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Debt Buyers Are Debt Collectors Too, Third Circuit Says

gavelCompanies that purchase debts from debt collectors are debt collectors themselves, a federal appeals court has ruled, and are subject to enforcement of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit’s precedential ruling brings a new level of accountability to entities that make a business out of collecting defaulted debts.

Judge Thomas Ambro opened the court’s opinion in the spirit of the character Wimpy from the Popeye cartoon: “Many would gladly pay Tuesday for a hamburger today. Of course, not all of those who fall into debt make payments timely, and debt collection has become a professional trade.”


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