11th Cir. Holds Disclosing Consumer Information To Third Party Letter Vendors Violates FDCPA

On April 21, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision holding that the transmittal of consumer information to a letter vendor constitutes a communication with an unauthorized third party in connection with the collection of a debt in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(b). Hunstein v. Preferred Collection & Mgmt. Servs., 994 F.3d 1341 (11th Cir. April 21, 2021). It reaffirmed this decision 2-1 on October 28, 2021. No. 19-14434, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 32325 (11th Cir. Oct. 28, 2021). Rehearing before the entire court was subsequently granted.  Eventually, the full court determined that the requirements of federal jurisdiction were not satisfied and dismissed the case without reaching the merits.

The collector electronically transmitted information about the consumer and his debt (a child's medical bill) to its letter vendor, which then used that information to create and send a letter to the consumer.

Numerous debt collectors are committing this violation. If it was committed with respect to you, you may be entitled to recover damages.