The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) provides certain statutory damages when telemarketers harass consumers with unsolicited telephone calls, faxes, or text messages. These calls invade the privacy of you and your family and the calls may not stop unless you get an attorney to help. There are multiple sections and ways a telephone solicitor can violate the statute. For each violation the recipient of the telephone call, fax or text message is eligible for a minimum of $500.00. Knowing and willful violations earn between $500.00 and $1,500.00. Our law firm has recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for individuals harmed by this statute on multiple occasions.
For example, we recently represented an individual who was being harassed about a bill that he allegedly owed. Collectors continued harassing our client even after he requested they stop calling. We filed a Telephone Consumer Protection Act claim on his behalf and the case settled for $150,000.00.
We also recently settled a TCPA case for a client who was receiving harassing phone calls for someone else’s debt. That person had used our client’s phone number in his application. Despite telling the bank that this wasn’t her debt, they called and called and called. We settled her TCPA case for $100,000.00.
Automatic Telephone Dialing
Section B of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act makes it unlawful to use an automatic telephone dialing system to call any cellular telephone or to “initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party.” This includes text messages and faxes. In many cases involving telephone dialing systems, you may receive a number of hang up calls. “Predictive dialer” systems used by many solicitors and bill collectors work by making a number of calls to various telephone numbers and then connecting the ones where people actually answer to representatives of the caller. If all the representatives are unavailable, the call will hang up, even if the person answers.
Each time you receive a call qualifies as a separate violation. Whether the automatic dialer hangs up, or connects you to someone else, an unsolicited call is harassment. For example, if there are 100 calls, you may be able to recover $50,000.00 (100 calls x $500.00 per call). If the violations are “knowing and willful”, the amount can be increased up to $150,000 (100 calls x $1,500.00 per call). The only exception to this rule is an established business relationship between the collector and consumer.
Section C of the TCPA outlaws calling someone on the National Do Not Call registry without an existing business relationship. Similar to Section B, the statutory penalty is per violation, meaning that you can recover the penalty for each contact. With both Section (b) and (c), there is an exception for callers with whom the recipient has an “established business relationship.”
North Carolina TCPA Attorneys
The North Carolina TCPA attorneys of Maginnis Howard represent clients throughout the state. We have an attorney admitted in each federal North Carolina district court. Our firm offers free consultations and accepts TCPA cases against telephone solicitors on a contingency basis. This means you pay no attorneys’ fees unless and until we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
If you are being harassed by a telephone solicitor, contact the Raleigh TCPA lawyers of Maginnis Howard at (919) 526-0450. You can also send a confidential message to our TCPA attorneys using our contact page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also subscribe to our mailing list to learn about your consumer protection rights against large corporations.