Barnette Law Office, LLC

January 26, 2013

Debt Collector Harassment in Tennessee

Autodialed calls and robo calls from debt collectors in Tennessee

Are debt collectors harassing you in Tennessee?  Are they calling your cell phone?  Know this: impermissible robocalls are important because they can violate the The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA provides wide protection against robocalls, calls using automatic dialers, and automated messages. For the most part, the TCPA comes into play when debt collectors make collection calls to consumer cell phones. If a debt collector makes impermissible robocalls to a consumer’s cell phone, the debt collector is liable for $500 per call. If it can be proven that the calls are willful, the damages are $1,500 per call.  If a debt collector such as Midland Funding, LLC, CACH, LLC, Asset Acceptance, LLC, Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, LVNV Funding, etc., is harassing you, contact lawyer Jason Barnette at Barnette Law Offices 

The trickiest part to proving a TCPA violation is the issue of consent—whether there was consent to call a consumer’s cellphone. In 2008, the FCC determined that there must be prior written consent in order to call a consumer’s cellphone. In that declaratory order, the FCC also explained that the creditor bears the burden of establishing consent, as they are in the best position to prove that.

In a more recent decision, however, a Federal Court of Appeals refined that definition, holding that consent is only given if the consumer provided their cellphone number at the time of the credit application. In addition, the application must relate to the debt that is being collected on. In other words, if you did not list your cellphone on your original credit card application, you may not have consented.

In many cases, it’s easy to prove there was no consent, because the consumer did not even have a cellphone, or their current cellphone number, when they opened the account.

Are you receiving illegal robocalls?

If you receive more four a calls a day on your cellphone from a debt collector, a debt collector may be calling you with an autodialer or computer program. If you answer a call and nobody is there, that’s another sign of an autodialer. Or if you receive voicemails from a debt collector with a prerecorded message or part of the message includes a computerized voice, you might be receiving robocalls.

As noted above, however, there is still an issue of whether you provided express consent to receive the calls.

If you think you are receiving robocalls, it’s a good idea to contact Jason Barnette and . We can help you figure out if you are receiving robocalls, what your rights are, and what the next steps are.

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