SCOTUS: FDCPA Claims Must Be Filed Within One Year of Date of Violation, Not Discovery of Violation — maybe

see Rotkiske v. Klemm

Three Key Takeaways

  1. The FDCPA’s statute of limitations ordinarily begins to run when the violation occurs, not when it is discovered.
  2. The Supreme Court did not decide whether the FDCPA permits application of equitable doctrines, like equitable tolling, that may delay commencement of the limitations period in individual cases.
  3. As a general matter, federal statutes of limitations should be interpreted in light of a default presumption that limitations periods begin to run when a cause of action accrues, not when a violation is discovered.

So, as Justice Ginsburg stated, the court did not take the obvious opportunity to say that when fraud occurs, this could result in active concealment of facts to prevent the victim from knowing of the violation and that the statute might be tolled under such circumstances if proven. So there is no SCOTUS opinion on that.

Notwithstanding such rulings, there is widespread agreement that an affirmative defense based upon FDCPA violations is most likely not barred by statutes of limitation because it is not a “Claim.” Such defenses are avoidance in recoupment good only up to the amount claimed by the party seeking to enforce the debt. Similarly violations of TILA and other statutes might be raised in affirmative defenses if the state jurisdiction does not enforce doctrine that all claims AND DEFENSES  are barred by the statute of limitations.

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