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TCPA

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) is the primary law in the U.S. governing the conduct of telemarketers. Its primary regulator is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The TCPA restricts the use of dialers, prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages received by cell phones, and the use of fax machines. As such, debt collectors often find themselves restricted in the communication technology they can use, especially when the technology is not explicitly mentioned in the law. For example, until the FCC issued a declaratory ruling in 2008, the ARM industry was tacitly restricted from using autodialer technology to call mobile phones. Similarly, the use of text messaging is currently a legal gray area for debt collectors.

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VISA Veteran Will Join FCC June 1 to Oversee TCPA

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler has named Alison Kutler, most recently Senior Vice President of Government Relations at VISA, as Acting Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau and Special Advisor to the Chairman for Digital Opportunity (read the full announcement here). Joining the Commission on June 1, Ms. Kutler’s responsibilities will […]

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Supreme Court to Hear Case on Statutory Damages Without Actual Harm; Could Impact FDCPA Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an important case that will decide whether a plaintiff who cannot show any actual harm from a violation of the FCRA nevertheless has standing to sue for statutory damages in federal court. The consequences of the decision will likely extend significantly beyond FCRA litigation and affect numerous other statutes, including the FDCPA and TCPA .

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Filing a TCPA lawsuit? There’s an App for that

It seems as though there is a mobile app for everything these days, including collecting information for TCPA suits. Two mobile applications allow consumers to create legal documentation of unwanted robocalls, telemarketing calls, and debt collection calls. The information is forwarded to law firms specializing in filing lawsuits against businesses using robocalls and engaging in debt collection activities.

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ARM Firms Should Assess Multidistrict Litigation for Simultaneous FDCPA and TCPA Cases

Collection agencies, debt buyers and credit granters are often under siege, forced to defend against identical claims on multiple jurisdictional fronts, regardless of whether the claims are on behalf of an individual or a putative class. One strategy for consolidating the defense of identical claims is to file a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to transfer claims to a single venue.

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TCPA Plaintiffs Skipping ARM Firms for Claims, Shifting Liability to Creditors/Originators

A lawsuit filed in federal court in New York this week is seeking class action status under the TCPA. Named in the case is a major utility and nearly all of its subsidiaries and parent companies, including global holding firms, even though the alleged violation was committed by a third party debt collection agency. It is a continuation of a trend that sees plaintiffs skipping collectors and going straight after the big money.