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Dreher Tomkies LLP
Attorneys at Law
2750 Huntington Center
41 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Telephone (614) 628-8000
Fax (614) 628-1600



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FTC EXTENDS COMMENT PERIOD ON PROPOSED STATEMENT ON DECEDENT COLLECTIONS

The Federal Trade Commission is extending until December 1, 2010 the time period for filing public comments on the its proposed Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with the Collection of a Decedent's Debts.

On October 8, 2010, the FTC published the proposed Statement, which addresses the FTC's enforcement policy with respect to the collection of decedents' debts. The proposed Statement indicates that the FTC will not bring an enforcement action against a debt collector who communicates with a person who has authority to pay a decedent's debts from the assets of the decedent's estate even if that person does qualify as a "consumer" for purposes of the FDCPA's prohibition against third-party communication. The proposed Statement also addresses how a debt collector may locate the appropriate person with whom it may discuss a decedent's debt. Finally, the proposed Statement indicates that a collector would violate the FDCPA and FTCA by misleading consumers about their personal obligation to pay a decedent's debt.

The National Consumer Law Center has criticized the proposed Statement as removing consumer protections provided under the FDCPA. According to the NCLC, the FDCPA prohibits contact with anyone other than those persons who are deemed "consumers" under the FDCPA.

Please contact us if you would like a copy of the proposed Statement.

  • Margaret Stolar and Chuck Gall

WEST VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL SETTLES WITH THREE UNLICENSED DEBT COLLECTORS

The West Virginia Attorney General recently announced that it entered into a $1.25 million settlement with two out-of-state debt buyers and an out-of-state debt collector. The Attorney General alleged that the companies violated West Virginia law by collecting debts in West Virginia without a license and surety bond. According to the Attorney General, buyers of defaulted debts cannot avoid the license and bond requirements by hiring other agencies to collect on their behalf. See our March 18, 2009 and October 8, 2008 Alerts regarding other action taken by the West Virginia Attorney General against collectors operating in West Virginia.

  • Margaret Stolar and Chuck Gall