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In re Edwin Earl Elliott

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In re Donald and Jane Nichols

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Haddad v. Alexander, Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, PLLC

Haddad v. Alexander, Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, PLLC, Case No. 11-1954 (6th Cir. Oct. 22, 2012) (recommended for publication).
In a non-bankruptcy debt collection matter, the 6th Circuit reversed the District Court and held that a condominium association assessment was a “debt” regulated by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 USC § 1692 et seq.) where the owner purchased the condominium as a residence and used it as such for 13 years but later leased it out to others.
Procedural context:
An appeal from a grant of summary judgment by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, reviewed de novo. The District Court held that because at the time of the action the condominium was being leased out, the condominium fee obligation arose out of a primarily business use, and so it did not fall within the definition of "debt" in the FDCPA (15 USC § 1692a(5)).
Haddad resided in his condominium for the first 13 years after he purchased it. He later relocated and leased it out. The appellee law firm, on behalf of the condominium association, demanded payment of fees allegedly owing under the condominium deed. Haddad requested verification of the debts, but none was forthcoming, and the law firm placed a lien on the property. Haddad sued, alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 USC § 1692 et seq.) and the state law equivalent.
Siler, Kethledge, and District Court Judge Graham (by designation)

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