The Scope of the FDCPA: Implications of the Obduskey Decision

Webinar Date: 
June 26, 2019
Focus Area: 

In Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP (139 S. Ct. 1029 (2019)), the Supreme Court addressed the scope of the FDCPA’s application to non-judicial foreclosures. The court held that under certain conditions, the full range of FDCPA prohibitions do not apply to collection attorneys when they implement the steps required to conduct a non-judicial foreclosure. While the holding appears to have been intended to be narrow, foreclosure attorneys and other debt collectors are seizing on this ruling to support arguments that a wide range of activates involving collection of many types of secured debts are exempt from most FDCPA (and similar state law) coverage.

This webinar is geared to intermediates and advanced practitioners who already have a basic knowledge of the FDCPA.

What You Will Learn

  • What the limited types of collection activities are to which Obduskey applies
  • How to respond to arguments for or against application of Obduskey to:
    • collection activities not required by state foreclosure laws but conducted by foreclosure attorneys
    • debt collection foreclosure activities not permitted or barred by state law
    • judicial foreclosure activities
    • mortgage servicers, debt purchasers, foreclosure attorneys, trustees, etc.
    • other secured creditors
  • Which potential debt collector defendants might really be entitled to protections under Obduskey
  • How to plead around Obduskey defenses when raising FDCPA claims related to foreclosure actors who have traditionally been covered by the FDCPA


Phillip Robinson is a solo litigator from Silver Spring, Maryland. He has been an active NACA member for more than seventeen years and is a recognized consumer litigator in the areas of mortgage servicing, foreclosure defense, and debt collection practices. Currently in private practice at the Consumer Law Center LLC, Phillip's statewide practice concentrates in the areas of aiding and providing sustainable solutions to homeowners who have fallen victim to unfair, deceptive or otherwise illegal consumer practices by mortgage services, lenders, and debt buyers. Phillip served as co-trial counsel in a verdict against LVNV Funding on behalf of a class of 1,589 Maryland consumers; this case was affirmed as to liability on appeal and a new trial will consider damages. Previously, Phillip served as executive director for the award winning Civil Justice Inc. In 2008, Phillip was recognized as the Maryland Consumer Advocate of the Year by the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition. In 2016, he was also recognized as NACA’s Consumer Advocate of the Year.  

Geoff Walsh is a staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center’s (NCLC) Boston office. His work with NCLC focuses on bankruptcy, foreclosures, and student loan topics. He is a contributing author for several of NCLC’s practice manuals, including Consumer Bankruptcy Law & Practice, Home Foreclosures, Student Loan Law, Truth in Lending, Fair Debt Collection, and Credit Discrimination, as well as the Collier Bankruptcy Practice Guide. He has worked extensively to develop trainings and materials for attorneys and mediators on topics related to loan modification programs and loss mitigation in foreclosures. Prior to joining NCLC, Mr. Walsh worked as a staff attorney and supervising attorney with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia and with Vermont Legal Aid.


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