Can I Sue Junk Phone Callers Under TCPA?
Spam phone calls are a nuisance, and only getting worse by the day.
Receiving unwanted phone calls and text messages is annoying, and it can also be against the law.
I’m not a big fan of Congress (how can you like any entity with lower trust ratings than used car salesmen and lawyers?), but they did do a couple of things right.
In 1991, Congress, in a rare flash of clarity (and mostly because their spouses and kids were being spammed by calls) enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), to protect consumers from annoying telemarketers.
What is Illegal Under TCPA?
- Placing robocalls (using an automated dialing machine and/or pre-recorded message);
- Sending unsolicited text messages;
- Calling or texting people who never established a business relationship with the company;
- Not providing an option to opt out of the calls/texts;
- Calling numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry or on company-specific “do-not-call” lists;
- Sending unsolicited advertisements to any fax machine — both businesses and residences — without the recipient’s prior express invitation or permission (i.e., “junk faxes”);
- Other TCPA violations.
Consumers may be able to collect between $500 and $1,500 per violation by filing a TCPA lawsuit or joining TCPA class action lawsuit against the offending company. Recently, major companies including Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, American Eagle, Chase Bank, and Wells Fargo have faced class action lawsuits for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
If you received a robocall, text message, fax advertisement, and/or non-emergency phone call from from one of the following companies (or someone else, for that matter), you may have a legal claim for compensation:
- ADT Security
- All American Medical Supply II, Inc.
- Allied Interstate
- Ally Financial
- American Collection Services
- Asset Acceptance
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Check Mart
- CMRE Financial Services
- Coast Professionals
- Collection Information Bureau
- Commonwealth Financial Systems
- Credit One Bank
- Delta Management Associates
- Dependable Diabetic Supply, LLC
- Dish Network
- Drive Time
- Edward Jones
- E Title Loans
- Enhanced Recovery Company
- Enhanced Recovery Systems
- Enterprise Recovery Systems
- First California Federal Credit Union
- GC Services
- GE Money/GENPAC
- General Revenue Corp.
- GE Retail Capital Bank
- Gila LLC
- Global Equity
- Global Healthcare Management LLC
- Green Tree
- Heritage Diabetic Supply
- IC Systems
- iYogi, Inc.
- Lobel Financial Corp.
- Mark One
- Midland Credit Management
- Molina Healthcare
- National Credit Adjustments
- National Enterprise Systems
- Ocwen Financial
- One Main Financial
- One Source Medical Supply, LLC
- P&B Capital
- Palisades Collection
- Pendrick Capital Partners
- Pinnacle Security LLC
- Pioneer Credit Recovery
- Portfolio Recovery Associates
- Progressive Management Systems
- Resurgent Capital
- Sallie Mae
- Saracare LLC
- Spectrum Diabetic Supply
- US Fast Cash
- S. Healthcare Supply LLC
- Valentine & Kebartas
- Verizon Wireless
- Wells Fargo
- West Asset Management
- Windham Professionals
- Other companies
Fill out the form on this page now for a FREE consultation with TCPA Attorney Eric Ridley
Important: Do NOT delete your caller ID record or text messages. You will need these messages and phone records as proof that a company illegally contacted you in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
TCPA Violations: What’s Illegal?
Have you recently changed your phone number only to be harassed with unsolicited phone calls and text messages from a business you have no relationship with? Have you received calls or text messages directed at a person who may have had your number prior to it being assigned to you?
Unless you have provided prior express consent to be contacted, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act generally prohibits the following — even if you’ve established a business relationship with the company:
- Calls placed to residences before 8 am or after 9 pm, local time.
- Calling consumers who specifically asked the company not to call them (companies must maintain and honor an internal “do-not-call” list for 5 years).
- Calling consumers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Failing to identify the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and providing a telephone number or address at which that person or entity may be contacted.
- Using an artificial voice or a recorded message.
- Using an automated dialing machine to place the call.
- Sending unsolicited advertising faxes.
In the event of a TCPA violation, a consumer may sue for up to $1,500 for each violation or to recover actual monetary loss, whichever is higher. If you believe you’re the victim of a TCPA violation, fill out the form on this page now for a free, no-obligation review of your potential case.
What is a Robocall?
A robocall is any phone call made using an automatic dialing system (equipment or computer software that dials phone numbers without human intervention) or that contains a pre-recorded message or artificial voice.
Even if a live person is on the line, the call may have been made using an autodialer. You can often tell that a call has been placed with an autodialer if you notice an immediate hang-up sound or there is a period of “dead air” before the live person comes on the line.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which enforces the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, has interpreted robocalls to include SMS text messages.
What is Prior Express Consent?
In order for a company to place a robocall, they must first have “prior express consent.” Under old TCPA rules, the FCC interpreted this to include oral approval or implied approval to receive calls, such as by providing your phone number to the company when purchasing a product or service.
As of Oct. 16, 2013, however, this “established business relationship” exemption no longer applies. The FCC’s new interpretation of prior express consent now requires a signed, written agreement, specifically agreeing to receive telemarketing calls or text messages via an autodialer and/or pre-recorded voice. This rule does not apply to debt collection calls or texts unless they contain any sort of advertisement or marketing material. You almost certainly signed your consent away when you applied for your loan or credit card.
How Do I Document Evidence of TCPA Violations for my TCPA Attorney?
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to sue a company for TCPA violations if you do not know who the company is or how to contact them. Before attempting to file a TCPA lawsuit or class action lawsuit, you should take the following steps to document violations for your TCPA Attorney:
- Do not delete your caller ID record.
- Save all voice messages and text messages.
- Make a written record of the calls/text messages you are receiving, including the date and time of the call, the caller’s identity, and summary of the conversation or message.
- Keep a copy of any written requests to revoke your consent to receive calls.
How to File a TCPA Lawsuit or Class Action TCPA Lawsuit
Don’t be a victim of cell phone harassment. You may have a case to file a TCPA class action lawsuit and recover damages for TCPA violations and a permanent injunction against the company unlawfully contacting you.