United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Consumer Protection — FDCPA
15 U.S.C §1692b(2), which prohibits debt collectors from disclosing a consumer’s debt to third parties, protects only the person whose debt was disclosed.
“We turn to the specific provisions that Todd invokes. The first is §1692b, which provides debt collectors with procedures for requesting information from a third party about a consumer’s location. Among other limitations, debt collectors are prohibited from disclosing to the third party that a consumer owes a debt, §1692b(2), and it is this rule that Todd alleges Collecto violated. But the ‘zone of interest’ requirement disallows suits by plaintiffs ‘whose interests are unrelated to the statutory prohibitions’ in question. Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP, 131 S. Ct. 863, 870 (2011). We therefore agree with the district court that §1692b(2) of the FDCPA is a privacy protection only for the consumer who supposedly owes the debt. The provision simply is not designed to protect third parties from hearing about another person’s debts. Such a purpose would be inconsistent with §1692c(b), a provision that places control over the disclosure of a consumer’s information squarely in the hands of the consumer, not the third party who may receive the disclosure. See id. (‘Except as provided in section 1692b of this title [for requesting location information], without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector … a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than the consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.’) (emphasis added). Todd thus is outside the provision’s zone of interest and lacks standing to bring a claim for a violation of §1692b(2).”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Guzmán, J., Hamilton, J.