Wal-Mart ruling could affect future FDCPA class action suits
Aug 04, 2011 Mike Garretson
Although the recent case of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes - the largest civil rights class action suit in the history of the United States - was not related to collecting debts, the final ruling that class members did not have enough in common is relevant to the debt collection industry, according to insideARM.Defendants being sued for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act may be able to use the Dukes verdict to oppose class certification based on lack of commonality. Specifically, many FDCPA plaintiffs may fail to prove a sufficient level of commonality due to differences in individualized facts between them, which, under the precedent set by Dukes, should cause their class certification to be denied. The Dukes decision was made several weeks after a judge from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled that Nationstar Mortgage was not liable under the FDCPA for a class action brought against it by homeowners in the state, according to the Courthouse News Service. The homeowners alleged that the company sent them deceptive letters claiming they had personal liability for any deficiency related to their home equity loans.