The SCOTUS Obduskey Decision and the Questions It Raises


Posted By Administration, Monday, April 1, 2019
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2020

Recorded Monday, April 1, 2019

Travis Campbell and Tomio Narita of Simmonds & Narita, LLP and Brit Suttell of Barron & Newburger, P.C. summarize the recent SCOTUS Obduskey opinion, how it impacts law firms who engage in non-judicial foreclosure, and the questions it raises:

Are all law firms who engage in non-judicial foreclosure now completely exempt from the FDCPA? What about section 1692f(6) of the Act?
If a law firm falls into the “primary definition” of debt collector, because, for example, they collect personal credit card debts on a regular basis, does this opinion mean that they are NOT subject to the FDCPA when they are engaged in non-judicial foreclosure activity?
Are all actions taken in a non-judicial foreclosure exempt from the FDCPA (except for 1692f(6))? Or just those required by state law?
What’s the role of state law here? If a nonjudicial foreclosure communication is REQUIRED by state law, does this decision mean that it’s not subject to the FDCPA?
Is this ruling broad enough to cover judicial foreclosure communications and conduct?
What, if anything, did the Court say about judicial foreclosure?

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R. Travis Campbell

Travis Campbell is a partner at Simmonds & Narita LLP, a California law firm that focuses on defending the credit and collection industry in consumer financial services litigation. Travis defends creditors, debt buyers, debt collectors and law firms throughout the country in suits alleging violations of state and federal law. Travis is a graduate of Arizona State University and the University of Richmond School of Law.

Tomio B. Narita

Tomio B. Narita is a partner with the California law firm, Simmonds & Narita LLP. His practice focuses on the defense of creditors, debt buyers, collection law firms and collection agencies and in consumer litigation, including defending individual actions and class actions arising under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and other federal and state laws governing the collection process. Mr. Narita obtained his law degree in 1991 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He is a member of the Bar of the State of California, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, and the Second, Third and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Brit Suttell

Brit J. Suttell works in the Pennsylvania office of Barron & Newburger, P.C. She is a member of the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Law Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Suttell was a shareholder at Burton Neil & Associates, P.C., where she served as the firm’s Director of Compliance. In addition to her litigation experience, Ms. Suttell is experienced in the creation, implementation and administration of policies, procedures, and compliance management systems. Her non-litigation experience also includes the handling of regulatory complaints. She has substantial familiarity with multiple consumer financial protection laws, and she has trained collectors and facilitated law firm audits by clients in the financial sector. Ms. Suttell is the President of the Pennsylvania State Creditors Bar. She has been a speaker at programs sponsored by the National Creditors’ Bar Association as well as the Pennsylvania Creditors’ Bar Association. She has been a guest blogger for the National List of Attorneys.

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