Collector – May 2019 - 51

IAP

The consumer alleged that the collection
agency's letter "merely reference[d] the
entity to whom the debt was incurred by
stating 'Re: Lehigh Regional Medical Center'
without otherwise identifying Lehigh
Medical Center as the current creditor of
the debt." The consumer asserted that such
"lackadaisical identification of the current
creditor violates the FDCPA."
Rejecting the consumer's arguments,
the district court explained that the statute
requires only a debt collector to "send the
consumer a written notice containing ....
the name of the creditor to whom the debt
is owed," but "does not state how a creditor
must be named in order to comply."

Determining that the "FDCPA requires no
'magic words,'" the district court concluded
that the collection agency was not required
to include in its validation notice the word
"creditor" or a statement that the "account
was 'placed with' [the collection agency] for
collection." As such, the district court found
that the collection agency did not violate
the FDCPA because it identified the creditor
clearly enough that the least sophisticated
consumer would understand, "even without
the magic words" the consumer suggested.
In July 2016, in anticipation of convening
a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement
Fairness Act panel for the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau's debt collection

rulemaking, the CFPB issued an outline
of the proposals it was considering. The
proposals included among other things
revisions to the form and content of the
validation notice. Almost three years
later, ACA International and its members
continue to wait for well-crafted, reasonable
and workable debt collection rules from
the bureau clarifying the FDCPA so that
legitimate, compliant and law-abiding
collection agencies can fulfill their vital
role in the economy without the fear of
opportunistic litigation.
While at press time it still remained
to be seen what the future will hold for
the bureau's debt collection rulemaking,
ACA recognizes that the courts in the
judicial system can provide another avenue
for gaining FDCPA clarity to rein in
FDCPA litigation abuse. That's why ACA
International supported its member by
providing Industry Advancement Funds
to help defray the cost of litigation when
it turned to the court for guidance in
the Encarnacion case and obtained this
important FDCPA decision positively
impacting ACA's members and the accounts
receivable management industry.
Had the consumer's claims in Encarnacion
been left unchallenged, the consumer's
counsel would be emboldened to continue
developing a cottage industry of pursuing
identical class-action lawsuits against
various collection agencies on the same
theory. And ACA is delighted that
the Encarnacion decision raises the industryfavorable decisions (wins) ACA has helped
to achieve for its members through the
Industry Advancement Program to a total of
47 in five years.
If you want to read more about the most
recent significant judicial decisions involving
the accounts receivable management
industry, ACA members can always find
concise case summaries at acainternational.
org/industry-advancement-program.
Karen Scheibe Eliason is ACA International's
vice president and corporate counsel.

COLLECTOR 05.19

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Collector – May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – May 2019

Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
The Robot Revolution
ACA International’s 2019 Convention & Expo
Number Crunching
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Regulators Should Be In The Business Of Helping The Regulated Comply
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – May 2019 - Cover1
Collector – May 2019 - Cover2
Collector – May 2019 - 1
Collector – May 2019 - 2
Collector – May 2019 - 3
Collector – May 2019 - Upfront
Collector – May 2019 - 5
Collector – May 2019 - Industry News
Collector – May 2019 - 7
Collector – May 2019 - 8
Collector – May 2019 - 9
Collector – May 2019 - 10
Collector – May 2019 - 11
Collector – May 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – May 2019 - 13
Collector – May 2019 - FYI
Collector – May 2019 - 15
Collector – May 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – May 2019 - 17
Collector – May 2019 - The Robot Revolution
Collector – May 2019 - 19
Collector – May 2019 - 20
Collector – May 2019 - 21
Collector – May 2019 - ACA International’s 2019 Convention & Expo
Collector – May 2019 - 23
Collector – May 2019 - 24
Collector – May 2019 - 25
Collector – May 2019 - 26
Collector – May 2019 - 27
Collector – May 2019 - 28
Collector – May 2019 - 29
Collector – May 2019 - 30
Collector – May 2019 - 31
Collector – May 2019 - 32
Collector – May 2019 - Number Crunching
Collector – May 2019 - 34
Collector – May 2019 - 35
Collector – May 2019 - Calendar
Collector – May 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – May 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – May 2019 - 39
Collector – May 2019 - 40
Collector – May 2019 - 41
Collector – May 2019 - 42
Collector – May 2019 - 43
Collector – May 2019 - 44
Collector – May 2019 - 45
Collector – May 2019 - 46
Collector – May 2019 - 47
Collector – May 2019 - 48
Collector – May 2019 - Regulators Should Be In The Business Of Helping The Regulated Comply
Collector – May 2019 - 50
Collector – May 2019 - 51
Collector – May 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – May 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – May 2019 - Membership
Collector – May 2019 - 55
Collector – May 2019 - Last Word
Collector – May 2019 - Cover3
Collector – May 2019 - Cover4
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