Leave the “Tow Truck Guy” Alone: The Ninth Circuit Rules Foreclosure of a Deed of Trust Is Not Debt Collection

By Andrew C. Glass, Gregory N. Blase, Roger L. Smerage, and Joshua Butera

The Ninth Circuit recently clarified when a trustee of a deed of trust acts as a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). In a break from other courts of appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that when a trustee carries out the contractual and statutory requirements for foreclosing property subject to the deed of trust, the trustee does not act as a debt collector. The Ninth Circuit reasoned that in so acting, the trustee does not seek to collect monetary debt from the debtor. In so holding, the court broke with other courts of appeals.

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