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Harassing Phone Calls Or Text Messages

Can I Sue For Junk Text Messages?

Yes, you can sue for junk text messages and/or robocalls.

I sue telemarketers and other companies on behalf of consumers (you!) if you have received unwanted calls or text messages from debt collectors, banks and other companies on your cell phone.

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), you must provide express consent to receive certain types of calls, and you have the right to tell these companies, including debt collectors, to stop calling. For each unwanted call you receive and properly document, you may be able to collect between $500 and $1,500.

I have several cases open right now against large companies: Phone companies, payday lenders, and debt collectors who have refused to stop texting or calling my clients when asked to do so.

If you received unwanted calls to your cell phone, I may be able to help you make the calls stop, and be compensated for your time and trouble. I assist you if you were wrongly contacted by a debt collector looking for a different person, as well as if you were contacted after requesting that a company stop calling you. If you have questions about your rights under the TCPA, contact me today by filling out my free, no-obligation case review form.

What Is a Robocall?

Robocalls include automated phone calls made using autodialers, as well as those that contain pre-recorded messages. This means that even if you receive a phone call from a live person, the call is still considered a robocall if it is made using an autodialer.

What Is an Autodialer?

The law specifically prohibits companies from using autodialers to call people. An autodialer is any type of equipment or computer software that dials phone numbers without human intervention. Even if a live person is on the other end of an unwanted call you receive, it is possible that the call was made using an autodialer. If you pick up the phone and are greeted by a pre-recorded message, the call was almost certainly made using an autodialer. In addition, calls made using autodialers frequently result in hang-ups or lengthy periods of “dead air” before a live person comes on the line.

I Receive Robocalls on My Cell Phone. Is This Legal?

This will depend on how the call was made. The TCPA, enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), sets strict requirements for companies making robocalls to help prevent consumers from receiving unwanted prerecorded or autodialed phone calls. It is illegal if the unwanted phone calls fail to meet the following requirements.

Express Written Consent

Before placing robocalls or using automated dialers, telemarketers must receive consumers’ written or electronic signatures, known as express written consent.

Companies, however, must clearly state that customers consent to receiving robocalls when submitting their phone numbers. In addition, companies are not allowed to require consent as a prerequisite to purchasing goods or services and are prohibited from collecting cell phone numbers through unrelated transactions, incoming phone calls or third-party contracts.

An Option to “Opt Out”

Regardless of whether a telemarketer calls or leaves a voice message, he or she must provide an option for the recipient to opt-out of the calls. When answering a call, this option must be given at the beginning of the message, and when leaving voice messages, telemarketers must provide toll-free call-back numbers so that you can add your phone numbers to a do-not-call list.

Proper Identification

Companies placing robocalls must provide recipients with various types of information.

At the beginning of a message, a caller must state:

  • His or her identity
  • The identity of the business on whose behalf he or she is making the call

During or after the message, the caller must provide:

  • The address of the business responsible for placing the call
  • The phone number of that business

Who Can I Sue?

I may be able to sue the following types of companies for you, for placing robocalls or sending harassing text messages:

  • Debt collectors
  • Student loan companies
  • Credit card companies
  • Check cashing companies
  • Banks
  • Mortgage companies
  • Finance companies
  • Retailers
  • Companies making calls claiming to inform people that they “won” a sweepstakes, a free cruise, etc.

I specifically want to hear from you if you received robocalls from any of the following companies, but this is NOT a complete list:

  • ADT Security
  • Ally Financial
  • American Collection Services
  • American Coradius International (ACI)
  • Asset Acceptance
  • AT&T
  • Avant Credit
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Check Mart
  • Citibank
  • Collection Information Bureau
  • Comenity
  • Commonwealth Financial Systems
  • Discover
  • Dish Network
  • Drive Time
  • E Title Loans
  • Enhanced Recovery Company
  • GC Services
  • GE Money/GENPAC
  • GE Retail Capital Bank
  • Gila, LLC
  • Global Healthcare Management LLC
  • Green Tree
  • HSBC
  • IC Systems
  • Mark One
  • Midland Credit Management
  • Nationstar
  • National Credit Adjustments
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • NCO
  • Ocwen Financial
  • One Source Medical Supply, LLC
  • P&B Capital
  • Palisades Collection
  • Paypal
  • Pendrick Capital Partners
  • Pinnacle Security LLC
  • Portfolio Recovery Associates
  • Resurgent Capital
  • Sallie Mae
  • Santander
  • Saracare LLC
  • T-Mobile
  • US Fast Cash
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Wells Fargo

Example of TCPA Violation: Wrong Number

Under TCPA, companies must honor do-not-call requests and consumers may revoke their permission to receive robocalls at any time. This also applies to debt collectors – who must stop calling upon your request even if you still owe money to the company.

Can I Sue Telemarketers?

Yes. Telemarketers must follow the same guidelines as debt collectors, banks, credit card agencies and any other company making robocalls. If they violate the law, you may be able to seek compensation for each violation through a lawsuit. The TCPA allows you to seek $500 per illegal robocall and $1,500 per illegal robocall that was made willfully.

If you’ve been receiving unwanted calls on your cell phone, contact me today for a free case evaluation. I may be able to help stop the phone calls and recover compensation on your behalf.

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Estate Planning Attorney Eric Ridley