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Joshua C. (Josh) Dickinson

Partner

Spencer Fane attorney Josh Dickinson

T 402.965.8600
F 402.965.8601
jdickinson@spencerfane.com

Seventh Circuit Clarifies Standards for ‘Consumer Debt’ and ‘Misrepresentation’ in Identity Theft FDCPA Cases

Brief Executive Summary

In Woods v. LVNV Funding, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals clarified two standards for FDCPA claims in identity theft cases. First, the court somewhat lowered the required showing to prove that a debt is a “consumer debt” at the summary judgment phase, noting that the FDCPA does not “require absolute certainty on this point.” Second, the court heightened the standard that debtors must meet in alleging false or misleading statements in identity theft cases, explaining that “literal falsity is not the standard under” the FDCPA, and, where a report is based on an identity mismatch that a debtor can easily determine is not his own, there is no liability.

The Eleventh Circuit Calls Into Question the use of Letter Vendors as Violative of the FDCPA

The Eleventh Circuit in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc. issued an opinion yesterday that confronted an issue of first impression, namely, whether a debt collector can use a third party vendor to send collection letters without violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  The facts were simple.  The defendant/debt collector used a third party letter vendor to send an initial “dunning” letter to the plaintiff/consumer.  In doing so, the defendant provided the vendor with the plaintiff’s name, his outstanding balance, the fact that his debt resulted from his son’s medical treatment, and his son’s name.  The plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging that the defendant violated the FDCPA by disclosing his personal information to the third-party vendor.

Spencer Fane LLP Victorious In Ninth Circuit Case Challenging Collection Letters For Time-Barred Debts

Josh Dickinson (Omaha) and Kersten Holzhueter (Kansas City) recently obtained a victory for a debt buyer in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  In Barry Stimpson v. Midland Funding, LLC, the plaintiff alleged that a letter seeking to collect on a time-barred debt violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  The letter offered a discount to resolve the debt and contained this language to explain that the debt could not be enforced in court: “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt and how long a debt can appear on your credit report. Due to the age of this debt, we will not sue you for it or report payment or non-payment of it to a credit bureau.”

A federal district court in Missouri rejects an FDCPA claim based on the legal theory that post-judgment interest in Missouri nontort cases must be specifically awarded in the judgment to be collectable

We are pleased to report a victory in the Eastern District of Missouri in an FDCPA case concerning the collection of statutory post-judgment interest on an unpaid Missouri state court judgment.

Labor and Employment in Nebraska – A Guide to Employment Laws, Regulations, and Practices (Matthew Bender)

Josh Dickinson and Brian Peterson, authors of treatise concerning Nebraska law on labor and employment.