Archives for November 2014

Who is a St. Louis Debt Collector?

Who is a St. Louis Debt Collector?  The FDCPA Technical Clarification Act of 2013 (H.R. 2892) would exclude a law firm or licensed attorney from the definition of who is a St. Louis Debt Collector.  This is not an outright exclusion for attorneys, but the new law would not apply to litigation related conduct. The bill has received limited support from Democrats.  The passage of such legislation would reduce the threat of frivolous FDCPA litigation against attorneys and allow the true intent of the FDCPA to be enforced.  If there is a problem with  St. Louis Debt Collector attorneys bringing baseless claims in court, then allow the courts to sanction St. Louis Debt Collector attorneys or dismiss the improper claims.  The intent of the FDCPA was not to regulate the courts and deter creditors and their attorneys.  So, why allow Plaintiff attorneys to bring baseless actions against attorneys who engage in what would otherwise be considered legitimate litigation.

St. Louis Debt Collector attorneys are concerned that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) intends to regulate the debt collection industry using the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act.  This Act was signed by President Obama in 2010 to promote financial stability by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system.  The Act established the CFPB who has the ability to “exercise its authorities under federal consumer financial law to administer, enforce and otherwise implement the provisions of federal consumer financial law”.  Key issues are being raised with Proposed Regulation F, among them are vast changes to key terms such as debt collector.  This term is already defined in the FDCPA; however the CFPB is attempting to further define the term which is an administrative overreach and will definitely cause more confusion.   Proposed Regulation F also wants to impose restrictions on creditor remedies in state court which historically have been the province of state regulations.  The proposal cites potential geographic burdens on consumers to appear in court, a great number of default judgments, and a potential abuse of choice of venue by creditors.