Arizona Court Upholds Debt Collection Act From Industry Challenge

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on the Buckley (now Orrick) InfoBytes Blog and is republished here with permission. 
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On May 3, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the state superior court’s decision to uphold Arizona’s Predatory Debt Collection Act (the “Act”) after being challenged by judgment creditors. 

The Act lowered the interest rate cap on medical debt, increased the amount of the homestead exemption, increased the dollar value of personal property and assets exempt from creditor claims, and increased the amount of exempt earnings in garnishment actions.

The plaintiffs alleged that the “Saving Clause” of the Act was unconstitutionally vague and unintelligible due to its failure to directly state whether the Act would apply when a judgment pre-dates the Act but a wage garnishment proceeding post-dates the Act. The appellate court found that the Saving Clause was not vague or unintelligible as the language “provides a framework and examples consistent with how Arizona courts have long ensured prospective application of the law[.]” As such, the appellate court upheld the superior court’s decision and could not rule the Act as unconstitutional.

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