TCPA: Fifth Key — Sue Under The TCPA For Money Damages

TCPA:  Fifth Key — Sue Under The TCPA For Money Damages

TCPA:  Fifth Key -- Sue Under The TCPA For Money DamagesOur fifth key is to sue under the TCPA — you sue the company that has been blowing up your phone illegally.

This will get you money damages and it is a wonderful motivator to get the company (debt collector, credit card company, mortgage company, etc) from violating the law against you in the future.

(If you need part one about what calls are coveredpart two about permission to call, part three about revoking permission, or part four about documenting the calls, you can click on them to read the earlier articles).

Let’s look now at the fifth key.

This is to file suit under the TCPA if this company has violated the TCPA.

We talked about this earlier when we were doing the background.

You can get what are called statutory damages of $500 per call or sometimes $1500 per call for willful violations of the TCPA.

You can get actual damages, also. Let’s say they’re blowing up your phone and your boss says, “If your cell phone rings again, I’m firing you,” and they call back again with the computer dialer, you might have actual damages there, but generally in these cases, we’re looking at statutory damages.

We’re just adding up all the calls.

When defense lawyers call and asks, “How can we figure a way to case out?” I say, “We total up the calls, and we agree on that number, and then we settle it somewhere between $1 and $1500 for the statutory damages.”

Up to $500 is for what you might say is a negligent call – or what they would call an innocent call.

I’m not sure exactly what an innocent call is.

Every time we ask them under oath, “Did you intend to make this cell phone ring?” they say, “Well, yeah, that’s why we called it.”

I say, “Exactly, this was intentional.”

But even if it’s somehow just negligent, it can be up to $500 per call.

If it’s intentional, you’re talking about up to $1500 per call.

I had a client say to me one time “I’m going to need to put this to the calculator.”

100 calls at $1500 is a lot of money.

With 400-600 calls, you can see how this can become extremely valuable in terms of statutory damages and extremely dangerous to the other side.

That leads them to act accordingly, as you would expect.

They’re going to fight this and not just say, “Oh okay, we want to stroke you a check for $100,000.”

Let’s say there are six calls.

That may be $9,000.

That’s a lot of money.

If we’re talking about a debt collector, usually (but not always), if we see TCPA violations, there will be FDCPA violation – that’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The point is you may have other claims, not just the TCPA. But the TCPA claims are very valuable and very useful in getting these guys to stop.

I’ll say this.

When you send that letter saying, “I’m revoking permission,” five years ago, companies might have been able to say, “We had no idea that TCPA existed,” which is not true, but they’d still try to argue it.

Now they know.

They are just complaining and griping about this law.

They hate this law and are trying to get it changed.

But they know about it, and they know how serious it is, and yet they still blow up your cell phone – particularly when you send a letter to them saying, “Don’t do it,” and they continue to do it. It just kind of gives you some insight.

Most of them will get the letter revoking permission and they’ll stop because they do not want to deal with $500-1500 per call, so it really can stop the harassment.

But if they don’t stop or you never gave permission, then suing in federal court is a viable option.

I have one case right now where the lawyer on the other side has asked me four or five times, “We haven’t called your client again, have we?”

The reason the lawyer is so concerned about it is it would really look bad if not only did my client say, “Stop calling me. You’re calling the wrong person,” but now we’ve sued in federal court and they’re still calling.

That would be very difficult to explain. When you sue, they will definitely stop blowing up your cell phone.

Or it should.

The case I just mentioned?

They called our client long after we sued.

Can’t make this stuff up!

Contact Us.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us!

We represent consumers all over the state of Alabama.

You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.

You can also fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as we can.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John G. Watts

Leave a Comment