7th Circuit Court of Appeals Rule Plaintiffs Fail to State FDCPA Claims Against Law Firms Which Brought Foreclosure Action in Violation of FHA Policy

On February 17, 2017 the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled In Heng v. Heavner, Beyers & Mihlar, (Nos. 16-1668 et al. Cons.) that the District Court had not erred in dismissing for failure to state cause of action plaintiffs' Complaints alleging that two law firms had violated provisions of FDCPA by filing foreclosure actions in state court against plaintiffs under circumstances where the defaulted mortgages were backed by Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the FHA did not authorized the law firm to bring foreclosure actions and had a policy prohibiting the firms from doing so in circumstances where plaintiffs had suffered financial hardship. Although the plaintiffs argued FDCPA violation occurred because the firms had not obtained the FDA's authorization to bring foreclosure actions, the 7th Circuit found that an FDCPA claim didn’t exist because the applicable FHA regulations did not require FHA authorization prior to bringing the foreclosure actions and did not prohibit the law firms from filing the foreclosure actions.