In Fontell v. Hassett, — Fed.Appx. —-, 2014 WL 2464987 (4th Cir. 2014), the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit distinguished between “default” and mere “delinquency” in determining, under the FDCPA, whether an account was “in default” at the time it was obtained.
Excluded from the FDCPA’s definition of debt collectors, see 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6) is “any person collecting or attempting to collect any debt … to the extent such activity … concerns a debt which was not in default at the time it was obtained by such person.” Id. § 1692a(6)(F)(iii). Thus, a property management company, like TMGA, is not a debt collector where it becomes responsible for collecting the subject debt before it was in default. See Carter v. AMC, LLC, 645 F.3d 840, 843–44 (7th Cir.2011); De Dios v. Int’l Realty & Invs., 641 F.3d 1071, 1073–75 (9th Cir.2011). Although “default” is not defined by the FDCPA, a default generally does not occur im-mediately upon a debt becoming due, unless the terms of the parties’ relevant agreement dictate otherwise. See Alibrandi v. Fin. Outsourcing Servs., Inc., 333 F.3d 82, 86–87 & n. 5 (2d Cir.2003); see also McKinney v. Cadleway Props., Inc., 548 F.3d 496, 502 n. 2 (7th Cir.2008). Here, it is clear that TMGA was responsible for collecting the unpaid homeowner’s association dues from Fontell’s condominium association well before the association or Fontell arguably defaulted on that debt. Accordingly, the district court properly found that TMGA was not operating as a “debt collector.”