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Court Releases Recording of Hunstein Oral Argument

ACA International will provide a summary for members following the hearing, which included statements from both sides of the FDCPA letter vendor case focused on Article III standing.

02/22/2022 3:45 P.M.

2 minute read

A recording of the oral argument before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals en banc panel is available in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services Inc.

Nearly a year ago, on April 21, 2021, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Hunstein holding that an alleged violation of the third-party disclosure provision under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act resulted in an alleged concrete injury under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, ACA International previously reported.

The Hunstein court came to this decision on the standing aspect of the case even though there was no actual or tangible harm.

ACA filed an amicus brief in June of last year after Preferred filed its petition for rehearing and for rehearing en banc to ask the 11th Circuit to grant a “panel rehearing or rehearing en banc of the panel’s decision issued on April 21, 2021.”

The case changed trajectory in October 2021, when a panel of judges from the 11th Circuit that issued the original opinion in Hunstein issued a new panel opinion in response to the petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc filed by Preferred.

The new opinion doubled down on the original opinion, holding that:

  1. The violation of Section 1692c(b) of the FDCPA alleged in the case gives rise to a concrete injury in fact under Article III; and
    2. The debt collector’s transmittal of the consumer’s personal information to its dunning vendor constituted a communication “in connection with the collection of any debt” within the meaning of Section 1692c(b).

The new opinion, however, included a dissent from Judge Gerald Tjoflat, who “changed his mind” because the court’s original opinion swept more broadly than the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in TransUnion v. Ramirez “would allow.”

The 11th Circuit granted Preferred Collection’s en banc rehearing request Nov. 17, 2021, ACA previously reported, because a majority of active judges on the 11th Circuit bench had voted in favor of the en banc rehearing for the case.

In ordering the en banc rehearing leading to the Feb. 22 oral argument, the 11th Circuit indicated that it “desires for counsel to focus their briefs on the following issue: Does Mr. Hunstein have Article III standing to bring this lawsuit?”

ACA will provide updates on the oral argument for members. Subscribe to ACA Daily to stay in the know on the case.  

Members can visit ACA’s Hunstein Resource Center to read background information on the case.

Related Content from ACA International:

State Creditors Bar Associations, U.S. Chamber of Commerce File Briefs in Support of Preferred Collection

Preferred Collection’s Brief in Hunstein Argues Plaintiff Lacks Article III Standing, FDCPA Does Not Prohibit Communications with Agents

 

 

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