November 19, 2021

11th Circuit votes in favor of rehearing Hunstein case, vacating previous opinion

hunsteinThe original panel of 11th Circuit Court of Appeals judges voted in favor of rehearing the Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc. case. This vote means that the previous panel’s opinion from October 28 has been vacated.

The previous panel’s opinion from October confirmed the holding of the previous decision that sharing debtor information with a third-party is actionable and a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

As previously discussed in a NAFCU Network insight post, in this specific case the court held that an electronic transmission of information from a debt collector to a third-party vendor – which included the consumer’s name, outstanding balance, to whom the debt was owed, and the circumstances surrounding the debt – was in violation of the FDCPA, as the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from communicating personal information to third parties.

The case presents significant impacts for financial institutions subject to the 11th Circuit’s jurisdiction and could have broader impacts on interpretation of the FDCPA – especially for credit unions where a state law requires creditors to follow the FDCPA.

NAFCU will update members if and how the case and related litigation proceeds.