Several class action lawsuits have been filed recently against third-party debt collectors, including Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, alleging their practices violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). As you may know, TCPA is a federal law which restricts the use of automated equipment to dial cellular telephones. The statute specifically prohibits and makes it unlawful to use any automatic telephone dialing system or pre-recorded voice to make any call to a paging service, cellular telephone, specialized mobile radio service or other radio common carrier or any other service for which the party called is charged for the call.
Many debt collection agencies use predictive dialers. Predictive dialers place calls without human intervention until a connection is made, in which case the dialers then attempt to connect the recipient with a debt collector. In most cases, the debtor has not authorized automated placement of calls to his or her cell phone and in many instances did not even provide their cell number to the Defendant or original creditor. Furthermore, many debt collection agencies are violating the TCPA while trying to collect debts which have already been charged off by the original creditor. The TCPA allows victims to receive statutory damages even if the Defendant’s actions are only negligent. If you or someone you know has been the subject of a robo-call or pre-recorded call to their cell phone, or you need more information on this matter, you can contact Bill Hopkins at Bill.Hopkins@beasleyallen.com.
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