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UNWANTED CALLS AND LEGAL CLAIMS

Couple receiving bad news over phone

 

A consumer may receive a number of unwanted calls.  However, if those calls were made to collect a debt, the remedy is under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, not the Do Not Call List law.   The Do Not Call List law excludes calls to collect a debt from its coverage.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 5 U.S.C. § 1692d(5), prohibits a debt collector from harassing any person in connection with the collection of a debt by causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.”

Section 1692d(5) prohibits the repeated or continuous calling of a person with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass. “In determining liability, the Court looks at the volume and pattern of calls sufficient to raise a triable issue of fact regarding the caller’s intent.  The volume of calls alone may be alone to  give rise to liability.

As one court explained, “And so Wright must show the calls were accompanied by other egregious conduct giving rise to intent to annoy, abuse, or harass.[30] Such intent can be shown when the defendant continues to call the plaintiff after it has been asked to stop.] Where there is some evidence that the defendant continued to call the plaintiff after being asked to stop, the question of whether the conduct constitutes an intent to harass, in violation of §1692d(5), is one for a jury. Thus, to survive summary judgment, Wright must demonstrate a factual dispute as to whether Enhanced Recovery continued calling him despite his pleas that the calls stop.”

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