The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the leading debt collection practices act, serving as the lynchpin of federal consumer protections in the area of debt collection as well as serving as a model for numerous state enactments. Not surprisingly, litigation often focuses on the crucial questions of who is a “debt collector” and what is “debt collection” for purposes of the FDCPA. This area of law has received close scrutiny in recent years with published cases from the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, the Supreme Court had to decide whether “one principally involved in ‘the enforcement of security interests’ is . . . a debt collector” for purposes of the FDCPA. Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, 139 S. Ct. 1029, 1031 (2019). The Court concluded that the statutory language of the FDCPA’s definition of “debt collector” places: