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The Eleventh Circuit sua sponte vacated its previous opinion and publish this opinion in its place. This appeal involved the approval of a class action settlement against Godiva for violating the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) by printing more digits of his credit card number than the Act allowed. Objectors challenged the class settlement reached by plaintiff and Godiva, but the district court approved the settlement, class counsel's request for attorney's fees, and an incentive award for plaintiff. The court affirmed. The court held that Congress judged the risk of identity theft plaintiff suffered to be sufficiently concrete to confer standing, and the risk of identity theft bears a close enough relationship to the common law tort of breach of confidence to make plaintiff's injury concrete. In this case, plaintiff alleged he suffered a heightened risk of identity theft as a result of a FACTA violation and his allegation was sufficient under Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 578 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016). The court declined to follow the Third Circuit's rule that actual identity theft was required to bring a FACTA claim. Rather, the court held that Congress conferred the procedural right in FACTA to reduce the risk of identity theft. View "Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of Credico's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that the content of a debt collection letter violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The court held that plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead that Credico violated the Act by using "PROFESSIONAL DEBT COLLECTORS" and the acronym "CCB" because they were organization names other than Credico's true name. Furthermore, Credico did not violate the Act by having a non-licensed signatory on the letter, because there were two other licensed signatories in the letter. Finally, under Minnesota law, Credico was permitted to seek prejudgment interest. View "Klein v. Credico Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the circuit court's order granting Security Finance's (Security) motion to dismiss Brian Kirsch's (Kirsch) counterclaims against Security under Wis. Stat. Chapters 425 and 427, holding that Kirsch's counterclaims were properly dismissed. Security and Kirsch entered into a loan agreement. Kirsch later defaulted on the payment obligation. Security subsequently filed a small claims lawsuit against Kirsch to enforce the agreement and collect the alleged debt. Kirsch counterclaimed for damages under chapter 427, the Wisconsin Consumer Act, on the grounds that Security filed this action before serving Kirsch with a notice of right to cure default satisfying the requirements set forth in chapter 425. The circuit court dismissed the counterclaim relating to the notice of right to cure default. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a creditor's failure to provide a notice of right to cure default does not constitute a sufficient basis for relief under chapter 427. View "Security Finance v. Kirsch" on Justia Law

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In 1996 Aldaco pleaded guilty to battery and received a sentence of six months’ supervision, a diversionary disposition under Illinois law. The court entered a finding of guilt and deferred proceedings. After Aldaco complied with the conditions of her supervision, the court dismissed the charge. Aldaco could have had the battery record expunged, but did not ask the court to do so. Nineteen years later Aldaco wished to rent an apartment. As part of one application process, she consented to a criminal background check, which the landlord outsourced to Yardi. Its report flagged her battery sentence and the landlord refused to rent to Aldaco. She protested to Yardi, falsely asserting that the battery record did not pertain to her. She did not inform Yardi that the reported length of her sentence was incorrect. Yardi reexamined its work and confirmed that the record pertained to Aldaco. Aldaco filed suit, contending that Yardi—as a consumer reporting agency—violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act when it disclosed her criminal history. The Act prohibits reporting agencies from disclosing any arrest record or other adverse items more than seven years old but permits them to report “records of convictions” no matter how old, 15 U.S.C. 1681c(a). The Act does not define the word “conviction.” The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Yardi. Federal law controls; the word “convictions” encompasses pleas of guilt. View "Aldaco v. Rentgrow, Inc." on Justia Law

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In the underlying actions, the People asserted claims under Business and Professions Code section 17501 against real parties in interest and alleged that real parties sold products online by means of misleading, deceptive or untrue statements regarding the former prices of those products. The trial court sustained real parties' demurrer without leave to amend on the ground that the statute was void for vagueness as applied to real parties. The Court of Appeal granted the petition for writ of mandate seeking relief from the ruling regarding the section 17501 claims, and held that real parties failed to demonstrate any constitutional defect on demurrer. Regarding real parties' challenge to section 17501 as an unconstitutional regulation of free speech, as a preliminary matter, the court rejected petitioner's contention that the statute targets only false, misleading or deceptive commercial speech; the plain language of the statute restricts protected commercial speech and thus, the statute was subject to the test for constitutional validity set forth in Central Hudson Gas & Elec. v. Public Serv. Comm'n (1980) 447 U.S. 557, 566; and, because the undeveloped record was inadequate to apply the test, real parties' "free speech" challenge necessarily failed on demurrer. The court also rejected real parties' contention that section 17501 was void for vagueness, and rejected the facial and as-applied challenges. View "People v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's dismissal of his claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, arising from an attempt by defendants to collect on plaintiff's time-barred consumer debt. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of the FDCPA claim and held that the collection letter plaintiff received plausibly could be misleading or deceptive to the "least sophisticated consumer" in violation of 15 U.S.C. 1692e. Although the court found that plaintiff stated a plausible claim, the court held that attempting to collect on time-barred debt was not a per se unfair or unconscionable practice that automatically violates section 1692f of the FDCPA. Finally, the court reinstated plaintiff's state claim and remanded for further proceedings. View "Holzman v. Malcolm S. Gerald & Associates, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants in an action alleging claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA); the Texas Debt Collection Act (TDCJ); promissory estoppel; and the Declaratory Judgment Act. The Fifth Circuit held that plaintiff failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding defendants' compliance with 12 C.F.R. 1024.41 and properly dismissed his RESPA claims. The court also held that the district court did not err in dismissing plaintiff's TDCA claims and, because plaintiff's remaining claims were based on the underlying RESPA and TDCA claims, they were moot. Accordingly, the court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's action with prejudice. View "Germain v. US Bank National Association" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ of prohibition barring the circuit court from taking any further action other than vacating its order granting class certification, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion by certifying an overly broad class with a class representative whose claims were not typical of the class. Plaintiff filed the underlying class action on behalf of all other similarly situated Missouri consumers alleging that Defendant and its predecessors or successors violated statutory notice requirements relating to the repossession and disposition of collateral and collected unlawful interest following default and repossession of the collateral. The circuit court certified two classes and designated Plaintiff as the sole class representative. Defendant then filed a petition for a writ of prohibition arguing that the circuit court abused its discretion by certifying the class. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion by certifying a class with Plaintiff as the sole class representative where her claims were not typical of the class and she was not a member of the subclass. View "State ex rel. General Credit Acceptance Co. v. Honorable David L. Vincent III" on Justia Law

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Where a business conditions its offer to remedy a violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) on the consumer waiving his or her right to injunctive relief and remedies under other statutes and common law, the offer is not an appropriate correction offer as contemplated by Civil Code section 1782, subdivision (b), and does not bar a lawsuit by the consumer. Neither can the business demand as part of its correction offer that the consumer consent to additional settlement terms unrelated to the compensation necessary to make the consumer whole. Plaintiff filed suit alleging that Seidner violated the CLRA, the unfair competition law (UCL), and Civil Code section 1632 (requiring translation of certain contracts), and committed fraud in connection with the company's lease of a vehicle to plaintiff and his wife. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Seidner. The court held that, although Seidner's correction offer was timely, it was not appropriate. The court also held that, to the extent Benson v. Southern California Auto Sales, Inc., (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1198, reached a contrary conclusion, the court disagreed with it. In this case, Seidner did not make an appropriate correction offer, and thus failed to meet its burden of showing a complete defense to plaintiff's claims to support the grant of summary judgment. View "Valdez v. Seidner-Miller, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against defendant, alleging violation of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), violation of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, and breach of contract. This action arose when defendant incorrectly confirmed to credit reporting agencies that plaintiffs had a balloon payment pending, and then charged plaintiffs for lender-placed insurance on the property that plaintiffs had turned over to defendant years earlier and no longer owed. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's finding of a willful FCRA violation, but reversed the denial of emotional distress and punitive damages because genuine issues of material fact exist concerning these claims; reversed the grant of summary judgment for defendant on the state claim, because genuine issues of material fact exist concerning where defendant made debt collection calls to plaintiff in the fall of 2013, whether defendant maintained procedures reasonably adapted to avoid violations of the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act that would entitle defendant to the bona fide error defense, and whether defendant's vendor was acting as defendant's agent when it sent lender-placed insurance letters to plaintiffs; reversed the grant of summary judgment for defendants on the breach of contract claims, because genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether defendant breached the settlement agreement and whether plaintiffs have proved damages; vacated the award of attorney's fees to plaintiffs so that the district court can recalculate those fees at the conclusion of the litigation; and remanded for further proceedings. View "Marchisio v. Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC." on Justia Law