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Kyle M. Asher is an associate in the Government Policy group of Dykema’s Lansing, Michigan office. Before joining Dykema, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert Holmes Bell at the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

On June 12, 2017, the United States Supreme Court held that a buyer of defaulted consumer debt was not subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). The question of whether such debt buyers fit within the FDCPA’s definition of “debt collector” has long been a subject of contention. While this result will not shield debt buyers entirely from the FDCPA’s purview, it does provide additional defenses against FDCPA liability and has broad potential implications for other consumer protection actions.

In Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, the petitioner had defaulted on a car loan owed to CitiFinancial Auto, which then sold the debt to Santander, which attempted to collect on the debt. The petitioner alleged that Santander’s collection methods violated the FDCPA. Continue Reading Debt Buyers Get Some FDCPA Relief from Supreme Court: Case Offers Insights But Leaves Some Questions Unanswered

Last week, Dykema’s Consumer Financial Services Law Blog discussed in detail the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016). In anticipation of that decision, district courts across the country issued stays pending guidance from the Supreme Court on one key issue: “Whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based on a bare violation of a federal statute.”

Continue Reading Spokeo’s Impact (So Far) on FDCPA Claims