipt without redacting the card’s full expiration date does not, alone, allege a concrete injury.

A copy of the opinion in Bassett v. ABM Parking Services, Inc. is available here.

The consumer alleged that his injury was “exposure . . . to identity theft and credit/debit fraud,” because he was at “imminent risk” that his “property would be stolen and/or misused by identity thieves.”  However, he did not allege that someone stole his identity.  Instead, he claimed that “the risk of harm created in printing the expiration date on the receipt” was a “sufficiently concrete” injury. The Ninth Circuit disagreed, concluding that the consumer cannot merely allege a FCRA violation “divorced from any concrete harm” and achieve standing to file a FCRA claim.

Ninth Circuit: Actions to Facilitate a Non-Judicial Foreclosure Not Covered by FDCPA
Koenig v. Bank of America, N.A., Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-16917 (March 1, 2018)
Hamilton v. Tiffany & Bosco PA, et al., Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 15-15473 (Feb. 21, 2018)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of FDCPA claims arising from non-judicial foreclosure proceedings in California and Arizona. The court reiterated its 2017 decisions in Ho v. ReconTrust Co. N.A. and Dowers v. Nationstar Mortg., LLC, holding that while the FDCPA can regulate the enforcement of security interests, it does so only under 1692f(6) and the other provisions of the FDCPA only concern the collection of a money debt.  A link to the opinion in Koenig is available here and Hamilton 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 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, 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.

On March 1, RMA adopted version 6.0 of the Receivables Management Certification Program, making significant enhancements, including Certification for Canadian debt buying companies [Appendix C]. Be sure to check out version 6.0 to see if any of the changes apply to your company!

Need live/in person continuing education credits for certification? Members who are seeking to earn live credits in order to obtain RMA’s Certified Receivables Compliance Professional (CRCP) designation can do so at the upcoming Executive Summit, July 31–August 2, 2018  at the Cliff House in Cape Neddick, Maine. You can also contact one of our Authorized Education Providers who may have a live seminar in your area. Be sure to check out the certification tab on our website.

Congratulations to our new and renewed companies and individuals!

New Companies
Duke Edwards, P.C.
National Debt Holdings, LLC
O&L Law Group
Peritus Portfolio Services II, LLC

Renewed Companies
Quantum 3 Group
Investment Retrievers
Debt Recovery Solutions
Collins Asset Group LLC

New Individuals
Brian Glass, General Counsel, Halsted Financial Services
Cara Lausen, Manager, Corporate Affairs, Convergence Acquisitions, LLC
Jenny DeHoyos, VP Client Services, Capio Partners, LLC

Renewed Individuals
David Maczka, Chief Compliance Officer, Diverse Funding, LLC/ C & E Acqusitions
Andrew Blady, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel, LLC
Adam Craig, Chief Compliance Officer, Bayview Solutions, LLC
Zachary Schwartz, Vice President, Debt Recovery Solutions, LLC
Patricia Druckman, Chief Compliance Officer, Pharus Funding, LLC
Linh Tran, CCO and Senior Corporate Counsel, Quantum3 Group, LLC
Walter Poser, President, Poser Investments, Inc.
Jeanette Aceves, Operations Mgr/Compliance Officer, Icon Equities, LLC
Walt Collins, CEO, Collins Asset Group

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.

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

BBVA Compass — Originating Creditor — Alabama
Emergent Business Group, Inc. — Associate Debt Buyer — Pennsylvania
Finmax Smart Capital, LLC — Associate Collection Agency — Florida
LaVerne D. Long-Daniels, LLC — Associate Law Firm — Georgia
List & Associates, LLC — Associate Law Firm — Colorado
Nextep Funding — Originating Creditor — Virginia
Parker Fellows & Smith, LLC — Associate Collection Agency — Arizona
Samuel I. White, P.C. — Associate Law Firm — Virginia
Zarzaur &Schwartz, P.C. — Associate Law Firm — Alabama

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

State Licensing Information Now Available
State-by-state licensing information is vital to your compliance efforts and business success. Affiliate member Cornerstone Support has generously partnered with RMA to provide members updated, accurate information on licensing laws and requirements in each U.S. state. Access on the RMA website (requires member log-in).

RMA Receives Overwhelming Response for 2018 Committee Participation
Seventy-two RMA members submitted committee interest forms requesting to serve on a 2018 committee, several of which volunteered to serve on more than one committee. Of the 72 members who submitted interest forms, 35 are first-time volunteers. This is a positive confirmation of member engagement and members wanting to help shape the future of the ARM industry. No matter what committee you serve on, you are an Ambassador for the association and we couldn’t do the good work we do without you.

Beware Name and Web Domain Scams
RMA wants to remind its members to always perform their due diligence when purchasing and selling accounts or providing accounts to a third-party collector. Scammers are all around us. Did you know that some scammers will create fake domains and email addresses that are almost identical to legitimate companies, copy the company’s logo and branding, and then impersonate one of their employees in order to obtain a portfolio of accounts? Some of these imposters may even be fraudulently using RMA Certification numbers in their email signature blocks. So be careful out there and do your homework to always make sure the person you are communicating with is, in fact, that person.

Executive Summit 2018

Transform your business trip into a family getaway! RMA’s 2018 Executive Summit will take place in scenic Maine, July 31–August 2. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Registration opens April 9.

Contribute Now
Consumer Testimonial of the Month
“The representative knew exactly how to handle the situation and took care of it in a very short time.”  –C.N, Connecticut (2/6/2018)
Add your consumer testimonials to the RMA Consumer Testimonial Databank by clicking here or by emailing David Reid. Please use the format above and don’t forget to redact any personal identifying information from the testimonial.
Contribute Now

Thank you 2017-2018 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

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
JH Capital
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
Acctcorp International, Inc.
Collins Asset Group
First Financial Asset Management, Inc. (FFAM360)
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
CBC Companies
CMS Services
Full Circle Financial Services, LLC
Resource Management Services, Inc.
VeriFacts, Inc.

Individuals/Non-members
Century Support Services, LLC
Dara Tarkowski
Mike Colby

Other
Certified Debt Buyer
Atlantic Credit & Finance, Inc.
Autovest, LLC
Cascade Capital, LLC
Converging Capital, LLC.
Credit Management Corporation
Debt Recovery Solutions, LLC
eCAST Settlement Corp.
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
United Debt Holdings
USI Solutions, Inc.
West Bay Recovery, Inc.

Certified Broker
DebtTrader.com

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
Emergent Business Group Inc.
Fair Collections & Outsourcing, Inc.
Genesis Recovery Services
National Check Resolution, Inc.
Oliphant Financial, LLC
PerSolve, LLC
Pharus Funding, LLC
Phoenix Asset Group, LLC
Premier Forty Financial, LLC
RIP Medical Debt
US Asset Management

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

Associate Law Firm
Butler & Associates, P.A.
Delev & Associates, LLC
Faloni & Associates, LLC
Harrington, Anderson & DeBlasio
Hinshaw & Culbertson
Hudson Cook, LLP
Hunt & Henriques
Keith. D. Weiner & Associates,
Kirschenbaum & Phillips, P.C.
Law Offices of Daniel C. Consuegra, P.L.
Law Office of James R. Vaughan, P.C.
Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
Malone Akerly Martin PLLC
McNall & Associates, P.C.
Pressler and Pressler, LLP
Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik, LLC
Schachter Portnoy, LLC, Attorneys at Law
Venable, LLP
Winn Law Group, APC

International Debt Buyer
CBV Collection Services Ltd.

Affiliate
Accelerated Data Systems
Acumen Solutions Group
ComplyARM, Inc.
Comtronic Systems, LLC
Contact Relief
Convoke, Inc.
Court Appearance Professionals
DAKCS Software Systems, Inc.
Debt Sales Partners
Diversified Consultants, Inc.
Garnet Capital Advisors, LLC
FLOCK Specialty Finance
Harvest Strategy Group, Inc.
JS Technologies, Inc.
Metronome Financial, LLC
MicroBilt Corporation
MRS BPO, LLC
PCI Group Inc.
SAM, Inc. – Solutions for Account Management
TransUnion
ProVest LLC
Quantrax Corporation Inc.
Solutions by Text
The Blacklist Alliance
Vertican Technologies, Inc.
WebRecon LLC
Y2Payment Systems, Inc.

Individuals/Non-members
Central Portfolio Control, Inc.
Consumer Asset Management
Dan Crowley
David Reid
FMA Alliance, Ltd.
Gatestone & Co. International Inc.
Greenberg Advisors
Jan Stieger
Mac Murray & Shuster, LLP
PayNearMe
Receivables Management Association
Seventy Two Pixels, LLC
Welch & Company, LLC

2018-03-15T10:49:52+00:00 March 14, 2018|RMA Update|