On July 2, 2014 a Tampa couple filed suit in Federal Court against Bank of America alleging that the bank called them as many as 700 times on their cell phones using an autodialer in an attempt to collect a mortgage debt. For some reason, Bank of America failed to file an Answer to the complaint and the Court entered a Default Judgment in the amount of $1,051,000 against them. Bank of America filed a Motion to Set Aside the Default and to Vacate the Default Judgment. On December 4, the Judge denied the Bank’s motion. Bank of America is in the process of filing an appeal.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is a statute that protects consumers from receiving calls on their cell phones from telemarketers, creditors and/or debt collectors made with an auto dialer without the consumer’s prior express consent. Almost all phone calls from debt collectors and creditors are made with auto dialers.Unless the consumer has given the debt collector or creditor consent, those calls are illegal. If a creditor or debt collector calls a consumer on their cell phone using an auto dialer in violation of the TCPA, the consumer has the right to file a law suit against them. The TCPA provides statutory damages in the amount of $500.00 per phone call for negligent violations and $1,500.00 per phone calls for wilful violations.
The TCPA is a powerful consumer protection statute. If you are receiving calls from a creditor or debt collector on your cell phone and you did not provide them with consent to make said calls, you should contact a consumer rights litigation attorney as soon as possible.