Collector – October 2019 - 43

IAP

limitations period starts, "from the date on
which the violation occurs."
On appeal, the consumer challenged
the district court's holding, arguing that
the competing discovery rule should
have been applied instead. After a panel
hearing but before issuing an opinion, the
Third Circuit ordered an en banc hearing.
The Third Circuit's en banc opinion
affirmed the district court's holding that
the FDCPA's statutory plain language
controlled and, therefore, the limitations
period starts "from the date on which the
violation occurs"-not when a consumer
knew or should have known of the facts
giving rise to a legal claim.
In so ruling, the appellate court
said that the narrow plain language

Congress included in the FDCPA
("the date on which the violation
occurs") controlled because it clearly
foreclosed the possibility of a broader
general discovery rule applying. In
addition, the Third Circuit observed
that the practices forbidden under
the FDCPA are apparent when they
occur and, thus, do not support the
application of the discovery rule.
The Third Circuit left open the
possibility that equitable tolling may
be appropriate under the FDCPA
when there is fraudulent, misleading
or self-concealing conduct.
The consumer filed a Petition for
Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme
Court, which the court granted Feb. 25,

2019. If the court sides with the Third
Circuit and adopts an occurrence rule
for the FDCPA, it would provide muchneeded certainty for ACA's members.
Under an occurrence rule, courts need
not determine, each time a statute of
limitations defense is raised, when a
consumer discovered or should have
discovered an alleged FDCPA violation.
If the Supreme Court deviates from
the Third Circuit's conclusion, the
consequences for third-party debt
collectors could be far reaching. If the
discovery rule applies, third-party debt
collectors could see liability arise well
beyond the one-year statutory limit.
In its brief, ACA argued that
certainty about potential liability is of
paramount importance to the accounts
receivable management industry,
whose efforts annually result in the
recovery of billions of dollars that are
returned to creditors. Expanding the
scope of liability beyond the one-year
limitations period would substantially
increase litigation costs arising from
claims brought well beyond the plainly
defined limitations period. This
untenable result, which is inconsistent
with congressional intent, would
negatively impact the industry.
ACA's efforts to proactively support
the accounts receivable management
industry are part of the association's
Industry Advancement Program and
are made possible by funding through
ACA's Industry Advancement Fund. If
you want to read more about the most
recent significant judicial decisions
involving the ARM industry, ACA
members can always find concise case
summaries at acainternational.org/
industry-advancement-program.
Kari Barber is ACA International's
corporate counsel.

COLLECTOR 10.19

43


https://www.acainternational.org/industry-advancement-program https://www.acainternational.org/industry-advancement-program http://www.webrecon.com

Collector – October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – October 2019

President’s Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Accessibility From Every Angle
Information Transformation
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Behind the Name
A.I. is Transforming Compliance. Are You Ready?
What to Watch in 2020
ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Provides Amicus Support in Key FDCPA Statute of Limitations Issue
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – October 2019 - Cover1
Collector – October 2019 - Cover2
Collector – October 2019 - 1
Collector – October 2019 - 2
Collector – October 2019 - 3
Collector – October 2019 - 4
Collector – October 2019 - President’s Page
Collector – October 2019 - Industry News
Collector – October 2019 - 7
Collector – October 2019 - 8
Collector – October 2019 - 9
Collector – October 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – October 2019 - 11
Collector – October 2019 - FYI
Collector – October 2019 - 13
Collector – October 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – October 2019 - 15
Collector – October 2019 - 16
Collector – October 2019 - 17
Collector – October 2019 - 18
Collector – October 2019 - 19
Collector – October 2019 - Accessibility From Every Angle
Collector – October 2019 - 21
Collector – October 2019 - 22
Collector – October 2019 - 23
Collector – October 2019 - Information Transformation
Collector – October 2019 - 25
Collector – October 2019 - 26
Collector – October 2019 - 27
Collector – October 2019 - 28
Collector – October 2019 - 29
Collector – October 2019 - Calendar
Collector – October 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – October 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – October 2019 - 33
Collector – October 2019 - Behind the Name
Collector – October 2019 - 35
Collector – October 2019 - A.I. is Transforming Compliance. Are You Ready?
Collector – October 2019 - 37
Collector – October 2019 - What to Watch in 2020
Collector – October 2019 - 39
Collector – October 2019 - 40
Collector – October 2019 - 41
Collector – October 2019 - ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Provides Amicus Support in Key FDCPA Statute of Limitations Issue
Collector – October 2019 - 43
Collector – October 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – October 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – October 2019 - Membership
Collector – October 2019 - 47
Collector – October 2019 - Last Word
Collector – October 2019 - Cover3
Collector – October 2019 - Cover4
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