A novel ruling from a federal appeals court has prompted a nationwide flood of suits against debt collectors over their use of outside vendors to print and mail letters to consumers.

The barrage of suits against collection agencies began in April, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued its ruling in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services. Since then, lawyers for plaintiffs across the nation have alleged in suits that a debtor’s privacy is violated when debt collectors outsource printing of correspondence.

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