3rd Circuit affirms district court’s decision that losing a debt collection case does not necessarily violate FDCPA | Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

On December 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit affirmed a U.S. District Court’s order denying a consumer’s motion for reconsideration of the grant of summary judgment against the consumer. After the consumer successfully defended herself in a debt collection action in municipal court, she sued the debt collection agency that had brought suit against her in federal court alleging that the agency violated the FDCPA by utilizing false or deceptive means in collecting debts that she did not owe in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e and unfair or unconscionable means in the collection of any debt in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692f.  

The district court granted judgment to the debt collection company and denied the individual’s motion for reconsideration. The appellate court found that the consumer failed to produce evidence that proved the debt collection agency made any false or deceptive representations or acted unfairly or unconscionably in bringing the debt collection action against the consumer. Although the agency failed to meet its burden of proof in the municipal action, the court noted that “losing a debt collection lawsuit does not in itself mean a defendant violated the FDCPA.” 

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