In our case in Gray v Trott & Trott, P.C. Case # 16-00237, a Federal Judge ruled that the Foreclosure Mortgage Sale Notices (you see them all over in the Detroit Legal news, county buildings, people’s doors) in their current form is illegal under the FDCPA. Foreclosure firms like Trott argue they are just following the Michigan Foreclosure Statute. However, my argument was that the FDCPA preempts State law and foreclosure firms like Trott are publicizing peoples’ personal debt information by advertising to potential buyers that the homeowner is in debt to a debt collector, owes a ton of mortgage debt and is in default. Further, the debt collector states in the Foreclosure Notice that they are collecting a debt which along with everything else, violates consumers’ right to privacy. This is a landmark decision and as a result of this ruling we argue that all forms of foreclosure action are now considered debt collection and foreclosure firms must honor the law and consumers’ right to privacy.
Parker Burns v Ross, Stuart & Dawson, et al (Case #16-10917) is a class action in the Eastern District of Michigan against a Creditor (Defendant Rose) for sending out collection letters while using the name of a Debt Collector (Defendant Ross, Stuart & Dawson) to scare people into thinking the letter is from a debt collector. Here, the creditor was trying to use debt collector tactics while avoiding the regulations that cover debt collectors (FDCPA) in a “flat rating” scheme. Flat raters buy the name of the debt collector for a flat fee and then the creditor does all of the collection without having to share a third of the profits with a collector-they only pay a few cents a letter for the debt collector name and the collector does nothing else. The Court also found that the Creditor (Rose) meets the False Name Exception of the FDCPA turning creditor into a debt collector and subject to the rules of the FDCPA. This is a landmark decision in the 6th Circuit (Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky). Until this decision, Plaintiffs were dependent on other circuit cases and unpublished opinions. Now Michigan Plaintiffs have real ammo against bad collectors and creditors.