Collector - February 2018 - 42

IAP

ACA Submits Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court in Case
Challenging the 7th Circuit's Treatment of Letters Seeking
Collection of Out-of-Statute Debt
ACA supported its member's request that the court clarify whether a debt buyer's disclosure of its intent not to sue in a
letter collecting time-barred debt violates the FDCPA if a consumer is not advised of the consequences of payment or
that a collection lawsuit is prohibited by law.   
By Karen Scheibe Eliason

O

n Nov. 10, 2017, ACA International
filed an amicus curiae ("friend
of the court") brief with the U.S.
Supreme Court in the case of Portfolio
Recovery Associates, LLC v. Pantoja. At issue
is whether a letter seeking to collect timebarred debt that does not threaten litigation
and, in fact, affirmatively disclaims it, is

misleading or deceptive in violation of
Section 1692e of the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act.
In Pantoja, a consumer sued a debt
collector after receiving a collection
letter seeking payment on a debt it
purchased, which had a statute of
limitations for recovery that had since

expired. Specifically, the debt collector's
letter contained a disclaimer that stated:
"Because of the age of your debt, we will
not sue you for it and we will not report it
to any credit reporting agency."
The collection letter also contained
several offers to settle the debt with each
offer requiring a down payment and offered
to consider the debt settled in full once the
full settlement payment was received. The
debt collector never filed a collection lawsuit
against the consumer, and the consumer did
not make any payments in response to the
collection letter.
On appeal, the Seventh Circuit affirmed
the district court's decision in favor of the
consumer, finding the collection letter to be
misleading and deceptive in violation of the
FDCPA for two reasons.
First, the appellate court ruled that the
collection letter did not make clear that any
action by the consumer to settle the debt

"The Seventh Circuit's
approach will chill
legitimate debtresolution efforts,
and may result in
unsophisticated
[consumers] being
misled."

42

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - February 2018

President’s Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Perspective
The Many Sides of a Chief Compliance Officer
Collection Tips
Is This Working?
Advocacy at its Finest
Calendar
Honor Roll
Express Yourself
A Step Above
Ask the Experts: Solving a Problem
ACA Submits Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court in Case Challenging the 7th Circuit’s Treatment of Letters Seeking Collection of Out-of- Statute Debt.
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - February 2018 - Cover1
Collector - February 2018 - Cover2
Collector - February 2018 - 1
Collector - February 2018 - 2
Collector - February 2018 - 3
Collector - February 2018 - President’s Page
Collector - February 2018 - 5
Collector - February 2018 - Industry News
Collector - February 2018 - 7
Collector - February 2018 - 8
Collector - February 2018 - 9
Collector - February 2018 - Best Practices
Collector - February 2018 - 11
Collector - February 2018 - FYI
Collector - February 2018 - 13
Collector - February 2018 - Perspective
Collector - February 2018 - 15
Collector - February 2018 - Collection Tips
Collector - February 2018 - 17
Collector - February 2018 - 18
Collector - February 2018 - 19
Collector - February 2018 - 20
Collector - February 2018 - 21
Collector - February 2018 - Is This Working?
Collector - February 2018 - 23
Collector - February 2018 - 24
Collector - February 2018 - 25
Collector - February 2018 - 26
Collector - February 2018 - 27
Collector - February 2018 - Advocacy at its Finest
Collector - February 2018 - 29
Collector - February 2018 - Calendar
Collector - February 2018 - Honor Roll
Collector - February 2018 - Express Yourself
Collector - February 2018 - 33
Collector - February 2018 - A Step Above
Collector - February 2018 - 35
Collector - February 2018 - Ask the Experts: Solving a Problem
Collector - February 2018 - 37
Collector - February 2018 - ACA Submits Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court in Case Challenging the 7th Circuit’s Treatment of Letters Seeking Collection of Out-of- Statute Debt.
Collector - February 2018 - 39
Collector - February 2018 - 40
Collector - February 2018 - 41
Collector - February 2018 - 42
Collector - February 2018 - 43
Collector - February 2018 - Compliance
Collector - February 2018 - 45
Collector - February 2018 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - February 2018 - 47
Collector - February 2018 - Last Word
Collector - February 2018 - Cover3
Collector - February 2018 - Cover4
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