Time-barred claim in bankruptcy held not to violate Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§1692e, 1692f, probibits debt collectors from using "any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. §1692e, as well as prohibiting any "unfair or unconscionable menas to collect or attempt to collect any debt," §1692f. In Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson, 197 L.Ed.2d 790 (2017), the Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Breyer, held that it was not unfair, deceptive, misleading, or unconscionable to make a claim in a bankruptcy proceeding based on a debt when the statute of limitations has run on the claim. The majority argued that the Bankruptcy Code allowed presentation of any "claim" and did not qualify that by saying "enforceable claim." The Court noted that such a claim might be unfair in an ordinary civil suit but distinguished the bankruptcy process partly because it treats untimeliness as an affirmative defense and because a trustee oversees the process. Three dissenting judges (Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Kagan) argued that such claims were both unfair and unconscionable given the strong policies underlying state statutes of limitation which protect defendants from stale claims.