Practice Groups

Consumer Law Defense

On a state and national scale, Bassford Remele has defended financial institutions, creditors, collection agencies, attorneys, hospitals, and other businesses facing consumer-protection lawsuits. During the last 25 years, we have handled thousands of these cases brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Telephone Consumer Practices Act (TCPA), and other consumer-protection statutes, as well as claims brought by government regulators against clients in the credit and collection industry.

Bassford Remele has become a go-to firm in this area of the law, handling cutting-edge and class-action suits that shape the law. We regularly present at local, regional, and national conferences on consumer-law topics, publish articles to keep clients up to date on the latest issues and trends, and provide valuable risk-management advice across the credit and collection industry. As dedicated supporters of creditors’ rights, we have the knowledge and experience to guide clients through the complex compliance regulations issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the industry’s leading regulator.

Representative Cases

Represented a collection agency in district court, ultimately obtaining an affirmance of the district court’s order dismissing the plaintiff’s FDCPA claims; the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held in a matter of first impression that a materiality standard applies to claims of deception under the FDCPA. Hill v. Accounts Receivable Servs., LLC, 888 F.3d 343 (8th Cir. 2018).

Represented a law firm in district court and on appeal, winning summary judgment and judgment on the pleadings in an alleged unlawful attorney-fee collection and unlawful levy/garnishment practices claim. State ex rel. Swanson v. Messerli and Kramer, P.A., 2009 WL 1046869 (Minn. App. Apr. 21, 2009).

Represented a collection agency, obtaining summary judgment in a case alleging the agency’s voicemail was a third-party communication in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Zortman v. J.C. Christensen & Assocs., 870 F. Supp. 2d 694 (D. Minn. 2012).

Represented a collection agency, winning a motion for judgment on the pleadings in a case alleging the agency’s validation notice, creditworthiness opinions, and misrepresentations violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Erickson v. Performant Recovery, Inc., 2013 WL 3223367 (D. Minn. June 25, 2013).

Represented a collection agency, winning a motion to dismiss because the agency was not acting as a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as the debt was not in default. Diaz v. Viking Client Servs., 2016 WL 5796835 (D. Minn. Oct. 3, 2016).

Represented a collection agency on appeal, obtaining a decision reversing a federal district court order granting class certification on claims involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Powers v. Credit Mgmt. Servs., 776 F.3d 567 (8th Cir. 2015).

Represented a collection agency in district court and on appeal, obtaining a motion to dismiss in a case involving the alleged failure to advise of the possible tax consequences of accepting a reduced offer of a delinquent account. Altman v. J.C. Christensen & Assocs., 786 F.3d 191 (2d Cir. 2015).

Represented a collection agency in district court and on appeal, winning summary judgment based on the bona fide error defense in a putative class action for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Wilhelm v. Credico, Inc., 519 F.3d 416 (8th Cir. 2008).

Represented a collection agency in district court and on appeal, winning summary judgment when the creditor did not relay that the debtor was represented by a lawyer, establishing a creditor’s knowledge is not imputed to a collection agency. This was the first case to address this issue in the Eighth Circuit. Schmitt v. FMA All., 398 F.3d 995 (8th Cir. 2005).

Represented a collection agency in district court and on appeal, obtaining dismissal of claims alleging the language and/or symbols on transmitting collection notices violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Strand v. Diversified Collection Serv., Inc., 380 F.3d 316 (8th Cir. 2004).

Represented a collection agency in district court and on appeal, winning summary judgment in a case claiming the collection agency continued communications with the plaintiffs after receiving a cease-and-desist letter, allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Kansas Consumer Protection Act. Udell v. Kan. Counselors, Inc., 313 F. Supp. 2d 1135 (D. Kan. 2004).

accolades

The Best Lawyers in America
2017 Metropolitan Tier 1 Firm in the area of Professional Malpractice Law
Martindale-Hubbell
Bassford Remele rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®
ACA International, Inc.
Michael Klutho received the Fred Kirschner Instructor Achievement Award
ACA International, Inc.
Michael Klutho, Christopher Morris, and Jessica Klander achieved the Scholar designation
International Association of Defense Counsel
Michael Klutho and Steve Sitek are elected members