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In a June 12, 2017 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that certain consumer finance companies that purchase and collect defaulted debts originated by other lenders are exempt from the strictures of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977 (the FDCPA or the Act). Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, 137 S. Ct. 1718 (2017). The case, which turns on who qualifies as a “debt collector” under the FDCPA, has significant implications for the distressed debt industry and will likely lead to industry-wide changes as companies restructure so as to benefit from the guidance contained in this ruling.

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