The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) protect cell phone users against unwelcome robo-calls, prerecorded messages and unwanted SMS text messages. The TCPA also protects telephone users from many forms of unsolicited prerecorded calls, and violations of the national Do Not Call List. Finally, the TCPA protects fax machine owners from junk faxes.
If a caller violates a cell phone (or fax machine) user’s rights under the TCPA, the TCPA provides that the called party can recover $ 500 per violation unless the caller has a valid defense. If the caller party can prove that the caller willfully violated the TCPA, the Court may award an additional amount up to $ 1,000 per violation. That’s up to $ 1,500 per call, text, or fax!
LEARN ABOUT HOW THE TCPA CAN HELP YOU STOP UNWANTED CALLS (OR MAKE THE CALLER PAY YOU FOR EACH CALL)
Most consumers who have TCPA claims discover the TCPA because they are receiving unwanted calls on their cell phone. Consumers can consent to calls on their cell phone but most courts have ruled that cell phone users can revoke any prior express consent. This site discusses how to revoke any consent so you should not continue to receive unwelcome robo-calls, prerecorded messages, or SMS text messages on your cell phone. This site also reports the latest news including industry attacks against telephone users’ rights including case law and the regulations and orders promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). Useful information about how to document your potential case to improve your chances of a favorable outcome by documenting your case now is also included. No website, including this website, is a substitute for consulting with a lawyer. Hopefully, the information in this site will help you prepare for your initial consultation with a lawyer and make an informed choice when choosing an attorney to represent you.
The statutory protections provided by the TCPA and the FCC regulations and orders interpreting the TCPA are typically different for : (1) cell phones that receive robo-calls, prerecorded voices or messages, or SMS text messages; (2) pre-recorded advertising messages to landlines or cell phones; (3) unsolicited faxes; and (4) the national Do Not Call List. The differences are often substantial.
This site is organized so that you can focus on the type of problem that you have. You can click on the buttons for information about topics which seem to best describe your situation.
If you are a Florida resident, you are invited to call Mr. Petersen for a free TCPA case evaluation.
DIRECT TO CELL PHONE VOICEMAILS
The latest scheme to circumvent the TCPA are direct to voicemail messages. The caller uses a computer code to call the cell phone company’s computers where voice mails are stored, and leaves a message directly on the cell phone user’s voicemail account without the cell phone ever ringing. If you are receiving voice messages on your cell phone but your phone did not ring (and the line was not busy), contact Mr. Petersen to discuss your potential case.
FLORIDA CONSUMER LAWYER DONALD E. PETERSEN
Donald E. Petersen represents consumers in individual and class action lawsuits. Mr. Petersen has represented cell phone users in TCPA cases for over a decade. Often, the company that violates the TCPA is an original creditor or a debt collector. Sometime, the caller is asking to speak with someone else but, usually the account belonged to the person that receives the calls. Mr. Petersen has almost 20 years experience representing consumers in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Bankruptcy Code and can apply this experience to assist his clients against inaccurate credit reporting, stop illegal dunning letters, as well as help combat the cell phone harassment. Mr. Petersen is admitted to practice in state trial courts throughout the State of Florida and in the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Florida and the Southern District of Florida.
CALL DONALD E. PETERSEN AT 407 – 648 – 9050
Mr. Petersen provides free initial consultations concerning Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases. You can afford an experienced lawyer.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE TCPA
Regardless of the type of “device” that you are receiving the calls on (cell phone, landline, or fax number) and the type of call (live call, prerecorded voice or messages, SMS text, or facsimile), some parts of the TCPA are common to most or all of these situations. Such topics of general application include : (1) How do I prove my case?; (2) how do I revoke consent for a company to call me on my cell phone?; and (3) how long do I have to sue? (in other words, “What is the statute of limitations on TCPA claims?”). Check out the TCPA Blog for topics of general application and the latest developments about the TCPA.
A DEBT COLLECTOR IS CALLING YOU ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE’S DEBT – HOW DO YOU MAKE THEM LEAVE YOU ALONE?
Debt collectors are often among the most “persistent” (expressing it mildly) violators of the TCPA. Debt collectors call frequently call people who do not owe the alleged debt and, in many of these cases, the called party does not even know the person who allegedly owes the debt. Often, the called party’s problems are compounded by the debt collector’s automated telephone system, poorly trained or overly aggressive collectors, as well as the autodialers that continue to unleash the robocalls.
Many debt collectors employ automated bifurcated greeting which begin
“This is an important call for John Doe and contains personal information. If you are not John Doe, please hang up now.” Another variation of the prerecorded messages is “This is an important call for John Doe. If you are John Doe, press 1. If you are not John Doe, please hang up.” Most cell phone users dutifully hang up as instructed although many of these cell phone users will eventually remain on the line or press “1” or whatever else is required to speak with a human. Unfortunately, the calls often continue even after the cell phone user informs the caller that they are calling the wrong person or wrong number and explains that “You are calling my cell phone” and instructs the caller to “Stop Calling!”. If you are receiving calls about someone else (often about someone’s debt but not necessarily), call Mr. Petersen now or visit the library listed below by clicking on the blue button which describes your situation.
Of course, the creditor or debt collector is often calling the person who owes the alleged debt — Mr. Petersen helps consumers regardless of whether they may owe the debt. But, extra steps are often required before such consumers become protected against unwanted calls by the TCPA.
HOW DOES THE TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT (“TCPA”) COMPARE TO THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT (“FDCPA”)?
It usually pays to know the difference between your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and the TCPA. The FDCPA caps statutory damages at $ 1,000 per violation (i.e., per plaintiff per case) while the TCPA allows phone users to recover between $ 500 to $ 1,500 per call. That’ why following generic advice on the interwebz — such as mailing a debt collector a “cease communication” letter — may be an extremely expensive mistake.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF THE UNWANTED CALLS CONCERN A DEBT THAT YOU DISCHARGED IN A BANKRUPTCY?
For approximately twenty years, Mr. Petersen has represented consumers who discharged their debts in bankruptcy but who still receive calls from the original creditor or a debt collector attempting to collect the discharged debt. Often, the “ruse” consists of endless calls soliciting the borrower to “modify” their mortgage even after the borrower surrendered the home in bankruptcy and, sometimes, even after the foreclosure sale. Unfortunately, the “Discharge of Debtor” has limited “teeth” and judges’ confidence in their power to award substantial sanctions against companies who willfully violate their discharge orders vary widely. In bankruptcy discharge violation cases, it is often necessary to prosecute actions in both bankruptcy court and the federal trial court in order to assure that the credit reports are properly updated, the bills stop, and the consumer is properly compensated for the unwelcome telephone calls.
ARE YOU RECEIVING CALLS ABOUT A DEBT THAT YOU BELIEVE IS TIME BARRED?
The statute of limitations is the period of time that the creditor or debt collector in allowed in which to file a complaint without it becoming “too old” (time barred) if they sue to collect it.
The statute of limitations on most debts are determined by state law.
Some consumers inform me that they are still receiving calls attempting to collect debts that, if they were a child, would have a driver’s license. One consumer even received calls from a publicly traded debt collector requesting that he pay a debt that was old enough to vote (21 or 22 years old)! Some of the large (solvent) debt collectors engage in aggressive tactics when attempting to collect debts whose statute of limitation has expired.
To learn more about how the TCPA, along with the FDCPA, can protect you against phone harassment from callers who are attempting to collect time barred accounts, click immediately below :
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ABOUT THE TCPA AND UNWANTED TELEPHONE CALLS
The Resource Library includes copies of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, recent FCC regulations and Orders interpreting the TCPA issued by the FCC. Mr. Petersen is expanding the Resource Library to include state laws intended to protect consumers (and businesses) from unsolicited calls, SMS text messages, and junk faxes.
GET STARTED TODAY
Hopefully, the information in this site assures you that you do NOT have to continue to tolerate unwelcome telephone calls which you are receiving. Mr. Petersen looks forward to learning more about your potential case and discussing how he can help you enforce your rights.
To get started towards enjoying your privacy again, call or contact Don Petersen today.
CALL DONALD E. PETERSEN AT 407 – 648 – 9050
Or provide a brief description of you potential case and along with your contact information for a free case evaluation.
(C) 2017 Donald E. Petersen