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1994-1995 Preview U.S. Sup. Ct. Cas. 219 (1994-1995)


In 1986 Congress amended the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to include attorneys under the definition of debt collector. Now the Supreme Court is asked to determine if the law applies to attorneys suing debtors on behalf of clients, not just when they conduct debt-collection activities.

If the Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Seventh Circuit, thus finding for Jenkins, attorneys who litigate cases involving collection of debts may find themselves subject to liability for communications with the consumer or the consumer's attorney regarding the litigation. Furthermore, these attorneys would face personal liability for any violations of the Act in conducting debt-collection litigation. If, however, the Court reverses, thus finding for Heintz and Bowman, the collective sigh of relief from the legal community might well be audible.


Issue 5, Feb. 10, 1995



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