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Does the FDCPA Apply to Debt Buyers? U.S. Supreme Court Will Soon Decide

On April 18, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument on the issue of whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") extends beyond traditional "debt collectors" to those entities that purchase debts from the original lender after a consumer account is in default, commonly known as "debt buyers." The case, Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., No. 16-349, on appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, touches upon the original purpose of the FDCPA in eliminating abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors. The key inquiry for the Court then was to determine whether the Congressional intent behind the Act was indeed to regulate all groups of entities in the debt collection marketplace or, in fact, more limited in scope to just those companies that collect directly or indirectly on behalf of another entity. More ›

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