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Stop Calling!

What happens when a mortgage loan servicer keeps calling you on your cell phone even after you asked them not to in writing and over the phone? What happens when that same mortgage loan servicer also services a second mortgage you have and says that you only asked to stop calling regarding one of the loans?

These are the basics facts in a TCPA case I recently settled with a large mortgage servicer. The TCPA is short for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C §227, et seq. which prohibits companies from calling your cellular telephone using an automatic dialing system without your express consent. This mortgage servicer serviced two properties for my client and attempted to collect a debt allegedly due on the mortgages of the properties via an automatic telephone dialing system. After numerous, unrelenting phone calls, our client mailed a certified letter to the servicer informing them he no longer wished to be contacted by phone. He also called the servicer and verbally told them to stop calling. Nevertheless, the servicer continued to harass our client on 315 additional occasions auto-dialing his cell phone.

The servicer argued that the borrower revoked consent to be called on only one property and failed to instruct the lender to stop calling regarding the second property. The servicer maintained that because the client’s letter referenced a case number and a loan investor assigned to one of the properties, it only applied the revocation to that property. The servicer argued the same for the oral revocation as well. It was undisputed that the borrower had the right to revoke consent in any reasonable manner, and he did so in writing and over the phone. The only dispute was whether the revocation was limited to one property, or if it also included the second.

The most unbelievable part of the servicer’s defense was that they asserted that they only applied the cease and desist directive to the one loan and had no way of knowing to apply it to the other loan. However, they never even applied it to the one loan! Through the course of discovery, it was determined that out of the 315 phone calls, 88 were initiated in an attempt to collect a debt for one of the properties, and 227 were placed to collect on the other. The servicer’s own reasoning failed to conclusively show that the revocation was limited to the first property when in fact, the servicer did not even honor the revocation with regard to the second. Had the servicer actually applied the revocation only to one property, they would have stopped calling on the other. But the servicer didn’t. The servicer continued to attempt to collect a debt for both loans. There was simply no evidence that the revocation only applied to one loan when the numerous calls regarded both.

Ultimately, the borrower wanted the servicer to stop calling his cellular phone with an automatic dialer system. His intention of revoking consent was to cease all calls from The servicer, whether they serviced one or one hundred of his mortgages. Just days before trial, the parties reconvened for a second time and were able to settle the case for well into the six figures.

If you are receiving calls to your cellular telephone from a company, chances are, they are using an automatic telephone dialing system and if you tell them to stop calling, that may be considered revocation of consent and you may also be able to recover between $500.00 and $1,500.00 per each and every call, whether you answered the call and whether you still owe any money. Give our office a call for a free consultation.