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House Bill 1979

AOPC Public Access Policy
PACBA Article re Filings Under New AOPC Filing 1-6-2018

FDCPA Related Cases

Third Circuit adapts a materiality standard for FDCPA causes of action:
Jensen v. Pressler _ Pressler.pdf

Third Circuit rejects the argument that formal pleadings cannot be the basis of an FDCPA claim:
Kaymark v. Bank of America NA, 783 F.3d 168 (3d Cir. 2015)


Problems with Envelopes

  • Debt collectors should never use window (or glassine) envelopes to mail any written communication to a debtor. See Douglass v. Convergent Outsourcing, 765 F.3d 299 (2014) which held that “disclosure of the plaintiff’s account number implicated a core concern animating the FDCPA – the invasion of privacy” Douglass at 302. In Douglass, the Third Circuit bypassed the “benign” language exception set forth in Section 1692f (8) of the FDCPA and ruled that disclosure of the account number was not “benign” because the ac-count number was information capable of identifying the plaintiff as a debtor.

  • Relying on the holding in the Douglass opinion, U.S. District Judge William J. Nealon of the Middle District of Pennsylvania concluded on July 15, 2015 that embedding an account number in a bar code on an envelope addressed to a debtor is equally problematic given the advent of smartphone bar-code readers. See Styer v. Professional Medical Management , Civil Action No. 3:14-CV-2304 (M.D. Pa 2015) finding that disclosure of a quick response (QR) code on a debt collection envelope that revealed a consumer’s name, address, and account number when electronically scanned rises to the level of an FDCPA violation.

  • Judge Nealon further ruled that an envelope containing a glassine window through which the return address and a barcode printed directly below that address was visible also violates the FDCPA, relying on the Third Circuit’s holding in the Douglass opinion. See Lisa Kostik v. ARS National Services, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:14-CV-2466 (M.D. Pa 2015). The District Court ignored the debt collector’s argument that the envelope did not violate the FDCPA because the barcode was a “benign symbol.”

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