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Chicago Partners Ryan Holz and Doug Sargent Quoted in Cook County Record on Property Preservation Company Avoiding “Debt Collector” Label in Seventh Circuit Case

August 24, 2018

Ryan Holz and Doug Sargent, both Partners in the Firm’s Chicago office, commented on Schlaf v. Safeguard Property, LLC, where the Seventh Circuit affirmed that Safeguard Property, LLC was not a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because its property preservation activities were “too attenuated” from the debt collection activities of its client. Commenting on the case, Sargent said, “The issue before the Seventh Circuit was whether Safeguard Property LLC was a debt collector under the FDCPA. More specifically, the Seventh Circuit was asked to decide whether Safeguard’s property preservation efforts, including leaving a door hanger with the loan servicer’s contact information, can fairly be considered 'attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.’” Holz said the decision matters “because it appears to be a matter of first impression in the Seventh Circuit and it explains the factors to be considered in determining whether a property preservation company’s conduct should be held actionable under the FDCPA.”

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