FDCPA Ruling May Mean Trouble for Foreclosure Lawyers

November 20, 2012

The Banking Law Journal: September 2012

A decision by a federal circuit court of appeals can be read as a favorable opinion for homeowners seeking to hold foreclosure firms liable for activity done in connection with non-judicial foreclosures.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has released an opinion that could give foreclosure lawyers cause for concern. In Reese v. Ellis, Painter, Ratterree & Adams, LLP,1 the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a foreclosure firm conducting a non-judicial foreclosure could be liable under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) for sending homeowners correspondence that includes false or misleading information. This decision may undermine the protection that foreclosure firms have enjoyed under existing case law which exempts mere enforcement of a security interest through non-judicial foreclosure from the scope of the FDCPA.

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