Christopher J. Willis

Christopher J. Willis

Ballard Spahr LLP

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FTC Announces ''Operation Collection Protection'' Developments

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced new developments in ''Operation Collection Protection,'' its new coordinated federal-state enforcement initiative targeting unlawful debt collection practices. The U.S....more

1/16/2016 - Attorney Generals CFPB Debt Collection DOJ Enforcement Actions FDCPA FTC FTCA

Eighth Circuit Dismisses FDCPA Claims Based on Affiant’s Alleged False Attestation of Personal Knowledge

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently ruled that a plaintiff’s allegation that an affiant had falsely attested to having personal knowledge of the facts alleged in a debt collection complaint was...more

12/2/2015 - Debt Collection False Statements FDCPA Putative Class Actions

Envelope’s Display of Internal Tracking Number Does Not Violate FDCPA, New York Federal Court Rules

A federal district court in New York has ruled that a debt collector did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by sending a collection letter in an envelope that allegedly revealed an internal tracking...more

11/19/2015 - Corporate Counsel Debt Collection FDCPA FTC Motion for Judgment

Court: Debtor Cannot Use FDCPA as Enforcement Mechanism for Arbitration Provision

A debt collector did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when it filed a summary judgment motion in a collection action after the debtor had sought enforcement of a credit card agreement’s arbitration...more

10/14/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Consumer Financial Products Credit Cards Debt Collectors FDCPA Financial Institutions Summary Judgment

Limited Liability Company Can Sue as “Person” Under FDCPA, Sixth Circuit Rules

A limited liability company is a “person” that can file a lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled. In Anarion Investments LLC v. Carrington...more

8/14/2015 - Appeals Civil Liability Debt Collectors FDCPA Financial Institutions Foreclosure FTC Homeowners Limited Liability Companies LLC Mortgage Lenders Mortgage Servicers Mortgages

Envelope’s Display of Bar Code With Embedded Account Number Violates FDCPA, Federal Court Rules

A federal court in Pennsylvania has ruled that a debt collector violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by sending a collection letter in an envelope that allegedly revealed a barcode in which the plaintiff’s...more

7/29/2015 - Debt Collection Debt Collectors FDCPA Financial Institutions Motion to Dismiss

11th Circuit: Representations by Attorneys in Debt Collection-Related Court Filings Actionable Under FDCPA

In Miljkovic v Shafritz & Dinkin, 2015 WL 3956570, a panel of the 11th Circuit held that representations made by an attorney in required court filings during the course of debt collection litigation can be actionable under...more

7/24/2015 - Creditors Debt Collection FDCPA First Impression Pleading Standards Pleadings

Maryland Appeals Court Declines to Adopt “Meaningful Attorney Involvement” Standard

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals recently declined to adopt the “meaningful attorney involvement” standard for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims based on alleged insufficient attorney involvement in debt...more

7/24/2015 - Appeals Claim Preclusion Collateral Estoppel Debt Buyers Debt Collection Debtors FDCPA Midland Funding Res Judicata

Second Circuit Rules FDCPA Does Not Require Disclosure of Settlement’s Tax Consequences

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) does not require a debt collector to disclose the possible tax consequences of a debtor’s acceptance of a...more

5/26/2015 - Appeals Debt Collectors FDCPA Income Taxes

Ninth Circuit Rules FDCPA and California Law Do Not Prohibit Collection Letter Seeking Prejudgment Interest

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that a debt collection letter seeking prejudgment interest on the debt did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or California’s Rosenthal...more

5/20/2015 - Appeals Debt Collection FDCPA Prejudgment Interest

Third Circuit Rules FDCPA Claims Can Be Based on Foreclosure Complaints

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently ruled that foreclosure complaints can be the basis of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims. This decision continues the Third Circuit's expansive...more

4/10/2015 - Appeals Attorney's Fees FDCPA Fees Foreclosure Mortgage Lenders Mortgages Putative Class Actions

New York Federal Court Denounces Debtor’s Attempt To Induce FDCPA Violation

A New York federal district court recently issued a strong denunciation of the practice of debtors attempting to induce debt collectors into committing violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Finding...more

2/26/2015 - Audio Recording Debt Collection FDCPA Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

New York Issues Far-Reaching Debt Collection Regulations

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) published its final debt collection regulations on December 3, 2014, following an extensive rulemaking period. The regulations impose requirements on third-party debt...more

12/8/2014 - Debt Buyers Debt Collection Department of Financial Services Disclosure Requirements Electronic Communications FDCPA New Regulations Prior Express Consent

Another Federal Court Rules Debt Collector’s Voice Message Does Not Violate FDCPA

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently ruled that a voicemail message containing the caller’s name and identifying the caller as a debt collector with “an important message” was not a...more

11/19/2014 - Confidential Communications Corporate Counsel Debt Collection FDCPA Voicemail

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

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

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

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

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

New York Proposes Far-Reaching Debt Collection Regulations

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has proposed new regulations that would impose significant disclosure and other requirements on persons engaged in the collection of consumer debts....more

8/13/2013 - Debt Debt Collection Disclosure Requirements FDCPA Proposed Regulation

FTC Enforcement Action against Debt Collector Ends in Record Settlement

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent announcement that it entered into a record settlement with “the world’s largest debt collection operation” demonstrates that it intends to continue its vigorous enforcement of the Fair...more

7/16/2013 - Compliance Debt Collectors Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions FDCPA FTC Settlement

CFPB Targets Debt Collection in New UDAAP Bulletins, Complaint System, Consumer Action Letters

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made clear that debt collection continues to be a major focus by issuing two new bulletins and five action letters for consumers to use when responding to debt collectors....more

7/11/2013 - CFPB Compliance Consumer Complaint System Debt Debt Collection Dodd-Frank FDCPA Harassment UDAAP

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