Tag Archives: Robocalls

FCC Strengthens Consumer Protections Against Unwanted Calls And Texts

June 18, 2015 – The Federal Communications Commission today adopted additional rules (Declaratory Ruling and Order FCC 15-72) to protect consumers against unwanted robocalls and spam texts.

Highlights for consumers:

  1. Green Light for ‘Do Not Disturb’ Technology – Service providers can offer robocall-blocking technologies to consumers and implement market-based solutions that consumers can use to stop unwanted robocalls.
  2. Empowering Consumers to Say ‘Stop’ – Consumers have the right to revoke their consent to receive robocalls and robotexts in any reasonable way at any time.
  3. Reassigned Numbers Aren’t Loopholes – If a phone number has been reassigned, companies must stop calling the number after one call.
  4. Third-Party Consent – A consumer whose name is in the contacts list of an acquaintance’s phone does not consent to receive robocalls from third-party applications downloaded by the acquaintance.
  5. Affirming the Law’s Definition of Autodialer – “Autodialer” is defined in the Act as any technology with the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers. This definition ensures that robocallers cannot skirt consumer consent requirements through changes in calling technology design or by calling from a list of numbers.
  6. Text Messages as Calls – The Commission reaffirmed that consumers are entitled to the same consent-based protections for texts as they are for voice calls to wireless numbers.
  7. Internet-to-Phone Text Messages – Equipment used to send Internet-to-phone text messages is an autodialer, so the caller must have consumer consent before calling.
  8. Very Limited and Specific Exemptions for Urgent Circumstances – Free calls or texts to alert consumers to possible fraud on their bank accounts or remind them of important medication refills, among other financial alerts or healthcare messages, are allowed without prior consent, but other types of financial or healthcare calls, such as marketing or debt collection calls, are not allowed under these limited and very specific exemptions. Also, consumers have the right to opt out from these permitted calls and texts at any time.
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National Robocall Class Action Filed Against Specialized Loan Servicing (SLS)

According to a recent class action complaint (pdf here) filed by the Leonard Law Office, PC and co-counsel:

“Plaintiff  brings this class action challenging Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC’s (SLS’s) standardized practice of calling cellular telephones using an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) or a prerecorded voice without obtaining the subscriber’s prior express consent. These calls violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq. (TCPA). Such calls are characterized as “robocalls” for purposes of this Complaint.

Part of SLS’s loan servicing business involves making dunning calls to consumers to encourage their payment of outstanding debts. SLS places robocalls to consumers’ cell phones throughout the nation in its collection efforts.

SLS makes a significant portion of such robocalls to cell phone subscribers or users like Plaintiff, who have not consented to receiving any type of call from SLS, much less a robocall from a debt collector. There is no legitimate purpose for these calls.

SLS is a limited liability company formed in the State of Delaware. SLS is wholly-owned by Specialized Loan Servicing Holdings, LLC, a company whose ultimate parent is Computershare Limited, a publicly traded company on the Australian stock exchange. A third party residential mortgage servicer, SLS has offices in Colorado, Georgia, and Arizona, and is licensed in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

According to Plaintiff’s phone records and cellular device, a partial list of calls he from received on his cell phone from SLS are as follows:

  • 06/12/13 05:40 PM from 800-268-9706
  • 08/20/13 10:31 PM from 800-268-9706
  • 08/20/13 10:32 PM from 800-268-9706
  • 11/20/13 09:21 AM from 800-268-9706
  • 12/03/13 02:30 PM from 800-268-9706
  • 01/06/14 04:50 PM from 800-268-9706
  • 03/19/14 from 800-268-9706
  • 04/29/14 09:16 PM from 800-268-9706
  • 04/03/14 from 800-268-9706
  • 04/16/14 from 800-268-9706
  • 5/30/14 from 800-268-9706

SLS Routinely And Systematically Violates The TCPA

There are numerous entries on Internet sites set up to collect and share complaints about unwanted calls. A number of such sites contain complaints regarding similar calls from the same number regarding SLS. For example there are numerous complaints and comments on 800notes.com about (800) 268-9706, the number SLS frequently uses to contact Plaintiff:

  • “These a***oles call me every day with their recorded message and 800#. I don’t know what the hell they are calling about, but I don’t want to talk
    to them.”
  • “Sounds like a debt collector… since the number they are calling is a new one for me I assume it is wrong. Obviously I have no intention of calling
    them back.”
  • “This company is calling me everyday (sic) to get a debt collection from someone else. I really hate it, they should go after the real person… Source: http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-800-268-9706, accessed May 14, 2014.”

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