Not many people, including lawyers, understand the TPCA law. Most people think that bill collectors are allowed to call them on their cell phones. However, in many cases, it is against the law.
What is the TCPA?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), written as Public Law 102-243, was passed by the U.S. Congress to govern the conduct of telemarketers, and specifically to protect consumers against companies, including debt collectors and creditors, from unlawfully calling consumers on their cell phones with an autodialer, pre-recorded voice messages, SMS text messages, or by fax machine. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are the primary regulators of the TCPA.
Proving Your Case
In general, the TCPA laws allow consumers who have received unsolicited faxes, telemarketing calls, prerecorded calls, or auto-dialed phone calls to cell phones to file lawsuits against the companies making the calls. The burden of proof essentially lies on the defendant, however, the initial proof of debt collection phone calls, dates, times and occurrences of the phone calls, and whether or not an autodialer was used will need to be proven by the plaintiff. Additionally, the plaintiff will need to prove that the “robocalls” were not consent by the plaintiff.
Violation of TCPA laws can result in statutory damages ranging from $500 to $1500 to be paid by the collection agency, finance company, or telemarketers. This means that, unlike most lawsuits, the plaintiff does not have to prove the amount of actual damage to collect compensation. While it may seem easy enough to file a TCPA complaint through the FCC website or by using the FTC complaint form, debt collection companies are finding shrewd lawyers and loopholes in the law to defend themselves against TCPA complaints and lawsuits.
Why You Need a Lawyer
If you have signed any documents with the company that is calling you and included your cell phone number as a contact number, you might have waived your rights under TCPA laws. If you are planning on filing a lawsuit against a company for violating TCPA laws, realize that the company your complaint is about will most likely show up to court with a seasoned lawyer who understands TCPA laws from the defendant’s point of view. You need an experienced Illinois consumer law attorney who knows your rights and how to counter any potential defenses the debt company may raise to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today for more information at (866) 726-1092.