May 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 138

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May 18, 2021

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May 17, 2021

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Corporations Are People Under The FDCPA: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Last Thursday in Anarion Investments LLC v. Carrington Mort. Servs. LLC , the Sixth Circuit held that legal entities, as well as natural persons, may file suit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if it is attempting to collect personal debt.  The district court dismissed the complaint, holding that the corporation was not a “person” as defined under the FDCPA.  The Sixth Circuit reversed.

Judge Kethledge’s opinion begins with the presumption in the federal Dictionary Act that the word “person” includes legal entities unless the context indicates otherwise.  It then looked at various provisions in the FDCPA that use “person” to refer to artificial entities, including some provisions that apply exclusively to such entities.  Applying basic statutory interpretation principles, it also noted that Congress expressly defined the term “consumer” to mean a “natural person,” but made no such definition for “person.”

Judge Donald dissented, arguing that term “person” should be interpreted in light of the FDCPA’s overall purpose of protecting consumers.  She explained that including legal entities in the definition of “person” would “contradict the law’s overall aim.”

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© Copyright 2021 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 212
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Colter Paulson Appellate Litigation Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Cincinnati, OH
Of Counsel

Colter Paulson has significant litigation experience, specializing in appellate litigation. He has successfully argued appeals before federal and state appellate courts and has extensive experience leading teams of associates in complex litigation, including multidistrict litigation and class actions.

Colter represents clients in litigation involving consumer financial services, medical devices, healthcare and manufacturing. His international experience includes cross-border litigation on behalf of clients in Asia, South and Central America, and the Middle East. His experience also...

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