We have all received collection calls for someone else. Legally, what’s the deal?
The TCPA protects consumers against automated messages and predictive calls to your cell phone, even if you are not the target of the collection call. If you get a cell call, it has to be a real person if a message is left and a real person had to do the dialing. It should be easy to tell if the call has a real person leaving a message. But how do you tell if the call was dialed from a computer and not a person?
Almost all, if not all, calls are dialed by a computer from a call center. It is a matter of efficiency and accuracy for these people to use these systems. If the collector claims to have hand dialed your cell’s number, who did the dialing? Can the that dialing person give testimony with a subpoena? To what training documents was this person trained and when? Can the phone systems manual be provided? These are all questions the defendant won’t want to answer during discovery. This is a solid cause of action for a lawsuit and the collectors know it.
Using the predictive dialers and automated messages is just a simple business decision to the collectors. “Will we save more money in efficiencies than we loose in court?” Based on the rampant use of these systems, you can tell what the collectors think the answer to this business question is. Perhaps we can change their minds!
But does the TCPA still apply if the call was on your cell phone, but not for you? You bet it does.
The Seventh Circuit has just ruled in the favor of a consumer in a TCPA case where the consumer was called for the previous owner of the cell phone number. The specific case is Soppet vs. Enhanced Recovery Co., LLC.
The court ruled that the previous owner of the cell phone number cannot give permission to call anybody but the previous owner. The court further ruled that it is the collectors’ responsibility to know who they are calling. Please don’t take my interpretation to heart without reading the case yourself. Here is the info. You can look it up at pacer.gov
Soppet v. Enhanced Recovery Corporation
Matthew F. Kennelly, presiding
Date filed: 08/30/2010
Date of last filing: 06/27/2012
If you have collectors calling your cell phone, you have a remedy. Each call is a violation of the TCPA. Use your rights to get them to stop or cash in, depending on your goals.
Let me know if you have questions about this or anything related to collections or credit reporting. I will help you win.
Fight the essential fight,