What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1991 and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. It is the primary law that regulates the conduct of telephone solicitors and telemarketers.  The TCPA restricts the use of automatic dialing systems and artificial or prerecorded voice messages received by cell phones. In other words, it makes it illegal to call someone’s cell phone using an automatic or predictive dialer without prior express consent of the cell phone user.

TCPA violations can often be combined with FDCPA violations, as a debt collector may use an automatic dialing system to call your cell phone in order to collect a debt. The statutory penalties for a violation of the TCPA are $500 per violation and up to $1,500 per violation for a purposeful violation.

If you have been harassed by a debt collector and he used an automatic dialing system or a prerecorded message to contact you, you may have a case under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, you want to contact an attorney with Barhsay|Sanders to discuss a potential lawsuit.


What is prohibited under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act?

As part of the TCPA, debt collectors and other solicitors cannot:

  • Make a call to a cell phone through an automatic telephone dialing system or an robotic dialer
  • Call residents before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Make calls to residences or cell phones using artificial voices or recordings
  • Make calls without identifying their name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf they are calling, and a phone number or address at which that person may be contacted