Photo of Madison S. Laskowski

Madison Laskowski is a government policy attorney in Dykema's Lansing office.

The Fourth Circuit recently found that the imposition of convenience fees can run afoul of consumer protection statutes—including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Convenience fees are commonly charged by financial institutions in exchange for allowing a consumer to easily make payments online or via telephone as opposed to making payments by mail.

The case is Alexander v. Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC, and the three-judge panel for the Fourth Circuit unanimously held that a mortgage servicer violated Maryland’s consumer protection statute when it charged consumers a $5 fee to make mortgage payments online or by phone.

Continue Reading Convenience Fees Face Increased Scrutiny After Fourth Circuit Holds That Online Payments May Violate Consumer Protection Statutes

In May 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed new rules to amend and expand Regulation F, to further regulate the debt collection industry and those connected to it. It was meant to supplement the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

These rules are now final and scheduled to go into effect on November 30, 2021.

Continue Reading No Time to Waste: New Federal Rules Regulating Debt Collection Practices (Regulation F) Take Effect November 30, 2021

In a much anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday provided clarity on the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) of 1991, 47 U.S.C. § 227. Those in the Financial Services industry have been eagerly awaiting the guidance that the Court’s ruling would provide. And provide guidance it did.

In a rare unanimous opinion, the Court rejected a broad definition of an ATDS previously applied by the Second, Sixth and Ninth Circuits in favor of a much more narrow one. Indeed, the Court found that, in order to qualify as an ATDS under the TCPA, a device must “have the capacity either to store a telephone number using a random or sequential generator or to produce a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator.” Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, No. 19-511, April 1, 2021, slip op. at 1.
Continue Reading Phonelines Are Buzzing: The Supreme Court Has Finally Provided Clarity Regarding the TCPA’s Definition of Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems