Monthly Archives: May 2013

Article Published on ADA’s Impact on Collection Industry

April 26, 2013 — Donald Maurice has authored an article for The DBA Magazine, published by DBA International, on how the ADA is impacting the debt collection industry.

“Debt collectors need to make sure they accept Video Relay Service calls and are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) following a Justice Department settlement with a law firm over alleged discrimination against the deaf,” Maurice writes.

The article is in the magazine’s spring issue and is entitled, “Strained Application of the ADA Impacts Debt Collection.”

Webinars Review EFTA, Financial Services Law

April 26, 2013 — Donald Maurice gave a webinar April 24 along with Sacramento, Calif. attorney June Coleman for the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys about liability issues arising under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.

He also participated in an “Ask the Attorney” webinar for insideARM.com on April 25 that covered a range of issues related to consumer financial services law.

Maurice Speaks on Ethics at DBA Meeting

April 19, 2013 — Donald Maurice spoke about “Ethics and the Consumer Financial Services Industry” at a regional meeting of DBA International in Atlanta on April 17.

Maurice discussed how ethics assists in developing quality compliance management systems and addressed some of the ethical issues surrounding federal consumer financial protection law.

Maurice Presents on CFPB at CLLA Convention

April 12, 2013 — Donald Maurice gave a presentation entitled, “Ready or Not, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is On Patrol” at the Commercial Law League of America’s 2013 Convention in Chicago on April 11.

Maurice spoke with a panel of attorneys about the CFPB’s oversight of the consumer financial services industry and the difficulties facing attorneys whose practice is debt collection.

Maurice to Give Talk at Consumer Financial Services Institute

March 5, 2013 — Donald Maurice will give a talk at the Practicing Law Institute’s 18th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute in New York, NY on April 9, and in Chicago, Ill. on May 3.

Maurice will discuss recent developments in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. He will be speaking with John W. Barrett of Bailey & Glasser LLP.

Registration may be made online at www.pli.edu.

Maurice Discusses CFPB at DBA Conference

Feb. 8, 2013 — Donald Maurice discussed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau along with a panel of experts in a talk entitled “Ready or Not, Here Comes the CFPB” at DBA International’s conference in Las Vegas on Feb. 7.

Maurice was joined by Alan Kaplinsky and Chris Willis from Ballard Sphar and Tomio Narita from Simmonds & Narita LLP. The panelists discussed what it would be like to undergo a CFPB examination, the CFPB’s focus in examining debt purchasers and the methods it will use to gather information about debt purchasers’ operations.

Maurice Addresses CLLA on Ethics, Compliance

Nov. 12, 2013 — Donald Maurice spoke to the Commercial Law League of America on Collection Ethics and FDCPA Compliance during its Fall Meeting in New York, NY on Nov. 9.

In his presentation, Maurice explored professional ethics issues unique to collection attorneys. He also discussed developments in the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct impacting technology, confidentiality, electronic information, “virtual presence” and supervision providers of outsourced services.

Maurice Authors Amicus Brief for U.S. Supreme Court

Oct. 11, 2012 — Financial services attorney Donald Maurice has authored an amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys in the case of Marx v. General Revenue Corp.

In the brief, NARCA argues that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act should not be given special status under the law and that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allow a prevailing defendant in a lawsuit to recover its fees and costs, should apply to FDCPA cases.

Further, NARCA contends that by allowing the prevailing defendant to recover its costs, the decision will help stem the growing number of baseless lawsuits filed under the FDCPA.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed by Congress in 1977 to eliminate abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices by third party debt collectors. However, the FDCPA has a fee shifting provision. Under this provision, if a consumer prevails in a suit, the debt collector must pay the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and costs, but if a debt collector prevails, the debt collector/defendant might recover its fees and costs only if the debt collector can prove that the suit was brought in bad faith, an even higher standard under the law than that for frivolous lawsuits.

As a result of this provision, since the law was enacted the number of suits filed under the FDCPA has grown dramatically in recent years, said Maurice. The number of suits filed went from 3,215 suits in 2005, to 12,018 suits in 2011, according to WebRecon, LLC, representing an increase of 373 percent.

“A typical FDCPA lawsuit is not based on an actual loss, but on a marginal, technical violation where the plaintiff seeks to recover $1,000 or less. But, the FDCPA allows a plaintiff to recover attorney’s fees, and that’s really what drives the lawsuit and a good deal of the FDCPA litigation throughout the country. If costs cannot be shifted to a person who brings a marginal and ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit, there is no downside for plaintiff’s attorneys to bring such suits. It necessarily encourages even more marginal claims, more litigation and more wasted resources,” Maurice said.

“At the heart of the matter is whether the fee shifting provision of the FDCPA trumps the federal rules of civil procedure. We would argue that the federal rules are not trumped and apply to suits where the defendant prevails,” Maurice added.

The full text of the NARCA brief is available at http://www.narca.org/public/download/NARCAAmicusMarxvGenRev.pdf.

Webinar Reviews TCPA Compliance Issues

Oct. 2, 2012 — Donald Maurice was among a panel of experts who lead insideARM.com’s webinar today on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, its history and its case law. The panelists also discussed the TCPA compliance issues facing the retail collection industry today.

Maurice spoke with attorneys David Kaminski of Los Angeles, Calif., John Rossman of Minneapolis, Minn., and Anita Tolani of Bethesda, Md.

For more information and to obtain a copy of Collection Law Overview: A Look at the TCPA, a report written by Kaminski, visit http://www.insidearm.com/store/all-products.html.

Maurice Named a Business Super Lawyer

Sept. 28, 2012 — Financial services attorney Donald Maurice has been included in the 2012 Business Edition of Super Lawyers magazine.

The Business Edition features the top attorneys in commercial practices nationwide. Candidates are evaluated based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Mr. Maurice represents banks, financial institutions and other attorneys, handling everything from class actions to professional liability defense and ethics matters.

This communication may be considered attorney advertising under the ethical rules of certain jurisdictions. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.