The United States Middle District of Florida recently denied Navient Solutions,
LLC motion for partial summary judgment based on the argument that student
loan servicers servicing government student loans, like Navient Solutions,
LLC, are not shielded from actions violating the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act (TCPA). This determination stems from the FCC’s August 11, 2016
Report and Order amending the rules of the TCPA. Specifically, federal
government callers and contractors calling to collect a debt on behalf
of the federal government, without prior express consent of the called
party, may call the person or persons responsible for paying the debt
at one of three phone numbers specified in the rules, may call between
8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. local time at the debtor’s location,
may not call once the debtor requests that the calls cease, and
must transfer the stop-call request to the new servicer if the debt servicer changes.
Cooper v. Navient Solutions, LLC, 2017 WL 1424346 (M.D. Fla. 2017) citing
In the Matter of Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act of 1991, FCC Rcd. 9074, 9088-92 (Aug. 11, 2016). In
Cooper, the Plaintiff alleged that Navient Solutions, LLC continued to call her
cellular phone even after she revoked consent.
Id. The court concluded, “The FCC has unambiguously concluded that federal
debt collectors may not make these calls after the debtor requests that
Id. The court goes on to state, “FCC final orders are binding on this
Court if they directly speak to a particular issue.
Mais v. Gulf Coast Collection Bureau, Inc., 768 F.3d 1110, 1119 (11th Cir. 2014).
The question then turns to, what does this mean for government student
loan servicers like Navient? For one, once the debtor has requests that
the calls stop, the student loan servicers must stop calling the debtor
using an auto-dialer system or pre-recorded message; otherwise, the servicer
would be liable under the TCPA with the potential of having to pay $500
to $1,500 per violation. Secondly, companies like Navient can no longer
hide behind a vail of protection while they harass and disrupt debtors
with unwanted auto-dialed or pre-recorded phone calls. The important distinction
to remember when you’re a debtor is that in order for companies
these student loan servicers to liable under the TCPA, the debtor must
clearly request that the servicer no longer make calls to their cell phone
and make sure to document the date and time of the request. If the student
loan servicer continues to call you using an auto-dialer system or pre-recorded
message after you have requested them to stop, they would be liable under the TCPA.
If you believe that you are receiving auto-dialed or pre-recorded phone
calls from a student loan servicer or any other company who is attempting
to collect a debt, you should contact a qualified attorney immediately.
For more information about TCPA violations or on filing a case, please
visit our website at:
http://www.fight13.com/Practice-Areas/Unauthorized-Texting-and-Cell-Phone-Contact-Liti.aspx Loan Lawyers has helped over 5,000 South Florida homeowners and consumers
with their debt problems. Contact us to see how we may be able to help you.