On September 15, 2017, the parties in Snyder et al. v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC sought court approval for a $17,500,000 settlement fund to pay claims related to calls placed to just 1,685,757 unique cell phone numbers. At $10.38/cell phone number called, this class settlement is one of the highest per-cell number figures paid in a mass-resolution TCPA class settlement.
Author: Eric Troutman
If the TCPA has a “rock bottom,” we may have just hit it. As recently explained by Judge Cynthia Bashant of the Southern District of California: “Roy Tuck and his wife Deborah Tuck, together with their son Richard Caruso and mother-in-law Clarice Tuck, appear to have developed a cottage industry suing their creditors for violations of the TCPA, the FDCPA and the FCRA. In each case, the parties request to proceed [in forma pauperis], listing liabilities that far exceed assets. Curiously, however, despite the fact that they have received settlements from approximately a dozen different defendants, their assets and cash in their bank accounts remained unchanged.”
Do Constitutional Protections Allow for the Reduction of TCPA Statutory Damage Awards? A Closer Look at Golan
Sometimes the toughest job a court faces is finding a way to do the right thing. When it comes to the crushing damages afforded by statute for violations of the TCPA, the “right” thing is often to reduce the award to something that loosely resembles the harm caused by the illegal conduct. But does the U.S. Constitution really afford an avenue to reduce damages to a prevailing plaintiff based upon due process or other concerns?
Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Michael S. Lee (R-Utah) are taking yet another stab at invoking the Telephone Consumer Protection Act against federal debt collectors, even though the Federal Communications Commission has made clear that the TCPA does not apply to these entities.
It is a scenario that our clients commonly face: when calling a customer to discuss a specific delinquency on a specific account, the customer says “stop calling me.” But what if the customer has multiple accounts or even debts related to multiple product lines with the caller? Is the caller to cease all effort to contact the customer on all accounts, no matter how diverse and for any reason whatsoever? Or is the caller only required to stop calling regarding this specific delinquency and on this specific account? Or is it something in-between?
Strict scrutiny just isn’t what it used to be. For the third time, a district court has applied strict scrutiny in analyzing the TCPA and found that the statute restricts no more speech than necessary to further a compelling governmental interest.
This is the biggest TCPA news since the Omnibus—a silver bullet to defeat most revocation cases was hiding in plain sight the entire time: a party cannot unilaterally modify the terms of a written contract to suit itself and so cannot revoke consent when the contract gives a business the right to call the number.
$283MM in Telemarketing Penalties: The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About the Big Dish Ruling This Week
On the heels of a crushing $60MM civil judgment in North Carolina two weeks ago, Dish was hit with a staggering $283MM in penalties in an epic ruling by Judge Sue E. Myserscough of the Central District of Illinois this week. The opinion offers a rare inside look at the thought process of Dish’s executives and compliance counsel—including the machinations of its executive working groups—as they struggle to comply with the FTC and FCC’s evolving telemarketing regulations.
Last Wednesday, a federal district court in Arizona held that a TCPA plaintiff was compelled to arbitrate his dispute against the holder of his wife’s lease solely because his wife had agreed to an arbitration agreement in connection with the lease.
Browsewrap Disclosure Held Insufficient to Constitute “Prior Express Written Consent” Even for a Healthcare-Related Call
Folks involved with selling health insurance, or anything else for that matter, relying upon browsewrap website terms might want to give Sullivan v. All Web Leads, Inc. a careful read. Although the ruling took place at the pleadings stage, the Court’s approach to a complaint alleging calls made to individuals requesting health care quotes after submitting personal information on a website is important for industry participants to consider.
Judge Bumb Answers Key Question That No One Asked: TCPA Plaintiff Lacks Standing to Recover on Unanswered Calls
In Watkins v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., the Court denied defendant’s summary judgment motion, but stated its belief that a plaintiff can only recover for calls that are actually answered following the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins.
For anyone who still thinks that TCPA defense is a simple or straightforward affair, the decision of Harrington v. RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55023 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 11, 2017) is a worthy read.
BREAKING: FCC Seeks Comment on Petition Asking it to Overturn Presumed Prior Express Consent Rule for Informational Calls
The Commission announced today that it is soliciting comments on a petition for rulemaking and declaratory ruling filed by Craig Moskowitz and Craig Cunningham.