Is There a “Silver Bullet” for Defeating FDCPA and TCPA Claims?
The Debt Collection Drill 01.29.15
Collection agencies and debt buyers continue to be inundated with Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits, many of which drag on through months and even years of expensive discovery and motion practice. What if there existed a single argument that could be made in many consumer cases that would successfully remove the matter from court and likely end the case in its entirety? Surprisingly, such an argument exists, though it is often overlooked in the defense of debt collectors and debt buyers.
A broad array of consumer contracts include arbitration clauses requiring that certain consumer disputes be resolved through arbitration rather than court proceedings. Recent United States Supreme Court precedent supports enforcement of such arbitration clauses. Depending on the exact wording of the arbitration clause, motions to compel arbitration of FDCPA, TCPA, and other consumer litigation may succeed where other arguments fail. Further, in a putative class action – such as a TCPA class action – if some of the purported class members are subject to an arbitration clause, this alone may be sufficient to defeat class certification.
In this latest episode of The Debt Collection Drill, attorney John Rossman discusses a recent victory for a collection agency in a motion to compel arbitration, along with strategies for successfully crafting this argument.