Only Consumers Can Enforce FDCPA’s Third-Party Disclosure Provisions, Eight Circuit Holds

A bankruptcy attorney received a dunning letter from a debt collector, identifying him as the attorney for the consumer named in the letter. Unable to recognize the consumer’s name, the attorney searched his records and determined that he had never represented the consumer.

The attorney filed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) suit against the debt collector in Missouri state court, alleging that the debt collector had violated Section 1692c(b) by disclosing the existence of a debt to an unauthorized third party. The attorney alleged that searching his records cost him valuable time and resources that he could have spent working on matters for actual clients.

The case was removed to federal district court where the debt collector moved for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the attorney lack standing to sue under Section 1692.

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