Jenny West Featured in Legal League Quarterly – 4Q2015

Are Foreclosure Law Firms "Debt Collectors" Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?  The Answer May Lie in the Relief Requested.

One direct result of the foreclosure crisis was a deluge of litigation against law firms and trustees retained by mortgage servicers to proceed with foreclosure.  In recent years, consumers took particular interest in initiating lawsuits against these firms based upon alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Action (FDCPA).  Consumers have argued that foreclosure law firms are "debt collectors" under the FDCPA, and that certain foreclosure related activities are subject to the provisions of the act.  The phrase "debt collector" is defined in § 803(6) [15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6)] of the FDCPA as:

     "Any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another."