In his nationwide civil litigation practice, Mike places significant emphasis on defending creditors, debt buyers, debt collectors, and lawyers in actions arising under:

  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • Additional federal and state laws and regulations

Mike provides advice and counsel on litigation and compliance issues across the United States, frequently securing decisions in his clients’ favor. His areas of practice also include contract law and defense of consumer law claims.

A frequent presenter and lecturer on FDCPA, FCRA, and collection issues, Mike co-hosts an innovative monthly audio blog series, The Debt Collection Drill, distributed by insideARM.com. Mike examines developments involving FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, and state regulatory laws in these popular and frequently shared podcasts and blogs.

Mike has helped shape debt collection law in various published cases that preserved and expanded the rights of debt collectors, debt buyers, and creditors. As a member of the ACA International Members’ Attorney Program (MAP), Mike is approved by the ACA as counsel qualified to review collection notices for compliance with the FDCPA.

Experience and Reported Decisions

  • Victorious defense of FDCPA claim based on the alleged failure to include an interest disclosure. Devised strategy and defended a national collection action in an action that tried to expand upon existing U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit case law. Our client prevailed via summary judgment in which the U.S. District Court held that a collection agency was not required to include an interest disclosure statement when interest was not accruing. The decision was affirmed on appeal to the Second Circuit and thus nullified the attempt to expand negative case law. 
  • Court decisions holding that tax consequence language did not violate the FDCPA.Successfully obtained numerous decisions in multiple jurisdictions holding that the inclusion of language in debt collection notices advising consumers of the potential tax consequence of debt settlement did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 

Mike’s reported cases include:

  •  Remington v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., No. 16 Civ. 865, 2017 WL 1014994, at *4 (D. Conn. Mar. 15, 2017)
  • Everett v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., No. 16 Civ. 1806, 2016 WL 6948052, at *2, *6 (S.D. Ind. Nov. 28, 2016)
  • Church v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 2018 WL 1383231 (W.D.N.Y. March 19, 2018)
  • Illobre v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 2016 WL 6581332 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 3, 2016)
  • Antista v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., No. 2:17-cv-3567 (WJM), 2017 WL 259771, at *1 (D.N.J. Jan. 2, 2018)
  • Sutton v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 121 F. Supp. 3d 309, 313 (E.D.N.Y. 2015)
  • Taylor v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 252 F. Supp. 3d 344 (S.D.N.Y. 2017)
  • Taylor v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 886 F. 3d 212 (2nd Cir. 2018)
  • Feldheim v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 257 F. Supp. 3d 361 (S.D.N.Y. 2017)
  • Borozan v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., No. 17-11542, 2018 WL 3085217 (D.N.J. June 22, 2018)
  • Degrasse v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., No. 16-cv-3727 (KAM) 2018 WL 221461 (E.D.N.Y. March 5, 2018)
  • Jewsevskyj v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 2016 WL 6162728 at *4 (E.D. Pa. 2016)
  • Jewsevskyj v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 704 Fed. App’x, 145, 147, 2017 WL 2992499 (3rd Circ. 2017)
  • Krieger v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., No. 16-cv-1132 (EDNY July 7, 2016)
  • Karp v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 2013 WL 6734110 (W.D. Tex.)
  • Peters v. Fin. Recovery Servs, Inc., 46 F. Supp. 3d 915 (W.D. Mo. 2014)
  • Ranwick v. Texas Gila, LLC 37 F. Supp. 3d 1053 (D. Minn. 2014)
  • Eaton v. Central Portfolio Control, Inc., No. 14-cv-747 (DSD/FLN), 2014 WL 6982807 (D. Minn. 2014)
  • Bow v. Ad Astra Recovery Servs., Inc., No. 18-0510-G, 2018 WL 3455510 (N.D. Tex. July 18, 2018)
  • Doyle v. Ad Astra Recovery Servs., Inc., 2018 WL 1169121 (D.N.J. March 6, 2018)
  • Kellar v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 2014 WL 129239 (D.N.D.)
  • Asbridge v. Fin. Recovery Servs., Inc., 2017 WL 1176418 (D. Col.)
  • Jae v. ChexSystems Inc., 2018 WL 3368871 (N.D. Ohio)

Credentials

Education

University of Minnesota Law School, J.D.; dean's list

St. Cloud State University, B.S.; cum laude

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

Multimedia

Social Media

Moss & Barnett, John Rossman, and Mike Poncin are pleased to present the audio blog series, The Debt Collection Drill. John and Mike provide sage tips and ongoing intelligence for debt professionals. In the blog archive, you can review detailed tactics on emerging issues in the credit industry and their analysis and solutions to the challenges the collection industry faces daily. John and Mike invite your readership and comments.

The Debt Collection Drill

Moss & Barnett is pleased to announce the first of its monthly podcast series titled "The Debt Collection Drill" featuring shareholders John Rossman and Michael Poncin providing sage tips for improving collections and compliance.
  • Debt collectors defending against hyper-technical FDCPA lawsuits by consumer attorneys commonly ask the same question: “How could the consumer possibly have been harmed by this supposed violation of the FDCPA?”  The question is especially poignant when the purported FDCPA violation arises from a collection letter the consumer never read or from the language in the collection letter upon which the consumer never intended to rely.  Does the concept of “no harm, no foul” apply to the FDCPA? In this episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, Moss & Barnett attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss the recent ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the Casillas matter dismissing an alleged hyper-technical FDCPA letter violation.  They also discuss the recent ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeal regarding interest and share thoughts on the CFPB’s proposed debt collection rules.
  • As most debt collectors know, sending any collection notice into Delaware, New Jersey or Pennsylvania (the States with Federal Courts in the Third Circuit) will likely result in an FDCPA class action lawsuit against the debt collector.  Typically these lawsuits assert that the validation language used in the collection letter does not require the consumer to communicate disputes in writing only allegedly in violation of the FDCPA.  While several appeals on this issue are pending and consolidated before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, a decision from the Third Circuit in 2017 may provide guidance on how it will rule in favor of the debt collectors.   In the most recent episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, Moss & Barnett attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin are joined by their colleague, attorney Aylix Jensen, to discuss the Third Circuit validation issues, including the Jewsevskyj case, compliance with the new California privacy law (the CCPA) and credit reporting accounts in bankruptcy (see recent article on this issue http://www.insidearm.com/news/00044941-credit-reporting-debts-bankruptcy-deluge-/)
  • Debt collectors face an historic onslaught of FDCPA cases in Pennsylvania (and to a lesser extent New Jersey), all of which allege that statutory language in collection letters which tracks the FDCPA somehow violates the law.  The Courts in these cases take the position that a consumer must be apprised that a dispute must be in writing to be effective, even though this position is contrary to the plain language of the FDCPA and rulings by the Second, Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal.  This issue has been addressed extensively in InsideARM:  http://www.insidearm.com/news/00044725-22m-settlement-proposed-fcra-case-pulling/ http://www.insidearm.com/news/00044669-open-letter-cfpb-1692g-issues-within-thir/ In this episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin directly address whether debt collectors should change notices sent into Pennsylvania and also discuss the impact of the settlement in the Crunch v. Marks decision along with the recent California out-of-statute disclosure.
  • Collectors frequently point to contradictory language among the FDCPA and other statutes as proof that standardized debt collection rules are needed in this industry.  However, even in an industry where consumer attorneys frequently make "creative" arguments, it is rare to see a claim that the FDCPA itself contains contradictory language. In a number of recent cases, consumer attorneys are arguing that the validation language from the statute – the same language collectors have been using since the FDCPA was enacted in 1977 -- is now somehow unclear and confusing.   Specifically, consumer attorneys argue that the first sentence of the validation notice (relating to disputes), which does not contain an "in writing" requirement, contradicts the second sentence of the notice, which does require a written request from the consumer to receive verification.  Unfortunately, two Courts in New Jersey within the past year sided with the consumers in denying debt collectors' motions to dismiss on this issue.  Two more cases on the issue – on which the debt collectors prevailed – are pending before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  In this episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, Moss & Barnett attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin examine the recent cases alleging that the standard validation language violates the FDCPA and provide guidance for debt collectors seeking to avoid liability on this issue. 
  • Debt collectors were given clarity regarding two thorny FDCPA issues recently by decisions issued from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  In the case of Portalatin v. Blatt, the Court held that a consumer was entitled to a single recovery of an FDCPA statutory penalty rather than multiple recoveries for the same alleged violation from each Defendant.  This issue of Plaintiffs seeking to “stack” recoveries for the same alleged violations from multiple Defendant is now finally resolved in favor of the debt industry.  The Seventh Circuit also held in Dunbar v. Kohn that that sentence “This settlement may have tax consequences.” did not violate the FDCPA, thus joining the numerous other Court that held this language complies with the law.  In the latest episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, Moss & Barnett attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin discuss the Portalatin and Dunbar decisions in addition to strategies for debt collectors to avoid FDCPA on debt collection communications regarding interest and out-of-statute disclosures.  Links to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rulings in Portalatin and Dunbar can be found below. http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2018/D08-13/C:16-1578:J:Manion:aut:T:fnOp:N:2201521:S:0 http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2018/D07-19/C:17-2134:J:Sykes:aut:T:fnOp:N:2189247:S:0
  • Consumers using scripts to bait debt collectors into FDCPA violations is certainly nothing new.  InsideARM has been publishing articles about this issue for years: https://www.insidearm.com/news/00006606-five-signs-that-a-debtor-is-trying-to-ent/ While the practice of consumers baiting collectors into FDCPA violations is well-established, the specific techniques and scripts used continue to change and evolve.  A new script and technique for baiting collectors into FDCPA violations is sweeping across the country about which all debt collectors should be aware.   In the latest episode of the Debt Collection Drill podcast, Moss & Barnett attorneys John Rossman http://www.lawmoss.com/john-rossman/ and Mike Poncin http://www.lawmoss.com/michael-s-poncin/ discuss this latest call baiting strategy and provide specific steps debt collectors can take to avoid an FDCPA violation when faced with a consumer using this script.  Attorneys Rossman and Poncin also discuss the “new frontier” of debt collectors using text messages and how to potentially overcome the regulatory and legal hurdles with use of this technology. 

Affiliations

Professional Associations

  • ACA Members' Attorney Program
  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
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