The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently joined the Eleventh Circuit (and a growing majority of courts) in rejecting the “Hunstein theory” of liability under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  In Shields v. Professional Bureau of Collections of Maryland, Inc., the Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of FDCPA claims for lack of standing, confirming that a debt collector’s use of an outside mail vendor does not constitute an actionable, concrete injury.… Continue Reading

On January 12, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a report highlighting an increase in reported incidents of identity theft by servicemembers.  The report, titled “Servicemember reports about identity theft are increasing,” cited to data from the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) that showed nearly 50,000 cases of identity theft involving military consumers (including servicemembers, veterans, and their family members) in 2021. … Continue Reading

On January 4, 2023, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced settlements with two state-chartered credit unions, Bellco Credit Union (“Bellco”) and Canvas Credit Union (“Canvas”), over Guaranteed Automobile Protection (commonly referred to as Guaranteed Asset Protection, or “GAP”) refunds.  An investigation conducted by the Consumer Protection Section of the Colorado Department of Law found that the credit unions were not refunding GAP fees owed to consumers under state law. … Continue Reading

On December 7, 2022, the CFPB issued a report recommending that creditors proactively provide Servicemember Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) interest rate benefits to eligible customers, bypassing the statute’s requirements of a written request from the servicemember and proof of military service.  The report, titled “Protecting Those Who Protect Us: Evidence of activated Guard and Reserve servicemembers’ usage of credit protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act,” highlights the underutilization of the SCRA’s interest rate benefit by eligible servicemembers.… Continue Reading

On December 1, 2022, nationwide used car dealer CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc. (“CarMax”) and 36 state attorneys general announced a $1 million multistate settlement that will require CarMax to disclose open recalls related to the safety of its used vehicles before consumers purchase them.  The settlement resolves an investigation into CarMax’s advertising and sales practices related to vehicle recalls since 2014. … Continue Reading

On November 22, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed an amicus brief in a case involving the right of servicemembers to sue under the Military Lending Act (“MLA”).  In the brief, the agencies ask the Eleventh Circuit to overturn a district court decision that held the plaintiffs (a servicemember and his wife) did not have a right to sue under the MLA because they had not suffered a concrete injury sufficient to confer standing.… Continue Reading

On November 17, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced in a blog post that it is in seeking to build a new data set that “will allow for a more robust understanding of market trends” in the auto market.  According to the CFPB, over 100 million Americans have an auto loan, and auto loan balances (currently estimated at $1.5 trillion nationally) are on pace to surpass student loans as the second-largest debt category in 2023. … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in Axon Enterprise v. Federal Trade Commission (No. 21-86), as to whether federal courts can hear a challenge to the FTC’s constitutionality by a party in an administrative proceeding before the agency has issued a final order. The Court also heard arguments in a similar case, Securities and Exchange Commission v.Continue Reading

On November 3, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it has entered into a consent order with internet phone service provider Vonage to settle allegations that it imposed “junk fees” on consumers and used “dark patterns” that prevented them from cancelling their service. Under the terms of the settlement, Vonage has agreed to pay $100 million in customer refunds, simplify its cancellation process, and enhance its disclosures.… Continue Reading

On October 20, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it is issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR” or “Notice”) to address “junk fees,” a term used in the Notice to refer to “unfair or deceptive fees that are charged for goods and services that have little or no added value to the consumer.”… Continue Reading