Monday, October 19, 2009
FDCPA and your answering machine
With a preamble referencing a quote about the Vietnam War -- "we had to destroy the village to save it" -- Judge Carnes (joined by Judge Fay and Judge Alarcon, a 9th Circuit visitor) found that a creditor could not receive the protection of the bona fide error defense under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act where it failed to inform the debtor in an answering machine message that it was a debt collector calling to collect a debt. The reason for the omission? The creditor was concerned that including this information in an answering machine message could be heard by the debtor's roommate, thereby leading to a violation of the FDCPA. Read the full opinion in Edwards v. Niagra Credit Solutions, No. 08-17006 (Oct. 14, 2009).