Lamont and Melissa Simmons filed for bankruptcy protection in 2007. Roundup Funding filed a proof of claim saying the Simmons owed $2039.21. The Simmons responded saying we owe you money, but not that much. The judge agreed and reduced the claim to $1100.
The Simmons then sued, seeking class certification, contending Roundup violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by misrepresenting what they owed. In a case decided Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled the Simmons have no claim. While the FDCPA bars misrepresentations of the amount of debt, the court ruled it does not apply in this case.
The FDCPA was designed to eliminate abusive practices in the debt collection industry. "There is no need to protect debtors who are already under the protection of the bankruptcy court." The purpose of protecting unsophisticated consumers is "not implicated when a debtor is instead protected by the court system and its officers." For that reason, the Simmons could not predicate their FDCPA claim based on a creditor's filing in the bankruptcy court.