Ninth Circuit Confirms Property Managers Are Not Debt Collectors Under FDCPA

November 17, 2020

On November 17, 2020, the Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of London Fischer’s clients, in a consolidated appeal involving four summary judgment motions and two motions for dismissal and judgment on the pleadings, concerning eight appellees.  Appellants alleged that Appellees, which were mortgage servicers, credit reporting agencies, and property preservation companies, had violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and the Fair Credit Report Act (“FCRA”) through actions taken in response to Appellants’ failure to keep their mortgage current.  London Fischer represented two insureds that provided property management services on behalf of a mortgage servicer.  In the underlying district court case, London Fischer successfully argued that these entities were not “debt collectors” subject to the FDCPA and also obtained dismissal of the non-FDCPA claims.  On appeal, citing to recent U.S. Supreme Court authority, London Fischer again successfully argued that these entities did not qualify as “debt collectors” under the general provisions of FDCPA and that even if they did, specifically under Section 1692f(6), their actions still were not violations of the FDCPA.  Partner Nick Davila and associate Ha Eun Cho of London Fischer’s Irvine, CA office handled the underlying action and appeal.