Archive: 17 July 2015

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Federal District Court Upholds CFPB Claims Against Debt Collection Law Firm But Rejects Open-Ended Statute of Limitations Arguments

Federal District Court Upholds CFPB Claims Against Debt Collection Law Firm But Rejects Open-Ended Statute of Limitations Arguments

On July 14, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied defendants’ motion to dismiss the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) claims in CFPB v. Frederick J. Hanna & Associates. The CFPB’s complaint in this case alleges that the defendants, a law firm and its principals, operate “less like a law firm than a factory” that files tens of thousands of collection cases each year. The complaint alleges that the defendants filed over 350,000 collection suits each year, but that attorneys spend less than a minute reviewing and approving each suit. The CFPB’s complaint alleges that the lack of attorney involvement constitutes a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s (FDCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s (CFPA) prohibitions on deceptive practices because the collections actions filed by the defendants represented to consumers that attorneys were meaningfully involved in filing those actions when in fact they were not. The CFPB’s complaint also alleges that the defendants’ use of affidavits in which affiants represented they had personal knowledge of the validity and ownership of the debts violated these same statutes.

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