Gorsuch has unanimous first opinion for Supreme Court
Gorsuch has unanimous first opinion for Supreme Court
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12 Giugno, 2017, 22:27
Gorsuch used the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act's text in his opinion on the case, which found that Santander Consumer USA is not a debt collector because it bought a $3.5 billion portfolio of auto loan debts that CitiFinancial hired it to collect, The Hill reports.
The company purchased defaulted auto loans and sought to collect the money owed.
"These are matters for Congress, not this Court, to resolve", Gorsuch wrote in the opinion.
This case, Henson v. Santander Consumer, involves people who took out vehicle loans through a Citi's auto financing division and then defaulted on those loans.
Gorsuch was the author of a unanimous decision in favor of a company involved in a debt collection dispute.
The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lawsuit's dismissal previous year, saying the law applied only to debt collectors, and Santander became a creditor when it purchased the loans.
Gorsuch also notes that there is already a consensus understanding that third-party debt-collection agencies are explicitly covered by FDCPA while companies simply trying to collect on debt they are owed from their customers are not restricted by this law. The plaintiffs said that unscrupulous debt collectors could evade the law merely by buying the debt. Does the FDCPA, in Gorsuch's words, "treat the debt purchaser in that scenario more like the repo man or the loan originator?" "But what if you purchase a debt and then try to collect it for yourself - does that make you a "debt collector" too?"
"So a company collecting purchased default debt for its own account - like Santander - would hardly seem to be barred from qualifying as a creditor under the statute's plain terms", Gorsuch wrote, adding that only Congress has the power to change that if lawmakers want to do so.
Courts "apply, not amend, the work of the people's representatives", Gorsuch wrote.
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