Justia Consumer Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Osorio v. State Farm Bank, F.S.B.
Plaintiff filed suit against State Farm under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. 227, which provides a damages remedy for cellular-phone subscribers who received autodialed phone calls without having given prior express consent to receive such calls. State Farm, in turn, sued Clara Betancourt, plaintiff's housemate who had listed plaintiff's number as an emergency contact number, for the balance due on Betancourt's delinquient credit-card account and for its legal expenses in defending itself against plaintiff's TCPA lawsuit. Determining that it had jurisdiction, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to State Farm on plaintiff's TCPA claim and reversed the grant of summary judgment to State Farm on its negligent misrepresentation claim against Betancourt because there were various genuine disputes of material fact regarding both complaints. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Osorio v. State Farm Bank, F.S.B." on Justia Law
Federal Trade Commission v. IAB Marketing Assoc., LP, et al.
The FTC filed suit against defendants, alleging that they violated the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), 15 U.S.C. 45(a), and the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act (the Telemarketing Act), 15 U.S.C. 6102, by deceiving consumers in the sale of trade-association memberships. According to the FTC, consumers were led to believe that they were purchasing major medical insurance, but what they actually received were memberships in a trade association that offered only limited discounts for certain medical care. The district court entered a preliminary injunction against IAB, the individual Wood defendants, and IAB-affiliated entities. The court affirmed, concluding that the FTC met its burden of proof for injunctive relief by demonstrating that it was likely to succeed on the merits and that an injunction would serve the public interest; the district court did not abuse its discretion in freezing defendants' assets; and the McCarran-Ferguson Act, 15 U.S.C. 1012, does not preempt the FTC's claims. View "Federal Trade Commission v. IAB Marketing Assoc., LP, et al." on Justia Law
Bradley, et al. v. Franklin Collection Service, Inc.
After appellants failed to pay their medical debts, Urology and UAB West referred the accounts to Franklin Collection Service and added to appellants' accounts a charge for collection fees. The court held that Franklin violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692-1692p, when it collected from appellants a debt that included a 33-and-1/3% "collection fee" when appellants only agreed to pay the actual costs of collection. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Franklin on appellants claims under section 1692f of the FDCPA. The court affirmed the remaining federal and state law claims. View "Bradley, et al. v. Franklin Collection Service, Inc." on Justia Law
Day v. Persels & Assoc., LLC, et al.
Plaintiff filed suit against debt management businesses and individual employees of those businesses on behalf of herself and a statewide class of about 10,000 consumers. The parties agreed to allow a magistrate judge to enter a final judgment in the class action. The parties then reached a settlement agreement. Five class members and the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Florida, Maine, New York, and West Virginia objected to the settlement agreement. The court concluded that the magistrate judge had subject-matter jurisdiction to enter a final judgment because absent class members were not parties whose consent was required for a magistrate judge to enter a final judgment under 28 U.S.C. 636(c). However, the court vacated the judgment because the magistrate judge abused his discretion when he found, without adequate evidentiary support, that defendants could not satisfy a significant judgment. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Day v. Persels & Assoc., LLC, et al." on Justia Law
Reed, Jr., et al. v. Chase Home Finance, LLC
Plaintiffs filed suit against Chase under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. 1641(g), alleging that Chase did not comply with disclosure requirements when it did not inform them that it had been assigned an interest in their mortgage. The court concluded that the assignment was an "administrative convenience" within the meaning of section 1641(f) because the assignment allowed Chase to perform foreclosure, a requirement of servicing the loan. Accordingly, Chase was not subject to the disclosure requirements and the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Chase. View "Reed, Jr., et al. v. Chase Home Finance, LLC" on Justia Law
Southern Communications Serv. v. Thomas
This case involved arbitration proceedings stemming from plaintiff's class action suit alleging, among other things, that SouthernLINC's termination fees were unlawful penalties under Georgia law. SouthernLINC, a wireless provider, appealed the district court's denial of its motion to vacate two arbitration awards. Under the standard set forth by the Supreme Court in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, the court concluded that the arbitrator did not exceed his powers under section 10(a)(4) of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. 1 et seq., either in construing the arbitration clause as he did or in certifying a class. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Southern Communications Serv. v. Thomas" on Justia Law
Federal Trade Commission v. Leshin, et al.
The FTC sued Randall Leshin and his co-appellants based on deceptive marketing practices and other violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 41 et seq., committed by Leshin's debt-consolidation business. At issue on appeal was whether a district court could convert the unpaid remainder of an equitable disgorgement remedy, stemming from a compensatory civil contempt sanction, into the legal remedy of a money judgment after the contemnor has disgorged as much money as he currently has the ability to pay. The court concluded that the district court acted within the bounds of its broad discretion in this case and affirmed the judgment. View "Federal Trade Commission v. Leshin, et al." on Justia Law
Harris, et al v. Liberty Community Mgmnt.
Plaintiffs filed suit alleging, inter alia, that Liberty, a management company, was a "debt collector" under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq., and was civilly liable for violating several of the FDCPA's provisions. The exemption at issue on appeal, section 1692a(6)(F)(i), provided that the Act did not apply to persons or entities "collecting or attempting to collect any debt owed... another to the extent such activity is incidental to a bona fide fiduciary obligation." The court held that this exemption applied to Liberty, which collected unpaid assessments on behalf of a homeowners association, as long as the collection of such assessments was not central to the management of the company's fiduciary obligations. Accordingly, Liberty was not a debt collector under the Act and its actions did not violate state law. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Liberty. View "Harris, et al v. Liberty Community Mgmnt." on Justia Law
Wright v. Farouk Systems, Inc.
Plaintiff filed this products liability action under Georgia law alleging that a hair bleaching product manufactured by defendant burned her scalp, causing her to suffer physical, mental, and emotional pain. On appeal, plaintiff contended that the district court erred in refusing to consider some of her evidence when ruling on defendant's motion for summary judgment. The court held that the statements made by a salon owner were non-hearsay admissions of a party opponent and it was an abuse of discretion to exclude them from consideration on hearsay grounds. On remand, the district court should decide whether the salon owner's affidavit should be excluded because plaintiff failed to timely disclose her as a witness as required by Rule 26(a)(1)(A)(i). Even if the district court concluded that the affidavit should be excluded under Rule 26, the district court should also alternatively rule on defendant's motion for summary judgment as though that affidavit were not excluded. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. View "Wright v. Farouk Systems, Inc." on Justia Law
Yunker v. Allianceone Receivables Mgmt.
Allianceone appealed from the district court's denial of its motion to reconsider the grant of summary judgment to plaintiff in her lawsuit alleging a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq., and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA), Fla. Stat. 559.72. The court held, among other things, that there was no actual case or controversy left between Allianceone and plaintiff as to the section 1692g claim because the parties settled that claim between themselves. Accordingly, the court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. View "Yunker v. Allianceone Receivables Mgmt." on Justia Law