After months of litigation, Bank of America and FIA Card Service collectively agreed to a $32 million settlement for a class action Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) suit. The two separate entities were the collaborative defendants in the lawsuit which alleged them of using an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) to send artificial or prerecorded voice messages to consumers, which is a direct violation of the TCPA.
The calls were in regards to Bank of America residential mortgage loans and credit card accounts. Although such types of contact are categorically debt collection calls which do not require prior expressed written consent under the TCPA, they do require prior express consent. One can provide this consent by publishing his or her cell phone number without any limiting language amongst other ways. However, the plaintiff maintained that the defendants received no such consent from consumers.
The defendants did not admit to the allegations, however they agreed to a $32 million settlement to end litigation. The settlement was made available to all class action members nationwide. As a part of the settlement agreement, the defendant must end all debt collection practices and adjust them to ensure TCPA compliance.
Consumer Protections Under TCPA
The TCPA was passed by Congress in 1991 to protect consumers from invasive telephone solicitations and to ensure that businesses did not harass former and potential consumers. Technology has quickly evolved in the decades since the enactment of the TCPA, making it easier for cell phone users to protect their phone lines but also making autodialing equipment cheaper and more accessible.
As a result, many business entities have implemented the use of ATDS and accepted TCPA settlements to be just another business expense. This, however, does not make their actions any less illegal. The TCPA protects all consumers from the following and much more:
- Calling those listed on the Do Not Call Registry
- Calling residential phone lines
- Using an ATDS to leave pre-recorded messages
- Using an ATDS to text cell phones
- Failing to identify themselves on the call
The statute applies to both business entities and private individuals. Those who violate your consumer rights through the debt collection or telemarketing process run the risk of being on the receiving end of a TCPA or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuit. Be sure to have an experienced attorney by your side when you decide to take legal action.
The Florida TCPA and FDCPA lawyer at The Law Firm of Jibrael S. Hindi are seasoned consumer rights attorneys who have experience handling cases just like yours. As the consumer, you have the right to recover up to $1000 per FDCPA violation and $500-$1500 per TCPA violation in the form of CALLS OR TEXTS. Contact us today at 1-844-JIBRAEL for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing until Jibrael wins for you.