Plaintiff Mary Avilla admits that she acquired a credit card from Discover Financial Services that was used for personal and family purchases. Unfortunately, the complaint for this lawsuit alleges, Discover has violated both the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA), a California law, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a federal law, in trying to collect on Avilla’s debt.
According to the complaint, on or around July 29, 2016, Avilla spoke to a Discover representative named Lydia and told the company to stop calling her on her cell phone, but Discover paid no attention and continued to call Avilla on her cell phone.
On or around August 19, 2016, the complaint alleges, Avilla spoke to another Discover representative, this one named Sophie, and again told the company to stop calling her on her cell phone, but again, Discover paid no attention and continued to call Avilla on her cell phone.
In fact, since the July 29 call, the complaint claims, Discover has called Avilla on her cell phone at least forty-three times!
This, the complaint says, is a violation of California’s Rosenthal FDCPA, in that (1) Discover caused Avilla’s phone to ring repeatedly to annoy her, (2) Discover called with unreasonable frequency so as to harass Avilla, and (3) Discover failed to comply with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC §1692d, which addresses harassment and abuse. The complaint requests statutory damages of $1,000 plus attorney’s fees and expenses.
Furthermore, according to the complaint, the calls were placed with an automatic dialing system or other equipment that has the capacity to store and/or produce telephone numbers. Such calls, when placed to cell phones are in violation of the TCPA, which forbids companies from making such calls to cell phones unless they have received prior written consent or unless the calls relate to an emergency situation. The complaint holds that the company should pay a penalty of (1) $500 for negligent violation, and (2) $1,500 for willful and knowing violation, for each and every incident.