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Telephone Consumer Protection Act

You Have Rights As A Consumer Under The TCPA

People in debt experiencing harassment from creditors often feel like that have no options, like there is no one who can protect them from overly aggressive creditors and their agents.

At Kazerouni Law Group, our attorneys are here to help. We represent clients throughout California from our Costa Mesa office, and we take cases for clients in other states throughout the country.

What is the Telephone Collections Protection Act?

The TCPA is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which was passed into law in 1991. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued rules and regulations implementing the TCPA which then went into effect on December 20, 1992. A number of court challenges to parts of the TCPA have been brought. All failed.

The TCPA was a merging of two bills in Congress, and it deals with several distinct issues:

• Use of automated dialing equipment and prerecorded messages. 
• Telemarketing calls using “live” callers 
• Facsimile (fax) transmissions.

In general, telemarketing calls, unsolicited faxes, prerecorded calls and autodialed calls to cellphones are violations of the TCPA, and the people receiving these communications can bring suit in local state court (including in small claims court). The statute provides remedies that include statutory damages, generally from $500 to $1500 for each violation, which are paid to the consumer.

How do I know if I have a case?

Though the statute is a little more complex, if you follow the following guideline, you will have an indication of whether you have a case. If you are unsure or believe you have a case, call us toll free at 800-400-6808 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.

Contact Kazerouni Law Group

Talk with an attorney from our firm free of charge.

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What Creates A TCPA Violation?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is an important piece of legislation to help protect debtors from creditor harassment, few people know much about the law in this regard or what constitutes a violation of the TCPA.

Talk with an experienced attorney at Kazerouni Law Group, APC, in Costa Mesa, California. Our attorneys have tremendous experience fighting against TCPA violations and other forms of creditor harassment.

If you are experiencing creditor harassment, you need a legal team that knows the law and will fight for you. Our lawyers fight aggressively. We sue debt collectors to protect our clients from harassment.

Examples Of TCPA Violations

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act protects clients against excessive telemarketing calls and collections actions, with strict rules regarding:

  • Timing of calls: They are not allowed to call your residence for collections purposes before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Do-not-call lists: Collectors and solicitors are not permitted to call you if you are on a company’s do-not-call list or the national do-not-call registry.
  • Access: When third-party solicitors call on behalf of a company, they must provide the name and contact information of the company.
  • Human contact: They are not allowed to use recorded or artificial voice messages or automated calls (“robocalls”).

These are just a few of the common violations of the TCPA. If you feel your rights have been violated in any way, talk with a lawyer right away to discuss your case. The TCPA allows victims of rights violations under the act to bring lawsuits. Our firm can help you fight back.

Contact Kazerouni Law Group ∙ Free Case Evaluations

Talk with one of our lawyers if you have been harassed by collectors or solicitors. Call 800-400-6808 or email us to schedule a free consultation.

What Remedies Are Available?

If you are like the many people who have been victimized by telephone harassment from creditors and solicitors, you are probably asking the question: “What remedies are available”?

At Kazerouni Law Group, APC, in Costa Mesa, California, our lawyers represent clients in claims stemming from violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act(TCPA). We sue collections agencies and solicitors who violate our clients’ rights. Our attorneys combine experience, knowledge and tenacity to make sure our clients get the results they need.

Remedies For TCPA Violations

The three primary remedies for TCPA violations are:

  1. Injunction: The first remedy for TCPA violations is an injunction, which is a court order forcing the party in violation to discontinue actions in violation of the TCPA.
  2. Financial compensation: Victims of TCPA violations are entitled to recover $1,500 per violation.
  3. Monetary damages: If the violations of the TCPA cost you actual monetary losses that amount to greater than the $1,500 per violation, you are entitled to receive compensation for actual monetary losses.

In TCPA claims, it is important to determine first whether an actual TCPA violation occurred. Then, we can explore the remedies that are available to you.

Even if you are not sure whether a TCPA violation has occurred, if you think you are being harassed by a solicitor or collector, there is a good chance that some type of violation occurred. Our lawyers will explore your case and fight aggressively on your behalf.

Contact Kazerouni Law Group ∙ Free Case Evaluations

Talk with an attorney from our firm, free of charge, by calling 800-400-6808 or contacting us online.

Public and Private Sectors Team Up To Battle Robocalls

The FTC and FCC co-hosted the Stop Illegal Robocalls Expo on Monday April 23rd, highlighting public and private sector efforts to stop the epidemic of unlawful robocalls in America. The private sector was represented by industry giants such as AT&T and Comcast, as well as smaller tech firms such as Nomorobo.The Stop Illegal Robocalls Expo featured technologies, devices and applications to minimize or eliminate the number of illegal robocalls consumers receive.

FCC Chief of Staff Matthew Berry emphasized the need for cooperation in a brief address, saying “There isn’t one silver bullet that is going to end the scourge of illegal robocalls. Thanks in large part to technology that makes it incredibly easy and cheap to make large numbers of spoofed robocalls, this is a difficult problem to solve, and everyone needs to play their part in getting the job done. That’s why it’s important that Congress is actively engaged. That’s why it’s important that the FCC and FTC are working together. That’s why it’s important that the private sector is coming up with new ways to combat unwanted and unlawful robocalls. And that’s why it’s important for the American people to learn about the options that are available to them right now to reduce the number of robocalls they receive.”

Litigation plays an important role in this struggle as well, giving back the power to consumers in a court of law and punishing the worst actors of the robocalling industry. Consumers in America are protected under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which has strict rules against automated and harassing phone calls. The statute provides remedies that include statutory damages, generally from $500 to $1500 for each violation, which are paid to the consumer. You can learn more about your rights under the TCPA in our article here.

If you feel your rights have been violated in any way, talk with a lawyer right away to discuss your case. The TCPA allows victims of rights violations under the act to bring lawsuits. Our firm can help you fight back.

Talk with one of our lawyers if you have been harassed by collectors or solicitors. Call 800-400-6808 or email us to schedule a free consultation.

This is informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as forming an attorney-client relationship. Legal advertisement.

FCC Warns Consumers of New Yes Call Scam

The Federal Communications Commission is warning consumers about a new scam that is hooking consumers with just one word: Yes.

According to the FCC, the scam begins as soon as a person answers the phone. A recorded voice or an actual person asks: “Can you hear me?” And the consumer responds, “Yes.”

“The caller then records the consumer’s ‘Yes’ response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone,” an FCC news release said.

Officials Warn Consumers About Phone Scam

“According to complaints the FCC has received and public news reports, the fraudulent callers impersonate representatives from organizations that provide a service and may be familiar to the person receiving the call, such as a mortgagelender or utility, to establish a legitimate reason for trying to reach the consumer,” the news release said.

Teresa Thomas, 49, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, said today that she’d received a similar phone call about a month ago.

“The person on the other line sounded like a young woman. She was giggling and she said: ‘Oh, I didn’t expect you to pick up! Can you hear me?'” Thomas said. “Which, of course, if someone asks if you can hear them, I said the logical thing and I said ‘Yes.’ And she proceeded to talk.”

Thomas said she soon realized that the caller was a recording, hung up the call and then blocked the phone number. The next day, she learned of the scam on social media.

The FCC advised consumers to immediately hang up if they receive this type of call. It also said that if consumers had responded “Yes” to a similar call in the past, they should keep an eye on all financial statements for any unauthorized charges.

Thomas said that she’d been checking her credit-card and bank accounts and had reported the incident to the Better Business Bureau.

“I have not seen anything negative happen from that but it’s just good to be aware,” Thomas said.

The FCC also shared the following tips:

1. Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.

2. If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents.

3. If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so we can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.

4. Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls. Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry.

New California Energy Initiative Scam Targets Californian Seniors

Scam artists posing as State of California Energy Commission employees are targeting senior Californians with a scam intended to bilk them out of thousands of dollars in unneeded and overpriced “efficiency upgrades”. The telemarketers claim to be from the “California Clean Energy Initiative” and offer to send a “state certified engineer” to a homeowners house for a “free meeting”, in which the engineer steers the homeowner to a contractor who installs unnecessary efficiency upgrades at great expense. Often times the scammers claim to be working for the State of California Energy Commission, although they will often say they’re not with the state, but part of an “initiative” if pressed.

The California Energy Commission says on its official site they “never have, and never will, make unsolicited calls to consumers for any reasons“. Consumers can avoid some of these calls by registering their phones with the Federal Do Not Call list, although many of these unscrupulous telemarketers violate the law in ignoring this list anyways. It’s important to speak with older family members about the importance of recognizing common telemarketing scams.

Here are a few red flags to help you spot telemarketing scams. If you hear a line that sounds like this, say “no, thank you,” hang up, and file a complaint with the FTC:

· You’ve been specially selected (for this offer).

· You’ll get a free bonus if you buy our product.

· You’ve won one of five valuable prizes.

· You’ve won big money in a foreign lottery.

· This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else.

· You have to make up your mind right away.

· You trust me, right?

· You don’t need to check our company with anyone.

· We’ll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.

Most, if not all, of these scam telemarketers violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by relying on autodialers, prerecorded messages, and spoofed (faked) phone numbers. You have rights guaranteed to you by the TCPA, and if you believe your rights have been violated, call us toll free at 949-404-4228 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.

Here’s What To Really Do About Robocalls

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Why Are There So Many Robocalls? Here’s What You Can Do About Them”, the author points to a few different methods of stopping the robocalls that have become ubiquitous of late. Commercial remedies, such as call-filtering apps, are not a bad idea, although the technology is certainly nascent and may not be very effective. Filing a complaint to the FTC does help them begin to start identifying bad actors, but the glacial pace of the federal government means very little will be done to help you any time soon. Oddly, the piece ignores the most effective solution for consumers: litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Since 2010, private citizens have brought more than 20,000 TCPA cases against companies using robocalls, ignoring do-not-call lists, and other TCPA violations. Since the establishment of the TCPA, the FTC has brought a grand total of only 134 enforcement actions, only 120 of which they have resolved as of July 2018.

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Under the TCPA, consumers have the right to sue for up to $500 for each violation, and up to $1500 for each willful violation of their rights under TCPA. Since often times these cases involved companies robocalling consumers hundreds, if not thousands of times, these damages quickly add up and many TCPA cases see judgements to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So if you are receiving constant robocalls, or are being called after already being on the Do-Not-Call registry, contacting an experienced consumer rights attorney is your best option. Private litigation has done far more to punish TCPA violators than any government enforcement could hope to. Kazerouni Law Group was one of the pioneers of the class action TCPA lawsuit, and one of the leading TCPA litigation firms in the country. Our lawyers are uniquely qualified to help you fight back against robocallers, and are dedicated to stopping harassing phone calls.

Kazerouni Law Group Receives Landmark TCPA Ruling From 9th Circuit

In a major victory for consumer TCPA litigation, the 9th Circuit ruled Thursday on a key statutory definition within the TCPA that governs how autodialing telephones are regulated.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, enacted in 1991, was created to protect consumers from harassing or unwanted telemarketing that had become endemic by the late 80’s. Within that legislation is a specific prohibition on companies using “Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems” (ATDS), or auto-dialers, to call consumers without their prior express consent. The definition of what constitutes an ATDS has been battled over for years, and the recent case of FCC vs ACA Int’l whittled down the prohibition to only apply to ATDS that use a random or sequential number generator to dial the numbers.

In our case, Marks v Crunch San Diego, our client received several unsolicited text messages from Crunch Fitness, which was in our view a clear violation of the TCPA. The District Court held that the automatic text messaging system that had sent the messages was not an ATDS under the TCPA, becuase it lacked the capacity “to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator”. We appealed this decision to the US 9th Circuit of Appeals.

The 9th Circuit, in a 3-0 decision, concluded that “the statutory definition of ATDS includes a device hat stores telephone numbers to be called, whether or not those numbers have been generated by a random or sequential number generator”. In layman’s terms, any telephone system that stores lists of telephone numbers to be dialed or texted qualifies as an ATDS, and prior consent is needed from you before companies can use it to call or text you.

How does this effect the average consumer? The protections given to you by the TCPA are important, safeguarding both your privacy and peace of mind. Recently, those protections have been eroded in court cases such as ACA Int’l, and this 9th Circuit decision represents an important step in shifting the balance of power back to consumers and away from aggressive telemarketers.

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