Reichenbach Law takes consumer cases throughout west
              central Ohio. The law office is located in Bluffton, OH.
Consumer
                protection attorney Greg Reichenbach works to protect
                consumers against unfair debt collection practices.
Call: 419-529-8300
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Greg Reichenbach
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 256
Bluffton, OH 45817

Ph: 419-529-8300
Fax: 419-529-8310
greg@reichenbachlaw.com

Office hours Mon - Fri
Call for appointment or telephone consultation

 
 
Robocalls

"Computerized calls are the scourge of modern civilization. ... It is telephone terrorism and it has got to stop."  Those are the words of Senator Hollings back in 1991 when the Senate was considering ways to protect people from robocalls and telemarketers.

The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act protects you from many robocalls to your cell phone. 

The law generally prohibits:

  • calls and text messages sent to your cell phone;
  • without your consent;
  • when the caller uses an artificial or prerecorded voice;
  • or when the caller uses an automated telephone dialing system.

However, there is a recent exception for calls made after November 1, 2015 for the purpose of collecting a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States government.

Many debt collection calls are made using an automated dialing system, and many such calls also use a recorded voice.  For either of those types of calls, the question is usually whether the recipient consented to receive these types of calls.

Consent
"Consent" more or less means that you agreed to the calls.  If the calls are to try to collect on a debt, then maybe there was language in a credit agreement about consent.  The good news for victims of robocalls is that you can revoke your consent.  Usually that means that you can simply demand that the robocalls stop.  It may be a good idea to revoke consent in a way that you can easily prove later, like sending a fax, email with a return receipt, or a certified letter to the caller.  However, in most cases, if you clearly state during a phone call with the caller that you don't want them to call you any more, that should be enough.  When you revoke consent, make sure that you give the caller your cell phone number, so that they can identify who it is that they should stop calling.  If the caller has given you a reference number or account number, you should include that information as well.  But of course, you should not give a caller sensitive personal information, like your social security number.

Lawsuits against Robocallers
In an appropriate case, robocall victims can sue the caller for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  If you are harmed by illegal robocalls, you may recover actual damages. Examples of possible recoveries include amounts for physical illness, mental illness, lost wages, and costs of getting a different phone number, if those things are caused by the illegal debt collection.  Consumers may also recover compensation for non-economic harm such as shock, worry, stress, and aggravation.

Even if there was no actual harm, you may recover $500.00 for violations of the TCPA, because Congress wanted to encourage people to file appropriate cases to beef up enforcement of the law.  If the caller acted wilfully or knowingly, you might recover up to three times your damages, or $1,500.00.  These damages apply to each call that violates the law, if you prove your case.

Some people are comfortable filing their own case against robocallers.  If you choose to do that, make sure you become familiar with all the court rules, statutes, FCC rulings and court decisions, all of which can affect the outcome of your case.

If you would rather have an attorney represent you, contact an attorney licensed in your State who is familiar with this area of the law.  In Ohio, attorney Greg Reichenbach will be happy to talk to you about unwanted robocalls, in a no-cost initial consultation.  In appropriate cases, an attorney can be paid from the proceeds of a law suit.


More detailed information can be found from the FCC at this Link:
Rules and Resources for Dealing with Unwanted Calls and Texts

Keep in mind that this is just general information about the law about robocalls. There is much more to this area of the law. If you have a specific legal problem, contact an attorney to see if she or he can represent you.

Disclaimer
The information provided on this web site is provided for general information only. No attorney-client relationship is created with Mr. Reichenbach unless he specifically agrees to represent you. If you have a specific legal problem, contact an attorney.
2015 Gregory Reichenbach