A good decision came out recently in the Seventh Circuit, the case of Loja v. Main Street Acquisition Corporation. The issue it considered is fairly well settled in Florida but it is always good to see normal members of the public prevail anywhere.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or “FDCPA” is a law which protects members of the public from abuse by debt collectors. One very key element of the law is that it only applies to debt collectors attempting to collect a debt which is allegedly owed. Where does that leave members of the public who were bothered by debt collectors for debts they never had at all? Are victims of identity theft who had an account fraudulently opened in their name not able to avail themselves of the protections in the FDCPA? This was one of the issues in the Loja case, where a debt collector raised a not uncommon argument, that because the consumer denied ever having the account at all, the debt was not a “debt” as defined by the law so their misconduct was not covered by the FDCPA.
The Seventh Circuit explicitly ruled that the FDCPA applies even to people who deny ever having had a debt at all, such as identity theft victims and that such people are “consumers” as defined by the FDCPA.
For more information about FDCPA, please visit our website at: https://www.fight13.com/practice-areas/debt-collection-harassment-and-abuse-fdcpa/
Loan Lawyers has helped over 5,000 South Florida homeowners and consumers with their debt problems. We have saved over 1,800 homes from foreclosure, eliminated $100,000,000 in mortgage principal and consumer debt, and have collected millions of dollars on behalf of our clients due to bank, loan servicer, and debt collector violations, negligence and fraud.
This document has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any legal issues related to the matters discussed in this article as the applicability of state, local and federal laws may vary.