Christopher J. Willis

Christopher J. Willis

Ballard Spahr LLP

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CFPB Proposes Rule To Supervise Nonbank Auto Finance Companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a proposal to supervise nonbank companies that qualify as “larger participants of a market for automobile financing.” Comments on the proposal will be due 60 days after the...more

9/19/2014 - Automotive Industry Automotive Loans Banks CFPB Nonbank Firms

Pa. Banking Secretary Issues Letter on Amendments to Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act

Significant changes to Pennsylvania law governing retail installment sales will take effect before the end of this year as a result of Act No. 2013-98 (Act 98). The Act 98 changes to the state’s Motor Vehicle Sales Finance...more

9/16/2014 - Automotive Industry Automotive Loans Motor Vehicles

Hanna Law Firm Moves to Dismiss CFPB Complaint

Today, the law firm of Fredrick J. Hanna & Associates filed a motion to dismiss the enforcement action brought by the CFPB against it in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia....more

9/15/2014 - CFPB Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions FDCPA Motion to Dismiss

FDCPA Violated by Letter Suggesting Consumer Can Avoid Litigation Only by Paying Debt, First Circuit Rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a collection letter sent by an attorney violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because it would lead a “hypothetical unsophisticated consumer” to...more

9/15/2014 - Appeals Corporate Counsel Debt Collection FDCPA Written Notice

NY Attorney General Files Redlining Lawsuit Alleging Mortgage Discrimination

The New York Attorney General filed a complaint this week in a New York federal court against a national bank headquartered in the state and its holding company alleging that the defendants violated the federal Fair Housing...more

9/5/2014 - Attorney Generals Bank Holding Company Banks Discrimination Disparate Impact DOJ FHA HMDA Mortgages Redlining

FDCPA Is Violated When Consumer’s Account Number Is Visible through Window of Debt Collector’s Envelope, Third Circuit Holds

In a precedential opinion rendered last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the disclosure of a consumer’s account number through the transparent window of a debt collector’s envelope violates...more

9/5/2014 - Appeals Corporate Counsel Debt Collection Debt Collectors FDCPA Privacy Laws

FTC Settles with Two Debt Collectors over Alleged FDCPA and FTC Act Violations

The debt collection industry continues to be a major focus of the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement efforts, as shown by the agency’s decision to simultaneously announce two settlements last week with Tennessee and New...more

8/13/2014 - Debt Debt Collection FDCPA FTC FTCA Popular

FTC Announces Consent Order with Subprime Auto Lender for Alleged Violations of FDCPA, FCRA

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a consent order with a subprime auto lender for alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and the Fair...more

6/3/2014 - Automotive Loans FCRA FDCPA FTC UDAAP

Disparate Impact to Supreme Court Again?

Yet another Fair Housing Act disparate impact case may find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. After losing on appeal at the Fifth Circuit in March, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (Texas DHCA) recently...more

6/2/2014 - Appeals Certiorari Disparate Impact Fair Housing Fair Housing Act HUD SCOTUS Section 8 Tax Credits

W.Va. Requires Time-Barred Debt Disclosures in ‘Initial Written Communication’

The West Virginia Legislature recently passed H.B. 4360, which amended Section 46A-2-128 of the West Virginia Code, that defines what constitutes unfair or unconscionable debt collection activities. The amendments are...more

4/17/2014 - Debt Debt Collection Disclosure Requirements UDAAP

The CFPB’s Debt Collection Complaint Report: Lots of Fury Signifying Nothing

Yesterday, the CFPB released its annual report on debt collection, along with a press release. The headline, according to the Bureau, is that “Consumers Report Being Hounded About Debts Not Owed,” and the Bureau reported that...more

3/24/2014 - CFPB Debt Collection

FCRA Claim Provides Article III Standing without Showing of Actual Harm, Ninth Circuit Rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a plaintiff had Article III standing to sue a website operator for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regardless of whether he could show actual...more

2/11/2014 - Article III ATMs EFTA FCRA Injury-in-Fact SCOTUS Statutory Damages

Collection Letter Requiring Written Dispute Violated FDCPA, Fourth Circuit Holds

A collection letter violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because it stated that the debtor could only dispute the debt in writing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled. The Fourth...more

2/7/2014 - Debt Collection FDCPA

Justice Department, U.S. Attorney, N.C. Attorney General Sue over Reverse Redlining by Auto Dealers

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the North Carolina Attorney General filed a complaint last week against two corporations that own two “buy here, pay here” used car dealerships, as well as...more

1/21/2014 - Car Dealerships DOJ ECOA Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

DOJ Hits First Bank Target in ‘Operation Choke Point’

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lengthy complaint and consent order in a lawsuit against Four Oaks Bank & Trust Company. The DOJ action is the first lawsuit (and settlement) under "Operation Choke...more

1/20/2014 - Banking Sector CashCall DOJ EFTA Fair Lending Payday Loans Payment Processors

Eleventh Circuit Considers Permissibility under FDCPA of Percentage-Based Debt Collection Fees

In a per curiam decision last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit suggested that percentage-based debt collection fees are permissible under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) if they are...more

1/7/2014 - Collection Agencies Contract Drafting Debt Buyers Debt Collection FDCPA Fees

CFPB Issues Aggressive Rulemaking Agenda

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recently released fall 2013 rulemaking agenda portends aggressive rulemaking by the Bureau in 2014. With most of the rulemaking mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act now completed,...more

12/6/2013 - CFPB Compliance Dodd-Frank Enforcement Mortgages

CFPB Finalizes Rule To Supervise Student Loan Servicers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a final rule allowing it to supervise nonbank servicers of private and federal student loans who qualify as “larger participants” in the student loan servicing market. The...more

12/4/2013 - CFPB Loan Servicing Nonbank Firms Student Loans Students

Statewide Judicial System Report Issued on N.Y. Foreclosure Cases

Earlier this month, the Chief Administrative Judge of New York’s Unified Court System issued a report on the status of foreclosure cases in the state judicial system. The 2013 report contains important information about how...more

11/14/2013 - Foreclosure Mortgages

FTC Revises Vocational School Guides

The Federal Trade Commission has revised its Guides for Private Vocational and Distance Education Schools, generally referred to as the “Vocational School Guides” (Guides). The Guides are intended to advise businesses that...more

11/14/2013

DOJ Settles Fair Lending Cases against Mortgage Lenders

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently settled fair lending lawsuits against two mortgage lenders. Both actions involved DOJ attempts to use disparate impact evidence to establish that a lender engaged in a “pattern or...more

11/12/2013 - Discrimination DOJ Fair Lending Mortgages National Origin Discrimination Racial Discrimination

Federal Regulators Propose Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies of Regulated Entities

Six federal agencies have proposed joint standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of regulated entities relating to employment and contracting with third parties. The proposal was developed by the...more

10/29/2013 - Diversity OMWI

New York DFS Seeks Stronger Court Rules for Default Judgments in Collection Actions

A proposal by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) would substantially drive up the costs of bringing consumer debt collection actions in the state. The DFS is seeking stronger court rules for obtaining default...more

10/25/2013 - Debt Collection Default Judgment Financial Services Authority

Federal Regulators Issue Statement on Qualified Mortgage Fair Lending Risks

Federal regulators have issued an interagency statement intended to address industry concerns regarding the fair lending risks associated with compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s...more

10/25/2013 - Ability-to-Repay CFPB Fair Lending FDIC Mortgages NCUA Qualified Mortgage Rule

FTC Settles First Case Challenging Debt Collector’s Use of Text Messages

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that it had settled a case representing its first action challenging a debt collector’s use of text messages. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that the defendant debt...more

10/4/2013 - Debt Collection FDCPA FTC TCPA Texting

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