July 7, 2017
What is a Right without a Remedy?
The United States Supreme Court reversed the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in another case concerning the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson, Case No. 16-0348.
Timeline of events:
- In March of 2014, an individual debtor filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in the Southern District of Alabama. A creditor, Midland Funding, filed a Proof of Claim in the debtor’s Chapter 13 case with a written statement that the debt in question ($1,879.71 of credit card debt) was more than 10 years old. The debtor objected using the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense. In Alabama the statute of limitations on collection of debt is six years. Midland did not file a response. As such, the bankruptcy court disallowed Midland’s Claim.
- The debtor then sued Midland Funding in District Court for violating the FDCPA by attempting to collect on an expired debt. The District Court dismissed the case, concluding the FDCPA did not apply.
- The 11th Circuit Appellate Court reversed the District Court. Midland Funding then proceeded to file a petition for certiorari, or a petition for review, asking the Supreme Court to weigh in on this question:
“Whether the conduct at issue here is ‘false,’ ‘deceptive,’ ‘misleading,’ ‘unconscionable,’ or ‘unfair’ within the meaning of the FDCPA.”