Nice Try: Ninth Circuit Walks Back Debt Collector’s Attempt to Purchase Lawsuit Against Itself


A debt collector cannot avoid claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by purchasing the debtor’s lawsuit, according to a recent opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In Arellano v. Clark County Collection Service, defendant Clark County Collection Service (CCCS) sent plaintiff Patricia Arellano a debt-collection letter stating that she had 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt, along with a Nevada state court complaint and summons seeking collection of the debt. The letter, however, failed to mention that Ms. Arellano only had 20 days to file a formal response to the complaint.