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Millions of consumers owe back rent, either for properties they long ago vacated or for a current tenancy. Landlords, large and small, frequently use debt collectors who specialize in the collection of rental debt to threaten credit reporting of the debt as a means of pressuring payment. Because delinquent rental debt often appears on tenant screening and other credit reports, that debt may have severe adverse consequences for consumers applying for new housing. Although state law plays a major role in this area (and may offer special remedies), both the FCRA and FDCPA also protect consumers from certain improper credit reporting and debt collection practices.


What You Will Learn
• How to identify common challenges to the claimed amount of rental debt
• What is the importance of tenant screening reports, and how to deal with them
• What is “debt parking,” and how does CFPB Regulation F protect consumers from the practice
• How summary eviction proceedings and claims for back rent interact under typical state procedures
• What are innovative state law protections for former tenants faced with rental debt collections and credit reporting


Speakers
Thomas Papson is a Volunteer Staff Attorney in the Consumer Law Unit of Legal Aid DC, in Washington, DC, where he regularly represents former tenants in rental debt collection actions. He was heavily involved in the recent reforms to DC’s debt collection laws, which imposes strict pleading and documentation requirements on landlords and debt collectors seeking to collect rental debt. Before joining Legal Aid DC in 2013, Tom was a partner in a national law firm. He obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania and law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Tyler Hickle is a solo practitioner in Austin, Texas. His practice focuses on consumer law, particularly the interactions between landlord-tenant and debt collection. He frequently sues apartment debt collectors for violations of state and federal law. He graduated from Texas A&M University and has a law degree from Indiana University – Bloomington.


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