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Supreme Court Rules on Debt Collection
On Monday, June 12, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Henson v. Santander. In a unanimous decision written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the Court unanimously affirmed the Fourth Circuit decision, the result CBA’s joint-trade amicus brief urged. In particular, the Court held a company may collect debts it purchased for its own account, as Santander did, without triggering the statutory definition in dispute. By defining debt collectors to include those who regularly seek to collect debts “owed . . . another,” the statute’s plain language seems to focus on third party collection agents regularly collecting for a debt owner—not on a debt owner seeking to collect debts for itself.