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New Decision in the Hunstein Case: Our Work Continues

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On October 28, 2021, we received a new decision in the Hunstein case.  Unfortunately, the decision portends more work ahead for industry.

As a brief recap, the Hunstein case involves an individual claim against a debt collector.  The allegation is that the debt collector violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by sending specific information about the debt to a third-party.  In this case, the third party was a print vendor, which is a company engaged to prepare mail for the debt collector to send at the debt collector’s direction.

The case has caused a great deal of concern in the financial services sector, as financial institutions have historically used print vendors and other third parties without being held to violate the FDCPA.

The most recent decision by a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals replaces a prior decisionby the same panel.  While the current decision is primarily about whether the plaintiff had standing to sue the debt collector, the court discussed the operative section of the FDCPA, which provides:

a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than the consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.

The court considered whether, based on the language of the statute, the communication by the debt collector of information regarding the plaintiff was a communication in connection with the collection of a debt.  In short, the court found that the communication to the third party was prohibited under the statute, regardless of the longstanding practice of using such vendors.  The defendant specifically attempted to sway the court with evidence of the widespread industry practice of using print vendors, but the court was not persuaded.  The opinion recognizes that this decision will be disruptive to the debt collection industry, but that the court acted based on its understanding of the statute.  The court correctly observed that Congress can readily change the law to better reflect the desired outcome.

There are additional appeal opportunities for this decision, and AFSA will continue to monitor the issue and coordinate with other interested parties.

New Decision in the Hunstein Case: Our Work Continues
Oct 28, 2021

On October 28, 2021, we received a new decision in the Hunstein case.  Unfortunately, the decision portends more work ahead for industry.

As a brief recap, the Hunstein case involves an individual claim against a debt collector.  The allegation… Read the rest

About That Consumer Reports Story
Oct 28, 2021

A few folks may have seen the Consumer Reports article regarding consumer lending in the vehicle finance space. The American Financial Services Association provided the publication with extensive comments and materials that, were theyRead the rest

Registration Open | 2021 Virtual Fixed Income Investors Summit
Oct 26, 2021

The AFSA Credit Summit for Fixed Income Investors is back for 2021 and coming right to your home or office.

Join finance industry executives, debt issuers, and investors virtually on Tuesday, December 7 for a fast-paced, single day conference… Read the rest

AFSA Honors Jones, Locke for Service to Industry
Oct 26, 2021

AFSA created the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) in 1941 to recognize individuals who contribute to the growth and advancement of the financial services industry and our association.

Today, at the 2021 Annual Meeting at the Mandarin Oriental… Read the rest

We’re Waiting for You in Washington
Oct 24, 2021

The 2021 AFSA Annual Meeting kicks off next week in Washington, DC and, whether you’re joining us in-person or virtually, we can’t wait to see you.

AFSA has planned some thought-provoking and inspirational sessions that we think

Read the rest

AFSA Outlines Priorities in NDAA
Oct 20, 2021

AFSA sent a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) legislation for 2022.

The NDAA, which must pass Congress every year, is currently… Read the rest

AFSA on Interchange in WI
Oct 20, 2021

On Wednesday, October 20, AFSA’s State Government Affairs (SGA) team partnered with other trade associations sent a joint letter to the Wisconsin legislature regarding AB 587 and SB 572, which prohibit interchange on the sales tax portion… Read the rest

AFSA Sends Letter to CA DFPI on Proposed Collection Rules
Oct 14, 2021

On Tuesday, October 5, AFSA’s State Government Affairs (SGA) team sent a letter to the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) commenting on the DFPI’s proposed Debt Collection Licensing Act (DCLA) rules. Many… Read the rest

AFSA Letter to CFPB Stresses Importance of Credit Access, Financial Literacy
Oct 13, 2021

Today, AFSA sent a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra. Mr. Chopra was confirmed as Director earlier this month. AFSA’s letter stresses the crucial role AFSA member companies play in the lives ofRead the rest

Chief Compliance Officer Perspectives
Oct 13, 2021

With increasing demands from regulators and growing complexity in operating a consumer finance company, a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) in 2021 has a lot to manage.

For this panel, moderated by AFSA’s VP of Compliance Education Philip… Read the rest

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