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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Kaltenbach purchased a mobile home and used it as security on a loan from Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance Inc. When he failed to keep up with his payments, Vanderbilt sent him letters notifying him that he was in default, that the loan balance had been accelerated and that Vanderbilt might exercise its right to repossess the home. When Kaltenbach continued to miss payments, Vanderbilt retained Richards, a Louisiana attorney, to initiate foreclosure on the mobile home. Richards filed a foreclosure action and eventually the mobile home was seized and sold. Kaltenbach then filed suit against Richards, alleging that Richards violated �1692g of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by not sending a “Dunning letter” before filing the foreclosure action. Richards filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that Kaltenbach had failed to state a cause of action. The district court granted the motion, holding that Richards is not a debt collector under the FDCPA and not subject to 15 U.S.C. �1692g. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The court first decided that Kaltenbach had in fact stated a claim. His complaint stated that Richards is “a debt collector, engaged in debt collection activities” against Kaltenbach. Liberally construing that statement in light of the fact that Kaltenbach is a pro se litigant and because “failure to state a claim” motions are disfavored, the court read the complaint to assert that Richards is a debt collector under the more general definition contained in 15 U.S.C. �1692a(6). Next, the court turned to the question of whether Richards is subject to �1692g if he satisfies the general definition of a debt collector, even though he was merely enforcing a security interest in his dealings with Kaltenbach. The court found the FDCPA ambiguous on this issue but also found a Federal Trade Commission interpretation reasonable. As a result, it deferred to the agency’s construction and held that the entire FDCPA can apply to a party whose principal business is enforcing security interests but who nevertheless fits �1692a(6)’s general definition of a debt collector. The court then held that a party who satisfies �1692a(6)’s general definition of a “debt collector” is a debt collector for the purposes of the entire FDCPA even when enforcing security interests. The district court did not consider whether Richards fits the general definition of a debt collector, so the 5th Circuit reversed and remanded the case. OPINION:Garza, J.; Garza, DeMoss, and Stewart, J.J.

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