BLT: April 2014



Business & Corporate

Our Mini-Theme: Debt Collection Issues Reign in the Brave New World of Consumer Financial Services

This month in Business Law Today, we consider one of the leading issues in consumer financial services law: debt collection. The debt collection industry is feeling enormous and unprecedented pressure from both debtors’ attorneys, who are benefitting from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s (FDCPA) fee shifting provision, and federal regulators, who are just now venturing into uncharted regulatory territory. Until 2010, the debt collection industry never had a regulator with rulemaking authority at the federal level. Instead, federal courts created a complex body of case law interpreting the FDCPA, with wide variations across jurisdictions. But the Dodd-Frank Act has the potential to change all of that by enabling the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to make rules under the FDCPA; previously, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could enforce the FDCPA, but could not make rules. In its third year of existence, the CFPB is starting to address debt collection while consumers are flooding courts with suits against debt collectors under the FDCPA and its state law counterparts.

Business & Corporate

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Debt Collection Practices: A Critical Look and the Attorneys’ Response

On November 6, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, for debt collection practices. This article examines the unique process the CFPB took to gather information and data, the areas of concern regarding debt collection, and the response from attorneys who practice in the field of debt collection.


Business & Corporate

KEEPING CURRENT: The Trustee Fought Law (with Equity) and Law Won: The U.S. Supreme Court’s Recent Decision in Law v. Siegel

In Law v. Siegel, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the limits on a court’s equitable powers under Section 105 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Court, in denying a bankruptcy trustee’s request to surcharge a debtor’s exemptions to pay the trustee’s costs for uncovering the debtor’s wrongdoing, held that a court can never use its equitable powers to contravene a specific Bankruptcy Code mandate.

Business & Corporate

KEEPING CURRENT: Department of Justice’s First Antitrust Extradition Highlights the Danger of Foreign Travel for Executives Under Investigation

On April 4, 2014, the United States Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced the first extradition of a foreign national to the United States to stand trial for alleged criminal antitrust law violations. He will now face charges under the Sherman Act for allegedly participating in an international cartel involving sales of marine hoses.

Business & Corporate

Inside Business Law (Apr. 2014)

The Business Law Section held its 2014 Spring Meeting in Los Angeles, California, from April 10–12. Numerous committees and subcommittees within the Section held productive meetings to discuss current and future issues, programs, and topics, and to update their members on emerging trends. And, as always, Section-members presented a plethora of high-quality, engaging CLE programs. The materials for those programs are available through the Business Law Section's website. A few of the programs are highlighted in this month's “Inside Business Law.”