For decades courts have faced the issue of whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the FDCPA) applies to filing proofs of claims in consumer bankruptcy cases. Courts have historically been cautious of applying the FDCPA in the realm that the Bankruptcy Code covers. As such, the majority of courts faced with this question found the answer to be a resounding "no." However, in Crawford v. LVNV Funding, LLC, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit turned the tide when it held that the filing of a proof of claim on a timebarred debt in Chapter 13 bankruptcy violated the FDCPA.s The court determined that filing a proof of claim on a debt barred by the applicable statute of limitations was "unfair, unconscionable, deceptive and misleading" to the least-sophisticated consumer.' In doing so, the court's decision created a circuit split. As a result, debtors in the Eleventh Circuit may recover certain damages under the FDCPA that are unavailable under the Bankruptcy Code. Furthermore, Crawford may significantly impact the practices of consumer debt collectors, which previously relied on a debtor's failure to object to proofs of claim under § 502 of the Bankruptcy Code 2 to collect on debts that would be otherwise invalid under state law.
Dant, Brittany M.
"Down the Rabbit Hole: Crawford v. LVNV Funding, LLC Upends the Role of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in Consumer Bankruptcy,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 66:
4, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol66/iss4/10