DBA INTERNATIONAL GENERAL COUNSEL
OBTAINS RARE FTC ADVISORY OPINION
DBA International General Counsel, Barbara Sinsley and her partner Manny Newburger of Barron, Newburger, Sinsley & Wier, PLLC obtained a rare FTC Advisory Opinion for the firm’s client, the United States Foreclosure Network (“USFN”) on March 19, 2008.
USFN is a nationwide network of foreclosure law firms. Similar to DBA members, USFN members are debt collectors subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. USFN sought an opinion regarding the sending of information to consumers regarding various settlement options (loss mitigation programs) and possible liability under the FDCPA.
The FTC indicated that generally, the presentment of loss mitigation programs was not a FDCPA violation and stated:
“Moreover, the Commission believes that it is in the public interest for consumers, who may be subject to foreclosure to receive truthful, non-misleading information about settlement options, especially in light of the recent prevalence of mortgage borrowers who are delinquent or in foreclosure.”
Debt collectors and consumers both benefit from this Advisory Opinion. As was stated by DBA’s General Counsel to InsideARM, the specific intent of including the foreclosure language in the contact letters was to benefit consumers.
DBA International thanks the FTC for the Advisory Opinion and the recognition that debt collectors should be able to communicate settlement options to consumers.
To view the FTC Advisory Opinion please click here.
Americans are used to receiving calls from India for insurance claims and credit card sales. But debt collection represents a growing business for outsourcing companies, especially as the American economyslows and its consumers struggle to pay for their purchases.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Congress Passes Emergency Financial Legislation
Today, the House passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act by a vote of 263-171. The House adopted the Senate version of the bill, which the Senate adopted this past Wednesday. The bill will now proceed to the President, who has been strongly lobbying for passage of the measure throughout the week.
Once the President signs the bill into law, the advocacy effort will shift to the Treasury Department. The Treasury Department is authorized to “prescribe such guidance, rules, or regulations as are necessary to carry out” the financial bailout. Further, the Treasury Department will be required to issue “program guidelines” within 45 days of enactment or within 2 days after the first asset purchase. These guidelines must include, at a minimum:
(1) Mechanisms for purchasing troubled assets.
(2) Methods for pricing and valuing troubled assets.
(3) Procedures for selecting asset managers.
(4) Criteria for identifying troubled assets for purchase.
To see the full text of the bill, click here.
To see all Consumer Financial Protection Bureau links, please click here