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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:21 am 
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FDCPA applies to third party collectors of dishonored checks
Law Reporter, Jun 1998

Duffy v. Landberg, 133 F.3d 1120 (8th Cir. 1998). The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq., applies to third-party collectors of dishonored checks. Looking at the act's plain language, the court concluded a dishonored check fits within the statute's definition of "debt"-any obligation to pay arising out of a consumer transaction. Rules of statutory construction mandate that the unambiguous term "transaction" be given its ordinary meaning and not be read restrictively, the court said. The court added that the legislative history reflects Congress's intent not to limit the FDCPA's protections to debts arising from credit transactions.

The court rejected the reasoning of Zimmerman v. HBO Affiliate Group, 834 F.2d 1163 (3d Cir. 1987), which held only credit-based consumer transactions constitute a "debt" under the FDCPA. The court noted that other courts have held that the payment obligation arising from a dishonored check constitutes a debt under the FDCPA. Bass v. Stolper, Koritzinsky, Brewster er Neider, S.C., 111 F.3d 1322 (7th Cir. 1997), 40 ATLA L. Rep. 210 (Aug. 1997); Ryan v. Wexler ee Wexler, 113 F.3d 91 (7th Cir. 1997), 40 ATLA L. Rep. 211 (Aug. 1997), cert. denied, 118 S. Ct. 298 (1997).

Consequently, in a case alleging FDCPA violations for abusive debt collection practices involving dishonored checks, the court reversed the trial court's motion to dismiss and remanded.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:16 am 
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My husband is a bill collector (who is well aware of FDCPA requirements) and I am a paralegal. We have just saved two NASTY voicemails from a man named "Rich Dawson" who claims to be an "investigator" and his number is 866-587-8616. His voicemail threatened "police action" among other things that are CLEARLY a violation of FDCPA. He claims to work for a company that starts with the letter "A" but he mumbled it and would not repeat it. The checks were apparently written by my husband before we were married (which means they must be over 7 or 8 years old) so he wouldn't give me much information, but we have received NOTHING in writing from him or his company. Have you heard of this man before? Should we get an attorney??(We are in KS)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 3:53 am 
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lgeorge wrote:
My husband is a bill collector (who is well aware of FDCPA requirements) and I am a paralegal. We have just saved two NASTY voicemails from a man named "Rich Dawson" who claims to be an "investigator" and his number is 866-587-8616. His voicemail threatened "police action" among other things that are CLEARLY a violation of FDCPA. He claims to work for a company that starts with the letter "A" but he mumbled it and would not repeat it. The checks were apparently written by my husband before we were married (which means they must be over 7 or 8 years old) so he wouldn't give me much information, but we have received NOTHING in writing from him or his company. Have you heard of this man before? Should we get an attorney??(We are in KS)


Yes, you have an FDCPA claim. No, I have not heard of him. Yes, consult an attorney.

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David Szwak
Chairman, Consumer Protection Section, Louisiana State Bar Association
Bodenheimer, Jones & Szwak
509 Market Street, 7th Floor
Mid South Tower
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101
318-221-6444
Fax 318-221-6555


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