The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has been at the center of numerous lawsuits and settlements since it was first signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1991.
TCPA was enacted in order to curb unwanted phone solicitations from pre-recorded automated dialers, especially from companies with whom the call recipient had no previous affiliation. Prior to the passage of this law, phone owners complained of receiving excessive, disruptive, pre-programmed phone calls from advertisers and solicitors multiple times throughout the day.
The TCPA extensively prohibits certain types of solicitous phone calls, including, but not limited, to the following:
• calls to emergency services
• calls to guest or patient rooms at hospitals or other health care facilities
• calls to any service that would charge the recipient for the call
• non-emergency calls to non-consenting parties
• messages to fax machines without consent from the receiving party
• calls made before 8:00am and 9:00pm
Other provisions within the Act determine conditions for opting out of certain caller relationships, figuring out exemptions to the list of specific prohibitions, the creation of a “do not call” database, and state requirements. The FCC was put in charge of overseeing the implementation of these provisions.
Despite the far-reaching changes implemented by TCPA, there have been many violations since its passage. One high-profile case involves JP Morgan Chase Bank, which was using automatic telephone dialing system to call and text its customers. Chase was in violation of the TCPA, because not all of its customers had expressly consented to receiving calls and texts, and because some of the message recipients were not, in fact, Chase customers.
Another TCPA violation case that made headlines comes from a different bank; Capital One Financial Corp., along with three collections agencies, agreed to a $75.5 million settlement for their unsolicited automated messages to customer’s cell phones.
To learn more about current issues surrounding TCPA, check out these two attorney websites.
• Philadelphia-based law firm Drinker Biddle regularly updates a blog on lawsuits and other hot topics related to TCPA.
• The Sutherland Law Firm recently issued this alert, predicting what TCPA issues would be in the news this upcoming year.
Attorney fee advance funding, also known as our Post-Settlement Fee Acceleration program, is a cash flow solution for lawyers waiting on slow-paying legal fees and settlements. Call RD Legal Funding at 1-800-565-5177 to speak with with us. Or fill out the quick form at the top of this page to begin the application process.