TCPA: Automatic Telephone Dialing System or ATDS
TCPA lawyers are familiar with the terms automatic telephone dialing system, or autodialers (ATDS for short). Collection calls or telemarketing calls from autodialers are often referred to as robocalls. But what is an autodialer?
The FCC defines an autodialer as equipment that has the capacity to dial without human intervention. Whether equipment is an ATDS is important for purposes of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits collection calls or telemarketing calls to a cellular telephone without the prior express consent of the person who is called.
An ATDS is “equipment that has the capacity to (a) store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (b) to dial such numbers.” The FCC deems any equipment or software that has the capacity to generate numbers and dial them without human intervention an ATDS, regardless of whether the numbers called are randomly or sequentially generated or come from calling lists.
An FCC Declaratory ruling and Order that became effective on July 10, 2015 rejected the argument that an ATDS should be limited to a system that has the “current” or “present capacity” to dial numbers randomly or sequentially. According to the FCC, an ATDS includes equipment that has the “potential functionality” to dial randomly or sequentially. Under the FCC’s definition, dialing equipment generally meets the TCPA’s autodialer definition, even if it is not presently used for that purpose.
If you are receiving collection calls that include automated messages, the creditor or debt collector is probably using an autodialer. Autodialers are a tool used by debt collectors to make harassing collection calls that cause stress and interrupt your daily life. If you are receiving collection calls on your mobile phone, the TCPA allows you to put an end to these collection calls. If you or someone you know are receiving unwanted collection or marketing calls, contact our office at (313) 415-5559 to speak with a knowledgeable TCPA lawyer.
A lot of people wonder what they can do to stop collection calls or to stop other forms of creditor harassment. One of the first things people experience when they fall behind on credit cards or other forms of debt is collection calls to their mobile phone. Your creditors and debt collectors know that if they bombard you with calls to your mobile phone, you will be thinking about the debt you owe them every second of every day. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act can help you stop these collection calls, and even help you recover damages against creditors who violate the TCPA.
The TCPA prohibits the use of automated telephone dialing systems ("ATDS") without prior express consent of the consumer. Penalties for violating the TCPA can include statutory damages of up to $1,500 per telephone call.
If you are receiving unwanted collection calls or being harassed by your creditors, contact one of our Michigan consumer protection attorneys to learn more about your rights under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. You can reach us by calling our office at (313) 415-5559 or by emailing Nick Hadous at email@example.com. The consultation is free and always confidential.
Whether to file bankruptcy can depend on many different things. For some, bankruptcy can be a first and only option, or a last resort.
Who is a good candidate for bankruptcy?
If you are considering filing bankruptcy, you probably have too much debt to repay. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to liquidate or eliminate this debt without having to repay discharged debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to repay some portion of the debt you owe for a 3-5 years.
Chapter 7 candidates typically have minimal assets, modest to low income, and high credit card or other consumer debt. In fact, when we speak to potential bankruptcy clients, our main points of inquiry are: income, assets, and type of debt.
Depends. Some people can avoid filing bankruptcy by agreeing to debt settlements with their creditors or by pursing creditors and debt collectors who violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The key is to plan as early as possible. This means before you default on credit card debt or shortly after defaulting on credit card debt. You need to know your rights before dealing with abusive debt collectors.
Debt collection harassment is a serious issue. If you are receiving unwanted collection calls, or if debt collectors are sending you abusive harassing, or threatening collections letters, you may be entitled to damages against abusive creditors or debt collectors. Some individuals have eliminated thousands of dollars in debt and recovered thousands more against creditors and debt collectors who violate federal consumer protection laws. You should speak to a knowledgeable consumer protection lawyer to learn about your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Our Michigan bankruptcy and consumer lawyers are happy to answer any questions you have. Please contact us at (313) 415-5559. We have offices conveniently located in Southfield, Michigan and Dearborn, Michigan.