Perfect Storm Coalesces as Division of Banks, Debt Buyers and Consumer Lawyers Await Decision in Massachusetts

In “The Perfect Storm,” Gloucester fishermen, played by George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, discover their fishing boat propelled into three raging weather fronts that collide and become the fiercest storm in modern history.  Maybe it is hyperbolic to compare “The Perfect Storm” to what the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) must decide in Dorrian v. LVNV Funding, LLC.  Yet, the issue that will be decided has caused a 13.7 billion dollar industry angst and thus far has cost millions of dollars in settlements and attorney fees. 

On January 4, 2018, the SJC heard oral arguments in Dorrian. It is expected to finally settle a dispute that postures the Massachusetts Division of Banks (“Division of Banks” or “DOB”) against the judiciary, and consumer lawyers against the debt buying industry, over whether passive debt buying businesses must be licensed as debt collectors by the Division of Banks.

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