When Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act it created a federal statutory right to damages for consumers who suffer abusive debt collection practices. One of those practices, the required disclosures in a communication with the consumer, was the subject of a recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
The decision will give some comfort to consumer lenders and their lawyers in light of the judicial limitation it imposed on Congress when it creates federal statutory causes of action. Here the decision was in favor of the purported debt collector, the lender’s lawyer.
The FDCPA is frequently the subject of litigation. The possibility of damages for a consumer has prompted federal litigation the way honey draws bees. Here the honey was a claim against the lender’s lawyer and his law firm.
The facts in this case were not in question. This summary is drawn from a very well-written opinion by Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the Court of Appeals available here.
In 2010, James and Patricia Haggy defaulted on a mobile home loan. When foreclosure proceedings were initiated, Mrs. Hagy called the law firm representing the foreclosing lender. The foreclosure was settled when the Hagy’s …