Wells Fargo has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that the mortgage lenders contacted borrowers without authorization in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). A federal judge in the Northern District of Georgia provided tentative approval for a $30.5 million settlement to resolve the plaintiffs’ claims.
The lead plaintiff, Kenisha Cross, filed a class action lawsuit in April of 2015 after she says she received automated calls on her cell phone from the bank’s overdraft and recovery departments. The lawsuit represents anyone who may have received such calls from Wells Fargo over a four-year period.
The TCPA regulates how debt collectors, advertisers, and marketers are allowed to contact consumers. Banks and other financial institutions frequent run afoul of the regulations in the TCPA, making class actions like these relatively common. Many of the class action lawsuits involve phone calls, text messages, or other communications sent using a robocaller or autodialer. These devices automatically call consumers without needing human input and are strictly regulated by the TCPA.
In October of 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will be deciding a case that may change how the federal regulators define robocallers or autodialers. This particular appellate court is very influential regarding matters of interpretation of federal laws.
That case will be challenging a ruling made by the Federal Communication Commission in 2015. That ruling said that the TCPA rules and restrictions related to autodialers also apply to any device that has the capacity to dial telephone numbers automatically—even if the device isn’t being used for that purpose.
The “capacity” requirement of the TCPA has caused major problems for debt collectors and others who want to reach large volumes of consumers with little effort or input. Many electronic devices can be programmed to dial numbers automatically, and the case is expected to clarify what types of devices are subject to the statute.Robocalls and autodialers are especially annoying to consumers. There is nothing more aggravating than having the same creditor automatically call our phone several times a day, every day. If you have been harassed by incessant calls from debt collectors, the attorneys at Loan Lawyers can help. We represent clients who have all kinds of debt problems, and can help you put a stop illegal debt collector harassment. To schedule your free consultation in one of our three South Florida offices, contact us today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).