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The Young Profession Group

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Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark

Debt Buyers Association Logo [UPDATED]

"Housing affordability is worsening, leaving future home buyers with student debt at a severe disadvantage," said NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and the CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby's International. "Younger Americans shouldn't have to choose between education and homeownership, and NAR continues to pursue policies that ensure the American dream remains available and accessible for those still paying off their college education."

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NAR has been collecting and examining research during the past eight years to gauge the impact of student loan debt on future homebuyers. The data pattern now affirms that student loan debt is one of the most significant barriers standing between a potential buyer and the ability to purchase a home.

Today's new findings build on last year's annual survey of successful homebuyers, Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which showed that student loan debt was the most significant factor delaying their ability to save among buyers who had difficulty saving for a down payment. This research found Black homebuyers were more than twice as likely to have student debt than White homebuyers, with a median amount of $10,000 more than White buyers.

Under the CCFPL, it is unlawful for a covered person or service provider, which includes debt collectors and debt buyers, to engage in any unlawful, unfair, deceptive, or abusive act or practice with respect to consumer financial products or services, offer or provide to a consumer any financial product or service not in conformity with any consumer financial law or otherwise commit any act or omission in violation of a consumer financial law, or fail or refuse, as required by a consumer financial law or any rule or order issued by the Department, to do any of the following: (A) permit the Department access to or copying of records; (B) establish or maintain records; or (C) make reports or provide information to the Department.

This report builds on past findings from NAR and explores the current role of student loan debt and the relationship to homeownership.1 The findings show that student debt does hold back home buyers. While the themes are consistent based on past research, the current report expands the knowledge base by exploring the role of the current Federal Government Stimulus packages and the role the current COVID-19 pandemic has played on debt.

In Junk Justice, I wrote about statistical outcomes of lawsuits filed by large debt buyers in Maryland. Based on my study, the years 2009-2011 had a combined total of over 121,000 cases filed by the sample group of large debt buyers in the District Court of Maryland. But now, the picture is different. We see a consolidation in the industry, and a drop in the number of filings.

The sample group filed more than 40,000 cases in 2009, more than 43,000 cases in 2010, and more than 37,000 in 2011. In sharp contrast, the year of 2012 saw only about 22,500 cases, and 2013 saw about 24,000 cases filed by a newly consolidated group of debt buyers.

In short, the bulk of debt-buyer litigation in Maryland filed through 2013 was brought either by Midland Funding or Asset Acceptance (both owned by publicly traded Encore), or by Portfolio Recovery Associates. Most of the debt buyers active in 2009-2011 have now almost completely ceased filing, with no more than a handful of cases in 2012 and 2013.

2012 appears to have been a key year for these changes. New rules regarding debt buyer lawsuits became effective on January 1st, 2012, resulting in a significant shift in filings: In late 2011, debt buyers rushed to file, in the early months of 2012, filings dropped. Since 2012, filings have increased year on year, perhaps showing increased confidence in the ability of the industry to continue filing suits and getting judgments.

[2] The search was limited to District Court cases in which any given debt buyer appeared as the Plaintiff. Maryland Judiciary Case Search will return a maximum of 500 cases at a time, so for larger debt buyers it was necessary to search periods less than a whole year, and then add up the number of filings for all the periods.

House Bill 284 explicitly provides that debt buyers did not have to be licensed in the state prior to July 1, 2023 and protects the validity of any civil action or arbitration filed or commenced by a debt buyer, or any judgment entered for a debt buyer before the effective date.

Prior to founding Avenue, Mr. Lasry and Ms. Gardner founded Amroc Investments, LLC. Amroc began in 1989 as a $100 million distressed debt investment partnership organized by Mr. Lasry and Ms. Gardner in association with the Robert M. Bass Group, Inc. 041b061a72


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