The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal act passed by Congress in 1991 and promulgated in response to an increasing number of consumer complaints about debt collector, telemarketer, and other consumer harassment phone calls. This is the first set of federal laws enacted to regulate the actions of telemarketers and debt collectors. The TCPA granted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the authority to develop and implement regulations that pertain to the TCPA, as well to assist in enforcing violations.
Essentially, the TCPA establishes laws to limit what telemarketers and other businesses, including debt collectors, can do over the telephone, facsimile, or similar methods to collect a debt. The experienced attorneys at the Krohn and Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ® have successfully handled and protected the rights of countless consumers who have been abused by violations of the TCPA.
Robocalls are Prohibited Under the TCPA
Most notably, the TCPA restricts the use of autodialing by any telemarketer or debt collector. This is also known was a “robocall,” which is an automated dialing system with a prerecorded or artificial (computer generated voice) message. If you have received any telephone call where a prerecorded message automatically begins to play without another person on the other end of the phone, then that type of call is a robocall and is prohibited under the TCPA. The TCPA specifically prohibits these types of telephone calls to hospital patient rooms, elderly living facilities, pagers, cell phones, text messages, facsimiles, or any other services where the recipient is charged for the telephone call.
Do Not Call Lists and the TCPA
The TCPA also prohibits debt collectors and telemarketers from calling consumers who have registered with the Do Not Call Registry. Further, the TCPA requires companies to also maintain a do not call list and honor any requests by a consumer not to be called again. Once a request not to be called again has been made, the person who made such request cannot be called again by that specific business unless the consumer provides written consent revoking such request. The request must remain on the list indefinitely; it does not expire.
Common Violations of the TCPA
There are some common violations of the TCPA to be aware of that the experienced debt collector harassment attorneys at Krohn and Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ® can assist in protecting your rights. These include the following violations:
- - Robocalls (automated or prerecorded) messages to any cell phone, business or personal, including text messages;
- - Robocalls (automated or prerecorded) messages to any residential telephone lines, hospital patient rooms, elderly living facilities, or any location or service where the recipient is charged for the telephone call; and
- - Any telephone call, text message, facsimile, page, or related contact made to an individual on the Do Not Call registry or on a business’ do not call list.
How Krohn and Moss Can Help You Obtain Relief
If a consumer has received debt collector or telemarketing calls prohibited under the TCPA, he or she is entitled to file a lawsuit for such violations.
The TCPA establishes set damages for violations of the TCPA. This includes the following:
- - Up to $500 for every violation of the Do Not Call registry;
- - Up to $500 for every telephone call made that is in violation of the TCPA, including to cell phones, hospital rooms, elderly living facilities, or any service in which the receiver of the telephone call pays for such call; and
- - Up to $1,500 for every telephone call where is can be shown that the debt collector or telemarketer knowingly and willfully violated the TCPA.
If you believe that a debt collector or telemarketer has violated your rights under the TCPA, contact our experienced attorneys today. Our legal team has handled thousands of debt collection protection cases while settling over 98 percent of them without the need for trial. We have been successfully representing those abused and taken advantage of by debt collectors for years.