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United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
October 28, 2021, Filed
[*1020] NEWSOM, Circuit Judge:
Upon consideration of the petition for rehearing, the amicus curiae briefs submitted in support of that petition, and the Supreme Court's intervening decision in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, 141 S. Ct. 2190, 210 L. Ed. 2d 568 (2021), which bears on one of the issues presented in the case, the Court sua sponte VACATES its prior opinion, published at 994 F.3d 1341 (11th Cir. 2021), and substitutes the following in its place.
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This appeal presents an interesting question of first impression under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act—and, like so many other cases arising under federal statutes these days, requires us first to consider whether our plaintiff has Article III standing.
Here's the short story, as described in the complaint, whose allegations we must accept as true for present purposes: A debt collector electronically transmitted "sensitive [**2] medical information" concerning a consumer's debt—including not only his name and outstanding balance, but also the fact that his debt resulted from his minor son's medical treatment, as well as his son's name—to a third-party vendor. The vendor then used the data to create, print, and mail a "dunning" letter to the consumer. The consumer filed suit alleging that, in sending his personal information to the vendor—and in particular, the complaint says, to the vendor's "employees"—the debt collector had violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(b), which, with certain exceptions, prohibits debt collectors from communicating consumers' personal information to third parties "in connection with the collection of any debt." The district court rejected the consumer's reading of § 1692c(b) and dismissed his suit. On appeal, we must consider, as a threshold matter, whether the consumer has adequately alleged that the debt collector's violation of § 1692c(b) caused him to suffer a concrete injury in fact under Article III, and, on the merits, whether the debt collector's communication with its dunning vendor was "in connection with the collection of any debt."
We hold (1) that the violation of § 1692c(b) alleged in this case gives rise to a concrete injury in fact under [**3] Article III, and (2) that the debt collector's transmittal of the consumer's personal information to its dunning vendor constituted a communication "in connection with the collection of any debt" within the meaning of § 1692c(b). Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand for further proceedings.
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17 F.4th 1016 *; 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 32325 **; 29 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 532
RICHARD HUNSTEIN, Plaintiff-Appellant, versus PREFERRED COLLECTION AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC., Defendant-Appellee.
Subsequent History: Vacated by, Rehearing granted by, En banc Hunstein v. Preferred Collection & Mgmt. Servs., 17 F.4th 1103, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 34202, 2021 WL 5353154 (11th Cir. Fla., Nov. 17, 2021)
Superseded by, On rehearing at, En banc Hunstein v. Preferred Collection & Mgmt. Servs., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 25233 (11th Cir. Fla., Sept. 8, 2022)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. D.C. Docket No. 8:19-cv-00983-TPB-TGW.
Hunstein v. Preferred Collection & Mgmt. Servs., 994 F.3d 1341, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 11648, 2021 WL 1556069 (11th Cir. Fla., Apr. 21, 2021)
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