In 2014, Plaintiffs in several states filed a class action complaint against Ocwen Loan Servicing, a national mortgage servicing firm. The complaint alleges that Ocwen’s system for contacting customers multiple times did not comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) requirements
The TCPA prohibits creditors from contacting consumers without their consent if the creditor is using an “automatic telephone dialing system.” An automatic telephone dialing system is usually used to connect the caller to the consumer. Despite the existence of this statute, some creditors will continue to call after they have been told to stop – often every day.
Ocwen began contacting customers after purchasing those customers’ mortgage loans from other parties. They allege that between October 2010 and December 2014, Ocwen failed to obtain consent before calling borrowers’ cellphones using its automated telephone dialing system. As a result, Ocwen made more than 100,000,000 unauthorized calls during that time period.
The class settlement, which has not yet been approved, purports to cover calls made between Oct. 27, 2010, through Oct. 6, 2017. According to the Settlement website, the average settlement will be $60. The deadline to request to be excluded from this Settlement, or file a claim, is Feb. 19, 2018.
The TCPA imposes a statutory minimum penalty of $500 per phone call if the creditor continues to call. In order to invoke this provision, however, the debtor must request that the debt collector cease its phone calls, as most consumer contracts authorize contact by telephone. Lawyers in our firm are currently investigating claims of harassment of consumers by creditors in violation of the TCPA.
If you would like to discuss a potential TCPA claim, contact Jeff Price, a lawyer in our firm’s Consumer Fraud & Commercial Litigation Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Jeff.Price@beasleyallen.com.