Posts Tagged: ‘robocalls’

Why Are Robocalls Getting Worse?

June 7, 2018 Posted by kingcade

For any person with a phone, it seems like robocalls are becoming more frequent and more annoying. Despite the creation of the “No-Call” lists offered by many states, these calls have persisted. In response to this increase in calls, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), through its Chairman Ajit Pai, has recently announced that ending illegal use of robocalls is a priority of the FCC.

In March 2018, Ajit made an announcement that the FCC issued over $200 million in fines for these harassing calls made in the previous year. The problem is these phone calls have continued to happen regardless of these fines. In fact, according to the screening service, YouMail, approximately 3.4 billion automated calls were made in April 2018, which was up 900 million per month compared to the prior year.

In November 2017, the FCC issued new regulations which allowed phone companies to block calls from invalid numbers or to show evidence of what is referred to as “spoofing.” Spoofing involves the caller tricking caller ID into hiding his or her identity. The FCC has also issued a proposal in March 2018 which will create a database of reassigned numbers so that business do not continue to call the wrong people.

Currently, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates robocalls. The law dictates that autodialers must have the prior consent of consumers to contact them, and that consumers have the right to officially opt out of the robocalls. If a company continues to make calls despite the consumer opting out, they are doing this illegally.

Not all robocalls are illegal. Some can be used as a way to remind the caller about an upcoming appointment, flight cancellation or emergency notification. Also, sometimes these calls are also a way to try to collect on a valid debt. The problem becomes when the calls become excessive or even harassing.

The FCC has recently fined a Miami man, Adrian Abramovich, $120 million for 96 million robocalls he was accused of making in one month. The FCC has been accused of sending mixed signals when these robocalls come from “legitimate” businesses.

Student loan company, Navient, has received 599 “communication tactics” complaints that were submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). One of the complaints stated that the company called one person more than 12 times a day, including contacting the individual’s past coworkers, friends and family. The complaint also stated that the company called the same number 14 times in a 30-minute time period.

In response, Navient, along with other businesses, have petitioned the FCC to allow them to be exempted from the number of calls they can make to a consumer. These petitions are currently pending. These companies argue that if an existing relationship is already there, then the consent requirements should not be as strict. Further, they say that the exemption should apply to cellphones, as well as landlines.

In March 2018, a federal appeals court rolled back a decision made under the FCC during the Obama administration which prohibited debt collectors from using auto dialers to reach cell phone numbers. In that past decision, the definition of an “auto dialer” was broadened. However, the recent legal decision ruled that the definition given was too broad. Now experts are waiting to see how this narrower definition will affect current regulations.  It is also now up to the FCC to write a new definition if they wish to clarify what exactly an auto dialer is under the law. If the FCC chooses to make the definition narrower, experts worry that this will leave consumers not protected from excessive and unwanted robocalls.

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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Lawmakers Fight to Close Robocall Debt Collection Loophole

March 9, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Federal lawmakers are attempting to close a recently opened loophole that allows the federal government to automate unwanted, even incorrect debt collection calls to consumers.  This all started in late 2015, when an addition to a budget bill amended the existing telecommunications law allowing robocalls “made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States.”

Sen. Ed Markey (MA) is attempting to put an end to this with the HANGUP Act of 2017, which would close the debt-collection loophole opened by the 2015 budget bill.

The proposed legislation goes a step further,“walking back” the FCC’s July 2016 “Broadnet” decision, in which the Commission ruled that anyone in the federal government, including contractors, could send out robocalls, so long as the automated calls explicitly involve government business.

Senator Markey argues that the intention of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which limits the use of robocalls, is clear: “consumers should not be subject to unwanted robocalls and robotexts on their phones. But recent carveouts by Congress and the FCC allow government contractors to robocall and robotext consumers without their affirmative express consent…No one wants to be interrupted during family mealtime or when helping children with homework.”

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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Debt Collectors can now Robcall to Collect Student Loans

December 2, 2015 Posted by kingcade

If you are currently in default on your student loans, you may begin receiving continuous calls from collectors to pay up. A budget agreement, which is awaiting President Obama’s signature, contains a provision that allows the government to collect federal debts using automated calling systems to mobile phones.

Not surprisingly, Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) and Nelnet, two companies that service federal loans, have been strongly advocating for this.  They both argue that debtors who receive robocalls are more likely to repay their debts.  Currently, loan servicers are allowed to robocall people only after they have consented to being auto-dialed and who have verified their cell phone numbers. (Only about a third of customers fall into both of those two categories.)

In an interestingly twist, the bill puts the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in charge of implementing the robocalls- an organization that has been fighting against automated calls to cell phones recently.  Just last week, the FCC started publishing  reports on consumer complaints about cell phone robocalls to give software developers tools to build apps that will block them.

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For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

Debt Collectors Paying the Price for Every Time They Call

June 30, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Thanks to a new ruling, consumers who have requested debt collectors not call their cell phones are entitled to collect damages of up to $1,500 per call. In the recent 11th Circuit case, Osorio v. State Farm Bank, the court reinforced restrictions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that prohibits debt collectors from using automated dialing systems (i.e. – “robocalls”) to contact consumers on their cell phones without their permission.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act has been federal law since 1991. However, this ruling is significant because in the past, courts have been divided as to whether consumers who have given their cell phone number to a creditor or collector can revoke that privilege, and if so, whether they can do so verbally. In this case, the court ruled in favor of consumers, giving them permission to revoke their consent verbally.

For consumers who are receiving calls for the wrong person, for debts they believe are not owed or for debts that are too old, this ruling proves extremely helpful. However, it important to remember that ignoring collection calls is not a good strategy. Keep accurate records of the collection calls and consider speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can guide you in the right direction and determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy protection.

If you are in a financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://blog.credit.com/2014/06/judge-debt-collectors-could-be-fined-1500-every-time-they-call-85374/