The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice filed a joint amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting consumers' ability to protect their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by suing debt collectors.

The amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to overturn a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. In the case, a consumer, Olivea Marx sued a debt collector, General Revenue Corp., that had contacted her employer to obtain information about her employment status. Marx believed that the collection agency's conduct had violated the FDCPA, but she lost the case. The Tenth Circuit ruled that Marx was responsible for paying more than $4,500 to cover the agency's litigation costs, even though she had brought the case in good faith.

By contrast, the Tenth Circuit’s ruling would create a disincentive to the prosecution of private enforcement actions, the brief states. The FTC vote to join the amicus brief filing was 5-0.  The Department of Justice filed the brief on August 3.

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