Should liability under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lie against a creditor who submits a proof of claim past the statute of limitations in a consumer bankruptcy case?
That is the question the Supreme Court declined to review recently in LVNV Funding, LLC v. Crawford. In Crawford, the Eleventh Circuit applied the "least sophisticated consumer" standard to find liability for the debt buyer when it submitted a proof of claim in 2008 for a debt that was out of statute as of 2004. Other courts have held differently. In fact, just last month, district courts in Indiana and Pennsylvania dismissed FDCPA suits against debt buyers under essentially the same facts as Crawford. Other courts, including the Second Circuit, have seemingly held that FDCPA liability can never lie in a bankruptcy case.
Putting the merits of applying the FDCPA in a bankruptcy case aside, it seems to me that in this specific instance potential liability under the Act could serve very useful functions: namely efficiency and cost savings.