Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is a federal law that establishes general standards of proscribed conduct, defines and restricts abusive collection acts. The FDCPA provides specific rights for consumers, that protect consumers from invasion of privacy, harassment, abuse, false or deceptive representations, and unfair or unconscionable collection methods.
Troutman Sanders regularly defends debt collectors, debt buyers, banks, loan servicers and creditors against individual claims and class actions under the FDCPA and related state debt collection statutes. Whether representing large national or small local debt collectors and debt buyers, we understand the highly technical nature of these federal and state statutes, where requirements and prohibitions are highly specialized and heavily litigated, and are ready to assist clients with their compliance and litigation needs in this area.
Our lawyers specialize in representing clients involved with individual and class action complaints and actions brought by State Attorneys General and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding alleged FDCPA or state law violations, including:
- Communications by debt collectors with consumers and third parties, such as disclosure of identity and debt;
- Harassing, oppressive, and abusive conduct, such as continuous telephone calls;
- Alleged robo-signing of supporting affidavits;
- False, deceptive, or misleading representations or affidavits;
- False representations of character or legal status of debt;
- Collection of amounts not authorized by contract or law;
- Threats of illegal action;
- Collection of time-barred debts; and
- Failure to properly verify debt.
Representative FDCPA and State Law Experience – Individual Cases
- Represented national debt collection firm in suit alleging violations of the FDCPA for attempting to collect debts discharged in bankruptcy.
- Represented national debt collection firm in suit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and FDCPA for attempting to collect time-barred debts.
- Represented multi-national investment banking firm and national loan servicers in suit alleging violations of the FDCPA. Secured dismissal with prejudice of FDCPA claims. Florez v. Goldman Sachs, No. 01:09cv1181 (E.D. Va.).
- Represented national debt collection firm in 700+ plaintiff “mass action” for claims of numerous FDCPA violations including allegations of robo-signing of affidavits for collection of default judgments.
- Represented multi-national financial services company in state court suits which alleged violations of the FDCPA involving foreclosures.
- Represented national loan servicing company in case alleging violations of FDCPA involving foreclosures. Defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings was granted.
- Represented national debt collections firm in dozens of suits regarding FDCPA violations and abuse of process claims over robo-signing of affidavits to obtain default judgments.
- Represented national debt collections firm in multiple cases regarding FDCPA and Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations for garnishment issues relating to underlying judgments against individuals.
- Represented multinational investment banking firm and national loan servicers on appeal to the Fourth Circuit for district court’s dismissal of FDCPA claims, among others.
- Represented national debt collector against claims by multiple plaintiffs for FDCPA, civil RICO and state law abuse of process relating to allegations of false representations and alleged lack of personal knowledge in supporting affidavits.
- Defended national debt collector against claims in multiple cases involving the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.
- Represented national loan servicing company in class action in Illinois federal court (N.D. Ill.) alleging violations of the FDCPA over the adequacy of disclosures provided in its dunning letters and alleging Illinois statutory and common law claims regarding debt collection communications.
Representative FDCPA Experience – Class Cases
- Represented multi-national financial services company in class action alleging violations of the FDCPA for overshadowing and contradictory statements in a dunning letter. Secured dismissal of FDCPA class action claims. John McCormick and Alice McCormick, on behalf of all other individuals similarly situated v. Wells Fargo Bank d/b/a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Samuel I. White , Civil Action No. 3:08cv944, United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
- Represented national debt collection firm in class action in New York federal court alleging violations of the FDCPA over the adequacy of disclosures provided by a national debt collection company in its dunning letters.
- Represented national loan servicing company in New Jersey federal court in class action alleging violations of the FDCPA over the propriety of debt collection communications.
- Represented national loan provider in class action in Maryland state court alleging FDCPA violations by alleged failure to disclose “mini-Miranda warning” to thousands of consumers. The Court granted our motion to dismiss all claims against our client, finding that the “formal pleading” exception applied. Echehoyen v. GMAC Mortgage LLC et al., Case No. 10-C-09-003965, Maryland Circuit Court.
- Represented debt collections law firm and individual lawyers in suit alleging FDCPA violations for failing to disclose identity as debt collector in dunning letter. Successfully prevailed on motion to refer case to arbitration based on arbitration provision in underlying contract between consumer and credit card issuer. Garrett v. Margolis, Pritzker, Epstein & Blatt, P.A., Civil Action No. 3:11cv298, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43113 (E.D. Va. Mar. 28, 2012).
- Represented national debt collection firm in Virginia federal court putative class action alleging violations of the FDCPA for validation notices.
- Represented national debt collection agency with respect to alleged systemic violations of Virginia law with respect to post-judgment garnishment actions.
- Represented national loan servicer in class actions in both federal and state courts in New York and New Jersey for FDCPA violations.
- Representing national debt collection firm in class action for violations of the FDCPA for garnishment issues relating to underlying judgments against individuals.
Representative FDCPA and State Law Experience – Attorney General Matters
- Defended a national debt buyer and debt collector in a lawsuit filed by the West Virginia Attorney General’s office related to compliance with state statutory requirements for collecting debts and filing collection lawsuits.
- Represented a national debt collector in a CFPB readiness review to ensure compliance with applicable FDCPA requirements.
- Represented a national debt collector in an audit to assure compliance with FDCPA requirements as a condition of collector’s maintaining a business relationship with Ohio Attorney General’s office as well as to facilitate discussion with the Attorney General’s office regarding compliance obligations.
- Represented a national debt buyer and debt collector in a multistate investigation (involving more than 38 states) addressing concerns about compliance with FDCPA and affidavit requirements.
- Represented a national debt collector and debt buyer in a licensure dispute with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs related to the entity’s compliance with FDCPA requirements as well as analogous requirements of New York City law.