Debt collectors were already feeling the jitters after a federal appeals court ruling became the basis for a crop of suits by consumers. But since Oct. 28, they have become even more unsettled thanks to the appeals court’s reconsideration of the case, which saw the unanimous ruling for the plaintiff vacated in favor of a split decision.
Lawyers for debtors have filed a crop of privacy suits against collection agencies ever since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled on April 21 that a debtor had standing to sue a collection agency for using an outside company to print and mail collection letters. The suits are viewed with great concern by the collections industry, where using outside companies to print correspondence is a widespread practice. The latest decision appears to be prolonging the anxiety for the collections industry.