The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) laws protect consumers from specific types of telemarketing communications from debt collection companies, including credit card companies, and other agencies collecting consumer debts. Unless you have given a prior written consent for telemarketing calls or provided your number to a creditor, you have the right not to receive the following:
- Pre-recorded voice calls on your cell phone or another mobile device or calls made with an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS);
- Text messages from ATDS;
- Pre-recorded voice calls that are non-emergency to your residential phone line; or
- Faxes from a debt collector.
- The right to revoke consent and to request any calls to your cell phone to stop.
Your Rights and the “Do Not Call” List
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has expanded regulation under the TCPA to reduce the amount of unwanted SMS messages and telemarketing sales calls to consumers. Within these regulations is a tool the FCC has provided consumers, called the “National Do-Not-Call List”. If you request that a company remove your telephone number from their call list your specific request is supposed to remain on the Do-Not-Call List and that company must honor your request for five years.
Your Right to Receive Monetary Damages
If a company has violated the TCPA in any of the ways mentioned above, the TCPA gives consumers permission to file a private lawsuit against the company. Often, if a company has violated TCPA with one consumer, it has violated the law with many consumers, which can result in a class action lawsuit. Each and every lawsuit will vary in results, as individuals are allowed to pursue statutory damages for each violation. Compensation for one violation is $500, but is increased to $1500 if the company knowingly or willfully violated the TCPA. There is no fee shifting claim under the TCPA so many times the only feasible way to address violations is to bring a class action.
Your Right to a Lawyer
Debt collection companies are supposed to remain in compliance with the TCPA and should be able to prove they are practicing TCPA approved techniques for their collection methods. However, many debt collection companies use tactics that are illegal under the TCPA. You have the right to retain an Illinois consumer rights lawyer that has won two of the largest Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) settlements in the country to help you file your lawsuit and protect your rights.