Collector - December 2017 - 43

IAP

not the sort of abusive practices the FDCPA
was meant to proscribe, and Plaintiff 's
claims were wholly without support from any
binding law. Moreover, forcing debt collectors
to jump through the hoops that Plaintiff
envisions would not further the purpose of
the FDCPA, i.e., protecting debtors without
unnecessarily hindering the non-abusive
practices of debt collectors."
On appeal, the 11th Circuit reversed
in part and affirmed in part the district
court's decision. As to the FDCPA's
definition of "communication" at issue in
the case, the appellate court held that "a
voicemail can, and will, be considered a
communication under the FDCPA if the
voicemail message reveals that the call
was from a debt collection company and
provides instructions and information to
return the call."
The 11th Circuit explained that the
FDCPA broadly defines "communication"
as a conveying of any information, as long
as it regards a debt. The court said that
"there is no requirement in the statute
that the information must be specific
or thorough in order to be considered
a communication." Therefore, the 11th
Circuit ruled because the collection
agency's voicemail message was not
only a communication, but the first
communication with the consumer, the
collection agency was required under the
FDCPA to provide the consumer with
the "mini Miranda warning"-that it was
"attempting to collect a debt and that any
information obtained will be used for
that purpose."
As to the issue in the case of what
constitutes "meaningful disclosure" under
the FDCPA, the appellate court held that
"meaningful disclosure is provided as
long as the caller reveals the nature of the
debt collection company's business, which
can be satisfied by disclosing that the call
is on behalf of a debt collection company,
and the name of the debt collection
company." The 11th Circuit said that
the FDCPA does not require "individual
callers to identify themselves by name to
avoid violating the FDCPA."

COLLECTOR 12.17

Given that the FDCPA is outdated with
respect to its stance on the use of various
technologies, including voicemail, ACA
committed Industry Advancement Funds
to its member to help bring clarity to the
credit and collection industry with respect to
leaving debt collection voicemail messages.
In addition to undertaking legislative and
regulatory advocacy efforts on the voicemail
issue, ACA also sought to assist its member
in the Hart case in establishing binding case
law, articulating a clear message that would
work to curtail these nuisance-type lawsuits
faced by the industry every day.
Unfortunately, this decision confirms
that there is still no fail-safe voicemail
message to guarantee compliance when
debt collectors contact consumers to

recover debt. Therefore, the credit and
collection industry continues to await a
debt collection rule from the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau.
ACA's efforts to proactively support the
credit and collection industry are part of
the association's Industry Advancement
Program, and are made possible by funding
through ACA's Industry Advancement Fund. 
To read more about the most recent
significant judicial decisions involving
the credit and collection industry, ACA
members can always find concise case
summaries at www.acainternational.org/
industry-advancement-program.
Karen Scheibe Eliason is ACA International's
corporate counsel.

43


http://www.acainternational.org/industry-advancement-program http://www.acainternational.org/industry-advancement-program http://www.webrecon.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - December 2017

President’s Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Stronger Together
Taking a Layered Approach
Lines of Communication
Calendar
Honor Roll
Collective Intelligence
CFPB Issues Final Rule for Small Dollar Lending Market
Ask the Experts: Training Advice
Court Rules Voicemail is a “Communication" and Disclosing Name of Collection Agency Provides “Meaningful Disclosure” Under FDCPA
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - December 2017 - Cover1
Collector - December 2017 - Cover2
Collector - December 2017 - 1
Collector - December 2017 - 2
Collector - December 2017 - President’s Page
Collector - December 2017 - Industry News
Collector - December 2017 - 5
Collector - December 2017 - 6
Collector - December 2017 - 7
Collector - December 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - December 2017 - 9
Collector - December 2017 - FYI
Collector - December 2017 - 11
Collector - December 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - December 2017 - 13
Collector - December 2017 - Stronger Together
Collector - December 2017 - 15
Collector - December 2017 - 16
Collector - December 2017 - 17
Collector - December 2017 - 18
Collector - December 2017 - 19
Collector - December 2017 - Taking a Layered Approach
Collector - December 2017 - 21
Collector - December 2017 - 22
Collector - December 2017 - 23
Collector - December 2017 - 24
Collector - December 2017 - 25
Collector - December 2017 - Lines of Communication
Collector - December 2017 - 27
Collector - December 2017 - 28
Collector - December 2017 - 29
Collector - December 2017 - 30
Collector - December 2017 - 31
Collector - December 2017 - 32
Collector - December 2017 - 33
Collector - December 2017 - Calendar
Collector - December 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - December 2017 - Collective Intelligence
Collector - December 2017 - 37
Collector - December 2017 - CFPB Issues Final Rule for Small Dollar Lending Market
Collector - December 2017 - 39
Collector - December 2017 - Ask the Experts: Training Advice
Collector - December 2017 - 41
Collector - December 2017 - Court Rules Voicemail is a “Communication" and Disclosing Name of Collection Agency Provides “Meaningful Disclosure” Under FDCPA
Collector - December 2017 - 43
Collector - December 2017 - Compliance
Collector - December 2017 - 45
Collector - December 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - December 2017 - 47
Collector - December 2017 - Last Word
Collector - December 2017 - Cover3
Collector - December 2017 - Cover4
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