Eleventh Circuit Withholds Mandate in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc.

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On June 14, 2021, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a one-line order stating that the Court was withholding issuance of the mandate in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc. The appeals court’s April 21, 2021, published ruling in Hunstein sent shockwaves through the collection industry when it held that debt collectors who share information about consumers’ debts with collection vendors can violate provisions in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) aimed at protecting consumer privacy.

The withholding of the mandate was likely triggered by the petition for en banc rehearing that was filed in late May and that remains pending. Since the petition was filed, over a dozen amicus briefs have been filed in support of the petition for rehearing, mainly by groups advocating on behalf of creditors and their vendors. It remains to be seen whether the Court will grant the petition and give the case—and its potentially far-reaching consequences—renewed consideration.

Pursuant to Eleventh Circuit internal operating procedures, published opinions such as Hunstein are binding precedent, regardless of whether a mandate is issued. If the petition for rehearing en banc is granted, the original opinion will be vacated.

A full summary of Hunstein can be found here.

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