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H.R. 5082 - Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2018

Introduced: 2018-02-23
Bill Status: Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 690.
 

Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2018

This bill amends the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to exclude from the definition of "debt collector" any law firm or licensed attorney engaged in litigation to collect a debt on behalf of a client, if such legal action complies with applicable rules of civil procedure.


Full Text


115th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 5082


    To amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to exclude law firms and licensed attorneys who are engaged in activities related to legal proceedings from the definition of a debt collector, to amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to prevent the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection from exercising supervisory or enforcement authority with respect to attorneys when undertaking certain actions related to legal proceedings, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 23, 2018

    Mr. Mooney of West Virginia (for himself and Mr. Gonzalez of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services


A BILL

    To amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to exclude law firms and licensed attorneys who are engaged in activities related to legal proceedings from the definition of a debt collector, to amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to prevent the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection from exercising supervisory or enforcement authority with respect to attorneys when undertaking certain actions related to legal proceedings, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2018”.

SEC. 2. Exclusion of law firms and attorneys from the definition of debt collector when engaged in the practice of law.

Section 803(6) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692a(6)) is amended—

(1) by redesignating subparagraph (F) as subparagraph (G); and

(2) by inserting after subparagraph (E) the following:

“(F) any law firm or licensed attorney, to the extent that—

“(i) such firm or attorney is engaged in litigation activities in connection with a legal action in a court of law to collect a debt on behalf of a client, including—

“(I) serving, filing, or conveying formal legal pleadings, discovery requests, or other documents pursuant to the applicable statute or rules of civil procedure;

“(II) communicating in, or at the direction of, a court of law (including in depositions or settlement conferences) or in the enforcement of a judgment; or

“(III) any other activities engaged in as part of the practice of law, under the laws of a State in which the attorney is licensed, that relate to the legal action; and

“(ii) such legal action is served on the defendant debtor, or service is attempted, in accordance with the applicable statute or rules of civil procedure; and”.

SEC. 3. Amendment to Bureau authority with respect to practice of law.

Section 1027(e)(2)(B) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (12 U.S.C. 5517(e)(2)(B)) is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting “, unless such financial product or service is provided by a licensed attorney who is not a debt collector as described under section 803(6)(F) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.”.


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