Knowledge of the law is no excuse, FDCPA edition

“In a 7-4 en banc decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the bona fide error defense in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) did not protect a debt collector who complied with then-controlling Seventh Circuit precedent — which was subsequently overruled by that court.” [Stefanie H. Jackman, Inside ARM]


  • It just seems clumsy to make it retroactive. Blatt et. al. are facing penalties. The article didn’t mention other cases that may be affected. It would have been cleaner to reverse their earlier decision and allow Blatt to re-file.

  • I’m guessing that if it was the government itself who was following precedent, the courts would not have made it retroactive.

  • I’m guessing that this will (should?) be overturned by SCOTUS. How can you hold someone liable for following the law as written/interpreted at the time? And Gregory, I think you hit the nail on the head there.