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Mistake of Law – No Defense to An FDCPA Claim

We previously reported on Jerman v. Carlisle, a case that presented the issue of whether a debt collector can avoid liability for mistakes of law under the “bona fide error” defense of the federal FDCPA, which can shield debt collectors from liability for unintentional violations in certain instances. On April 21, 2010, the Court held that debt collectors and their lawyers do not have a good-faith defense to liability when they misinterpret the legal requirements of the federal FDCPA. This is a big victory for consumers, and a contrary decision probably would have eliminated many claims against debt collection attorneys. You can read the opinion here.

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