In 1977, Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) to remedy rampant abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors. A year later, the Bankruptcy Code was enacted under Title 11 of the United States Code. Conflicts arise as to whether which law applies when debt collectors use abusive debt collection practices while seeking to recover from a debtor in a bankruptcy case. Circuit courts are split as to whether the Bankruptcy Code displaces the FDCPA in the bankruptcy context. Some circuit courts have concluded that the Bankruptcy Code displaces the FDCPA in the bankruptcy context. Alternatively, some circuit courts have held that the Bankruptcy Code does not preempt the FDCPA and debt collectors may be liable under the FDCPA in bankruptcy cases.
This Article will discuss the purpose of the FDCPA and what constitutes a violation of the FDCPA. Following a discussion of the FDCPA, it will discuss how the circuit courts deal with the FDCPA in bankruptcy cases. Lastly, this article will discuss the implications in the circuits holding that the Bankruptcy Code does not displace the FDCPA in bankruptcy contexts.