NCLC

Bankruptcy News Briefs 11/13

Read the Headlines Kicking Off a New Week…

Illinois Court Finds Adding Collection Costs Pursuant to Underlying Contract Does Not Violate FDCPA

Freedom Debt Relief Responds to CFPB Complaint

Consumer Advocates Press Congress on Access to Justice

Behind the Lucrative Assembly Line of Student Debt Lawsuits

Creditor’s Removal of Pre-petition State Court Case to Bankruptcy Court Violated the Automatic Stay

Debtor’s Age Discrimination Claim was Not Judicially Estopped by Failure to Disclose it in Bankruptcy Case

Title Lender Offers Buyout Program Ahead of CFPB Rule

FTC Files Complaint Against Debt Collection Business for Alleged Violations of FTC Act, FDCPA

Online loans leave consumers deeper in debt, Fed research says

Minneapolis debt collector sued over notice to consumer

CFPB to Survey Consumers on Debt Collection Disclosures

Registration is Open for the 2017 Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop!

Examine the New and Amended Bankruptcy Rules, National Uniform Plan and Local Plans

December 7-8, 2017
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern (Both Days, Part I & 2)
NACBA Member Fee: $199
Non-Member: $369
Format: Live Presentation, both days, with Q&A.
Includes: All Materials, Certificate of Attendance & Recording Access.

Register HERE

  • You must be logged in to receive the member rate. See help video.

Who’s Excited for the 2018 NACBA Annual Convention?

 

  • Save the Date for the 2018 NACBA Annual Convention on April 19-22 at the Sheraton in Downtown Denver! Registration opens November 13,2017!
  • NACBA 2018 Cruise! Get ready to set sail on the Empress of the Sea on November 29th-December 3rd 2018! 
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NACBA’s Washington Update, October 27th

Go into the weekend informed about significant and relevant activity on the part of Congress, regulatory agencies and interest groups/think tanks. Check out what’s happening in Washington, DC.

ON THE HILL On October 24th during the late hours, a slim majority of Republicans in the Senate voted to pass Senate Joint Resolution 47, which repeals a rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that made it easier for Americans to sue their banks and credit card companies. Vice President Mike Pence issued the deciding vote to repeal CFPB’s arbitration rule and block consumers from suing financial giants like Equifax and Wells Fargo. Republican Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) voted against the measure.

The Senate passed S. 1107, The Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017, on October 24th introduced by U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Trump in the next 10 days. Coons’ bill extends Delaware’s five temporary bankruptcy judgeships for five years. The bill also adds two temporary bankruptcy judgeships for Delaware. The bill also provides extensions for 14 temporary judgeships and creates four new bankruptcy judgeships total across the country.

On October 20th, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and seven other senators to call on the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to use its discretion to help college students and student loan borrowers displaced or otherwise unable to continue their education in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Their joint letter called upon the ED to exercise discretion to enroll borrowers impacted by Hurricane Maria “in interest-free administrative forbearance for a minimum period of six months, or until Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are no longer considered to be in a disaster zone”.

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) is praising Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for refusing to cooperate with the CFPB and says he hopes it sets an example for other federal agencies. In the letter issued on October 16th, Chairman Hensarling made it clear he would like other agencies to follow Education’s lead. He argues that the Education Department’s action to “curb the CFPB’s overreach are most welcome, and hopefully will serve as an example to other federal agencies to re-evaluate their relationship with the CFPB.”

IN THE AGENCIES On October 17th, 18 states led by Maryland and Pennsylvania sued the Department of Education for illegally delaying and refusing to enforce the gainful employment rule. Their complaint is based on the Department’s numerous violations of the Administrative Procedure Act. The gainful employment rule implements the Higher Education Act requirement that career education programs prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. Finalized in 2014 and in effect since 2015, the gainful employment regulation requires schools to give prospective students key information about costs and outcomes of career education programs at for-profit, public, and nonprofit colleges, ends federal funding for programs that consistently leave students with debts they cannot repay, and allows colleges to appeal if they believe program graduates earn more than federal data indicate.

Prior to the repeal of CFPB’s arbitration rule being brought to a vote, in a rare move, the Treasury Department sided with Wall Street attacking the rule issued by CFPB. The rule “fails to account for significant costs of class action litigation and benefits of arbitration in a meaningful way,” the Treasury Department said in an 18-page report. And it “would upend a century of federal policy favoring freedom of contract to provide for low-cost dispute resolution.”

FROM THE INTEREST GROUPS The American Legion and National Consumer Law Center published an op-ed in Politico’s Morning Consult on the taxation of death and disability on student loan discharges. In it they argue, when a borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled before paying off student loans, the loans can be discharged, relieving the disabled borrower or surviving family members of the burden of paying off a loan they often cannot afford. However, The Internal Revenue Service may treat the amount of the forgiven loan as taxable income. Although some will be able to exempt this income because they are insolvent, not all will qualify. As a result, a family that was relieved to have a student loan forgiven may then end up struggling to pay a big tax bill — all while dealing with the death of a child.

OTHER On October 14th PBS News Hour has a featured episode titled, “More older Americans than ever are struggling with student debt”. Watch it online now.

Feedback should be directed to Krista.DAmelio@NACBA.com

Stay Informed With NACBA’s Latest Washington Update

NACBA’s Krista D’Amelio keeps you updated and informed about significant and relevant activity on the part of Congress, regulatory agencies and interest groups/think tanks.  Take a look at what’s happening in DC in the latest Washington Update.

ON THE HILL On October 11th Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculating Act, H.R. 4001, to address the ballooning student loan debt crisis in America that cripples over 40 million Americans and their families. This legislation would allow students to refinance their student loan interest rates, lower future student loan interest rates, eliminate origination fees on student loans, delay student loan interest rate accrual for low-income and middle-class borrowers while they are pursuing their education, and allow for borrowers in medical or dental residencies to defer payments until the completion of their program.

Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-NC), the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee introduced H.R. 4028, the Promoting Responsible Oversight of Transactions and Examinations of Credit Technology Act of 2017, or the PROTECT Act, on October 12th. Following the data breach at Equifax that exposed the personal data of over 140 million Americans, this bill would require the federal government to create uniform cybersecurity standards for credit bureaus and submit them to onsite examinations. The bill would also create a national framework for credit freezes so that victims of identity theft, active military personnel, people over 65 years of age, and children are protected. Finally, the bill would stop the credit bureaus from using Americans’ Social Security Numbers as a basis for identification by 2020.

IN THE AGENCIES The U.S. Department of Education recently released data on the national student loan FY 2014 cohort default rate. The rate increased slightly from 11.3 percent to 11.5 percent for students who entered repayment between fiscal years 2013 and 2014. During the tracking period for the FY 2014 borrower cohort (Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2016), more than five million borrowers entered repayment, and 580,671 of them—or 11.5 percent—defaulted on their loans. Those borrowers attended 6,173 postsecondary institutions across the nation.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a rule that is aimed at stopping payday debt traps by requiring lenders to determine upfront whether people can afford to repay their loans on October 5th. These strong protections cover loans that require consumers to repay all or most of the debt at once, including payday loans, auto title loans, deposit advance products, and longer-term loans with balloon payments. The Bureau found that many people who take out these loans end up repeatedly paying expensive charges to roll over or refinance the same debt. The rule also curtails lenders’ repeated attempts to debit payments from a borrower’s bank account, a practice that racks up fees and can lead to account closure.

FROM THE INTEREST GROUPS On September 27, 2017 following the U.S. Trustee Program’s (USTP) recently issued guidelines for natural disasters, NACBA and NCLC wrote a joint letter urging for approval of a waiver of credit counseling requirements in the areas of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. NACBA and NCLC received a response on October 4th from the USTP. Specifically, the response letter calls to light the action of acting US Trustee Guy Gebhardt issuing a temporary waiver of credit counseling and debtor education requirements for the areas in Puerto Rico and US Virgin islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

NCLC released findings on October 11th that reveals discretionary pricing and racial disparities in auto add-on products sold by car dealers. Their report:  Auto Add-Ons Add Up: How Dealer Discretion Drives Excessive, Arbitrary, and Discriminatory Pricing, is an analysis of a national data set of three million add-on products sold from September 2009 through June 2015. Key findings include: add-ons lead to unreasonably high and inconsistent pricing, and Hispanics pay higher prices than non-Hispanic customers for the same product.

Feedback should be directed to Krista.DAmelio@NACBA.com

NACBA’s Latest Washington Update

 

Read the latest update from Washington, designed to keep NACBA members informed about significant and relevant activity on the part of Congress, regulatory agencies and interest groups/think tanks.

ON THE HILL  A vote in Senate on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration regulation is imminent. Republican leaders are considering whether to bring to the Senate floor a bill that would kill the arbitration regulation finalized by the CFPB this summer using a special legislative tool that allows them to avoid a Democratic filibuster if they act within 60 legislative days of implementation. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) are cosponsors of the legislation in the Senate. The debate comes three weeks after a public outcry compelled the Atlanta-based Equifax to quickly drop so-called forced arbitration language from the terms of service of the free credit monitoring service it was offering its customers after its massive data breach. The House of Representatives already passed a “resolution of disapproval” to revoke the CFPB’s arbitration rule. A total of 23 Senate Republicans filed a resolution at the end of July to rescind the CFPB rule. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, has promised to fight to keep the rule.

IN THE AGENCIES On September 14th, Clifford White, Director of the Executive Office of the U.S. Trustees addressed the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees at the 35th Annual Convention. He discussed topics that included chapter 7 trustees, guidance on natural disasters, marijuana assets, and stale debt claims—to name a few. Amongst things he noted for natural disaster guidelines were: the US Trustee Program (USTP) will not take enforcement action against debtors who are unable to file or produce documents required by the Code as a result of a natural disaster, if they otherwise are eligible for relief; USTP will not move to dismiss under the “means test” if income loss, increased expenses, or other consequences of a natural disaster constitute “special circumstances” sufficient to rebut the presumption of abuse; and even if conditions do not justify a United States Trustee granted statutory waiver of the credit counseling requirements for a district, USTP will exercise prosecutorial discretion in considering whether to take action to dismiss the case of a debtor who, as a result of a natural disaster, experiences difficulty in obtaining a credit counseling certificate or whose filing was delayed beyond the 180-day period following the debtor’s receipt of credit counseling.

The Federal Trade Commission launched a web page highlighting the work of the agency’s new Military Task Force, which is aimed at identifying the needs of military consumers and developing initiatives to empower servicemembers, veterans, and their families, including through law enforcement actions. The Military Task Force, comprised of a cross-section of agency representatives, is part of the FTC’s ongoing and collaborative effort to provide resources for the military community. Servicemembers, like all consumers, are potential targets for fraudsters. Certain scams are more likely to target the military community because those families may relocate frequently and because many service members are living on their own and earning a paycheck for the first time.

FROM THE INTEREST GROUPS Following the U.S. Trustee Program’s recently issued guidelines for natural disasters mentioned above, NACBA and NCLC wrote a joint letter urging for stronger relief for bankruptcy debtors in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico proportionate to the serious problems those hurricane victims are now facing. Specifically, NACBA and NCLC request USTP approve a waiver of credit counseling requirements in the areas of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

OTHER A report was recently published that analyzed issues of bankruptcy and race in America. Interested parties can access the report online.

 

Feedback should be directed to Krista.DAmelio@NACBA.com

Bankruptcy News Briefs 9/25

New Week…New Headlines…

CFPB Action Against Equifax Imminent

Overshadowed and Contradicted: Third Circuit Rules Second Demand Letter Violated FDCPA’s “Validation Notice” Requirement

On Anniversary of 7th Amendment, More than 400 Professors in All 50 States Urge Congress Not to Take Away Our Day in Court

Student loan debt doesn’t just hurt students. It hurts the U.S. economy, too

Report: Unaccountable CFPB Regulators Do More Harm than Good for Consumers

House Financial Services says CFPB failed to adequately investigate Wells Fargo in fraud case

Update on The CFPB’s Enforcement Case against Ocwen Financial Corporation

Equitable Mootness Doctrine Persists in Bankruptcy Appeals

Is the CFPB’s Regulatory Power Limited?

NACBA’s 2017 Hill Day!

NACBA is excited for 2017 Hill Day at Home October 16- October 20, 2017. Hill Day at Home allows NACBA members to meet with federal lawmakers, grow and maintain working relationships with Congressional offices, and have a lasting impact on bankruptcy policymaking, all without leaving the comfort of your state. Meetings will be arranged for you, some taking place in local House and Senate district offices and some being held over the phone with bankruptcy staffers in D.C.

NACBA Membership Promotion! 

Renew your NACBA membership this month for a chance to be entered to win not one but 2 amazing resources! Here’s what you can win!

  • NCLC’s Quick Guide to Federal Evidence and Objections(value $35). An essential practice tool for federal (and even state) court litigation, facilitating objection by rule number, and including common objections and motions at every stage of a case.
  • In addition to the Quick Guide to Evidence, winners will also receive the guide inside a NACBA logo portfolio (value $50). This portfolio even includes a protective space for your tablet!

Just renew your membership for a chance at winning!  Two (2) winners will be chosen at random each month.

Register for NACBA’s October Webinar!

Top 10 Ways to Drastically Increase Lead Conversion

DATE: Thursday, October 26th, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Eastern
PRESENTED BY: Stephen Fairley, Founder & CEO of The Rainmaker Institute
COST:  Member Benefit – No Cost for NACBA Members
REGISTER: HERE

Save The Date!

 

  • Save the Date for the 2018 NACBA Annual Convention on April 19-22 at the Sheraton in Downtown Denver!
  • NACBA 2018 Cruise! Get ready to set sail on the Empress of the Sea on November 29th-December 3rd 2018! Visit Havana, Cuba and Nassau, Bahamas while learning with NACBA! Registration is open!

New NACBA Member Promotion!

NEW NACBA MEMBER PROMOTION FROM AUGUST 2017-DECEMBER 2017

Renew Your Membership for a Chance to Win!

Renew your membership this month and be entered to win a copy of NCLC’s Quick Guide to Federal Evidence and Objections (value $35). An essential practice tool for federal (and even state) court litigation, facilitating objection by rule number, and including common objections and motions at every stage of a case.

In addition to the Quick Guide to Evidence, winners will also receive the guide inside a NACBA logo portfolio (value $50). This portfolio even includes a protective space for your tablet!

Just renew your membership for a chance at winning two great items from NACBA. Two (2) winners will be chosen at random each month.

Bankruptcy News Briefs 8/30

Catch Up On Midweek Headlines…

FTC Alleges Extensive FDCPA Violations Against North Carolina Debt Collection Operation

FCC Committee to Consider Recommendation on Blocking Unwanted Calls

Illinois Governor Vetoes ‘Student Loan Servicing Rights Act’

3 Lessons You Should Take From the Latest 1099(c) Letter Case

Court Rules Revocation of Consent for One Creditor Does Not Revoke Consent for Another

ED Updates Court on Debt Collection RFP Status; Requests Extension

Report: States Battle to Restrain High-Cost Installment Loans

Court Gets It Wrong on Exempt Property as Disposable Income

Court Hits Nationstar with $40,000 in Punitive Damages since its Delay in Following Court Orders Caused Debtor to Incur Damages

Consumer claims Premier Recovery Group attempted to collect already settled alleged debt

Student loan balances jump nearly 150 percent in a decade

“Modest” Overstatements of Amount Due and Interest Rate Actionable Under FDCPA, Ninth Circuit Rules

Upcoming Webinar!

DATE: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 3:00 PM Eastern to 4:15 PM Eastern
PRESENTED BYEdward C. Boltz, Law Offices of John T. Orcutt, PC; Durham, N.C. and Jody Bledsoe, Chapter 13 Trustee; New Bern, NC
COST: $25 Member / $75 Non Member
REGISTERHERE

 

Hot Off the Press! Read the Summer Edition of the Consumer Bankruptcy Journal!

In today’s Consumer Bankruptcy Journal highlight read, “In re: Kearney (kearney vs Navient Solutions Inc. et. al )Adv. Case  No. 16-3024-Southern District of Ohio Western Division at Dayton,” by Brian Flick, Esq.

Exciting Upcoming Events

Save the Date for the 2018 NACBA Annual Convention on April 19-22 at the Sheraton in Downtown Denver!

NACBA 2018 Cruise! Get ready to set sail on the Empress of the Sea on November 29th-December 3rd 2018! Visit Havana, Cuba and Nassau, Bahamas while learning with NACBA! Registration is open!