The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lays down basic rules for debt collectors. Don't lie about the amount a person owes, don't make illegal threats, don't publicly embarrass someone for owing money. But do these rules apply within the rigid confines of bankruptcy court? The Supreme Court refused the chance to clarify this session.
In Crawford v. LVNV Funding, LLC, the 11th Circuit held that, yes, the FDCPA does regulate collectors even in bankruptcy. On one hand, collectors are generally still trying to collect debts even when a debtor files bankruptcy, and the 11th Circuit sees no reason that collection rules shouldn't apply just because the regulatory circumstances are now more complicated. Other circuits agree. On the other hand, the bankruptcy code requires debt collectors to follow a whole different set of rules, and collectors argue that it is difficult if not occasionally impossible to comply with both sets of laws at the same time. But the Supreme Court will not be settling this dispute anytime this year.
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