September 28, 2006
Ninth Circuit Issues First Impression of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
In Clark v. Capital Credit & Collection Serv., Inc., 460 F.3d 1162 (9th Cir. 2006), a debtor in writing advised a debt collector not to contact him further. Despite that, the debtor called a debt collector and asked for information; the debt collector returned the call. That simple fact pattern led to a lengthy opinion about whether the debt collector's return phone call violated the FDCPA.
The Ninth Circuit issued an opinion of first impression interpreting 15 USC 1962c(c), which provides that if a consumer advises a debt collector in writing not to communicate with the debtor further, the debt collector "shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt." All three judges held that a consumer could waive the act's protections, but disagreed on precisely the scope of waiver.
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