Lending, borrowing, and collecting money is one of the most essential aspects of a capitalist society. Lenders often take risks when lending money to borrowers under the known risk that the lenders may not get their money back. As such, it should come to no surprise that, at times, borrowers may not pay the money they have borrowed. Consequently, debt-collectors’ practices in the United States, at one point in time, became abusive, which led to the passing of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) in 1977. The FDCPA serves as a shield of protection from abusive practices from debt-collectors. The FDCPA’s language, however, has created some confusion regarding the requirements which would allow a plaintiff to have standing in front of a court of law, specifically, Article III standing of the United States Constitution.
Article III of the Constitution of the United States sets the foundation of the American judiciary. Section 2 of Article III further provides the basis under which a plaintiff can stand in front of an American court. As its most basic principle, Article III states that the courts may hear cases and controversies. Though this requirement extends to most aspects of American Jurisprudence, the FDCPA has created its own type of controversy and confusion among the different Federal Circuits in the United States. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit analyzed this controversy in the case Trichell v. Midland Credit Mgmt., Inc. Trichell discussed in depth the topics of standing under both the FDCPA and Article III of the Constitution with its ultimate holding now allowing debt-collectors to collect on debts that are time-barred while, at the same time, preventing plaintiffs from bringing lawsuits for injuries that are not concrete nor particularized.
"YOU’VE GOT MAIL: How the Eleventh Circuit Will Now Allow Debt-Collectors to Collect Time-Barred Debts,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 72:
4, Article 17.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol72/iss4/17