As originally passed, the FDCPA contained a specific exemption for attorneys, but repealed that exemption effective July 1986. Courts have repeatedly found attorneys subject to the FDCPA, even casual collectors. Sometimes collection agencies are exempt from licensure with the MN Dep't of Commerce, but when I sue under the FDCPA, I always plead that the agency is unlicensed (unless they are licensed obviously) and let them prove that they are properly exempt. Agencies in MN must take oral disputes of a debt and send verification accordingly. To do otherwise is a violation.
Attorneys are typically exempted from State laws requiring registration by debt collectors because of Separation of Powers issues. Attorneys are regulated by the State Supreme Court and not by the legislature.
That doesn't apply when it comes to federal regulation of collection activities, though where the federal government derives the authority is still a mystery.
The Law Office would be subject to claims under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, and it is worth your time to contact an attorney to help you pursue those claims. The statute contains statutory damages on top of any actual damages plus attorney's fees.
Mr. Grafton's answer is 100% correct. An attorney wouldn't be a licensed debt collector in-and-of themselves in MN. Under how the feds interpret their statutes, the FDCPA would apply to a collection attorney IF that attorney represents a third-party debt collector. You don't mention whether that's the case - does this attorney represent the original creditor or a separate collection agency?
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