Skip to main content
Menu Icon Menu Icon

InfoBytes Blog

Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

11th Circuit affirms dismissal of FDCPA claims for lack of standing

Courts Eleventh Circuit FDCPA Appellate Debt Collection State Issues


On June 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s ruling dismissing a plaintiff’s FDCPA lawsuit for lack of standing. According to the opinion, the plaintiff claimed a debt collector violated the FDCPA by engaging in deceptive debt collection practices. The defendants moved to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff lacked standing because the debts they sought to collect were owed by a company listed under a fictitious name that the plaintiff created with another person as co-owner and used to buy a condominium, and was registered under the Florida’s Fictitious Name Act, not the plaintiff himself. The plaintiff argued he established standing and that his complaint stated a claim on which relief may be granted. The district court ruled the plaintiff failed to state a claim because the company created by the plaintiff was not the same as the plaintiff himself, and in the alternative ruled that the debt owed by the fictitiously named company did not meet the definition of “consumer debt,” nor was the company a “consumer” under the FDCPA. The plaintiff appealed the decision, arguing that the fictitiously named company was not a legal entity; therefore, he should be permitted to continue with his lawsuit. The appellate court sided with the defendants, ruling that the plaintiff did not justify why he and the fictitiously named company should be treated “as the same party in light of the shared ownership of the fictitious name” with a second person who was not party to the suit. The appellate court wrote: “since [the plaintiff and the fictitiously named company] cannot be treated as an interchangeable entity, [the plaintiff’s] proceeding alone lacks standing to bring the FDCPA and related claims based on Defendants’ efforts to collect debts from [the fictitiously named company].”

Share page with AddThis