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Consumer Protection

Friday, March 24, 2017

Robocalls to Your Home Phone Can Be Illegal

The TCPA prohibits placing a call that uses a prerecorded voice to a residential telephone line. If on the do not call list, they can be a $500 violation or a violation of the TCPA.  If you are getting robocalls while on the do not call list, contact Davis Law Firm today.  


Read more . . .


Friday, March 10, 2017

What to Do When You Receive Robocalls or Automated Calls


Robocalls or automated calls are annoying. We all get them, But what can we do about them? The answer is fight back. When you get a robo call to your cell phone it is probably a TCPA violation.  The Telephone Consumer Protection Act protects individuals from unwanted calls to your cell phone by punishing callers for up to $1500 per call.  

 Here's what to do when you receive a robocall:

  1. Answer the call and tell them to "stop calling.

Read more . . .


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Suspicious Collection Emails Are Likely A Scam


Suspicious Emails Are Likely a Scam

If you have received an Email from a company claiming to be Davis Law Firm that states you are being sued for "Violation of Federal Banking Regulation," "Collateral Check Fraud," and "Theft By Deception," it is not us.  In addition, we have reason to believe the email is a scam.  The E-Mail states that a lawsuit has been filed against you based on a potential debt you owe for a payday loan or something similar.  We do NOT do debt collection against consumers. In fact, we make a point to sue debt collectors that attempt to collect improperly.


Read more . . .


Friday, December 26, 2014

Collection Calls For Others Are TCPA Violations to You

Collection Calls for Others are TCPA Violations 

One question I often receive from clients relates to collection calls for another person.  Are collection calls for another person a violation of the TCPA to YOU, the party that received the call?  The simple answer is a resounding "Yes."  TCPA violations apply to the "called party," regardless of whether they are calling about your debt or someone else's.  This makes sense because the TCPA is all about protecting people from harassment.  In fact, TCPA violations for calls looking for others or relatives is even an easier case to prove than when collectors are calling for you.  I'll explain why. 

As I often explain to my clients, a TCPA violation has three main elements: 

  1. An automated call (it can be a pre-recorded voice or a call by an auto-dialer or robodialer);
  2. to your cell phone;
  3. without your consent

TCPA violations are that simple.  Usually the first two elements are pretty easy to determine.  If there's a recording on the other end of the line, a "press one" message, or a delay when you answer and before the other party speaks, chances are that it's an autodialer. Determining whether they are calling your cell phone is even more simple. The consent element is often the tricky part. 

Calls for Relatives are TCPA Violations

However, if someone is calling to collect a debt from a relative or a person that you do not know, then the lack of consent element is clearly met.  You see, consent to call is often given when you sign up for a debt or click on a user agreement when applying for a credit card online.  But if you never sign up for service or a credit card, then you could not have given consent.  Thus, collection calls for relatives or others are often the easiest cases to prove.  

So, when the bank autodials your cell phone looking for Uncle Ricky, that is a violation to YOU.  You are the person that is entitled to sue for $500 per call.  Tell them to stop calling. Tell them that they have the wrong number.  Log all of your calls to document the TCPA Violations. Follow the example call log in our previous TCPA article here.  Then call us and let us get you the money that you deserve. 


Monday, November 10, 2014

How to Dispute Incorrect Entries on Your Credit Report

Five Steps to Disputing Incorrect Entries on Your Credit Report

Having good credit is important.  But what happens if you find an incorrect entry on your credit report that should not be there? In this article, we'll take you step by step through what you should do to dispute the mistake in your credit report. Follow these instructions exactly, and you'll be in the best position to bring a claim should the credit reporting agency not properly remedy the mistake. 

But first, let us explain why it is so important to dispute improper entries on your credit report.  You undoubtedly know the practical reasons, including being denied credit for a house, a business loan, being denied a job, and other life-altering reasons. From a legal standpoint, however, most people do not realize that the damage from an improper denial is recoverable in court, including damages for emotional distress, humiliation, mental anguish, loss of reputation, invasion of privacy, fear of lost credit opportunities and others.  

One recent jury awarded an $18 million verdict to a consumer against Experian for improper credit reporting. Although these results are not typical, it does mean that common people like those jurors understand the frustration and damage that an improper credit report can cause a person. But, your losses are only recoverable if you follow the instructions below and properly dispute your credit report.  

1. Write a Dispute Letter to the Credit Reporting Agencies AND the Company that Reported the Error

The letter should clearly and concisely address the mistake on your credit report, explain why it is incorrect, and request that it be removed and corrected. Use this example of a dispute letter from the FTC's website as your template and enter your own information and facts. 

Address the letter to ALL of the credit reporting agencies as well as the company that sent in the error.  For example, if Comcast erroneously reported that you failed to pay a $75 bill, address the letter to all of the credit reporting agencies as well as Comcast.  The contact information for all three of the credit reporting agencies is at the end of this article.

2.  Include All Documents that Support Your Case

In the initial letter, include all documents that support your case. Include a copy of your last bill and a snapshot of your bank account or cashed check showing that the payment was made. If the bill was not yours, include a copy of your driver's license showing that the incorrect entry was for "John A. Smith" and you are "John B. Smith."  Essentially include anything that you think will help.  

3.  Keep Evidence of What You Send and Receive

You want to document everything you send and receive.  If you include a copy of your bank statement with your dispute letter, scan it and keep a copy somewhere for later. Include in the letter statements like "I'm attaching proof of payment for your review."  Ideally, send the letters via certified mail or some type of return receipt.  If you can get an email contact to send the letters, send your documents by email as well.  An online trail is the best proof that you've been disputing properly.  

4.  Be Persistent

Chances are that your dispute will not be resolved immediately.  If your dispute is reviewed and denied, but you know the information on the report is inaccurate, don't give up.  Send another letter. Then another. And send an email, and make a call, document every time you contact them.  The more egregious their denial of your request to correct the problem is, the more damages will be awarded against them in the end. 

5.  Send Your Dispute to All Three of the Credit Reporting Agencies

The three main credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.  Address your letters to all of them. Their contact information is below.  If there is another credit reporting agency that you know is improperly reporting entries, make sure to send your dispute to them as well. 

Equifax 

Complete this form, attach your dispute letter, and mail to: 

Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374

Online - Also, you can dispute online here: Equifax Online Dispute Form 

Experian

Mailing address: 

Experian
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013

Online - To dispute online, click here: Experian Online Dispute

Transunion

Complete this form, attach your dispute letter, and mail to: 

TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000 

Online - To dispute online, click here: Transunion Online Dispute 

 

 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Todd Davis Selected to Jacksonville's Top Lawyers

Todd Davis of Davis Law Firm Selected to Jacksonville's Top Lawyers by Jacksonville Magazine

The October issue of Jacksonville Magazine selects and features the top lawyers in Northeast Florida. According to the article:

"Jacksonville Magazine offers readers a way to navigate the myriad of practicing attorneys in the River City. These aren’t just any attorneys, however. In the following pages, you’ll find a selection of the top legal eagles in the city." 

The online version of the article can be found here, and Mr. Davis is featured on the bottom right of page 33. 

 

 

 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Consent to Be Called Can Be Revoked Orally Under the TCPA

Verbal "Stop Calling" Notices Are Sufficient 

A recent case came down in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals that has a major effect on consumers, creditors, and debt collectors regarding unwanted phone calls to consumers.  In Osorio v. State Farm, F.S.B., No. 13-10951 (11th Cir. March 28, 2014), the Court made a number of important rulings that relate to the TCPA.  

First and foremost, the Court noted that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") allows a consumer to orally revoke any "prior express consent" for the creditor to call the consumer.  As context, telephone calls to a consumer are not a violation of the TCPA if the consumer has given the creditor express consent to call them.  In Osorio, the consumer told the creditor to "stop calling."  The creditor argued that this oral revocation was not sufficient to revoke prior written consent to call. The district court agreed with the creditor that oral revocation was not sufficient. 

However, the Eleventh Circuit disagreed.  It held that the TCPA not only allows a consumer to revoke consent in writing, but it also is silent on certain provisions that other statutes have regarding the specifics of how revocation of consent must be performed.  Thus, the Court held, that oral or verbal revocation of consent under the TCPA is sufficient.  Accordingly, the consumer's request for the creditor to "stop calling" was sufficient to effectively revoke any prior written consent.  

No Charge Required for the Call to Be Considered a Violation

One other important holding from this case was the Court's ruling that the TCPA did not require a consumer to actually be "charged" for a call to be a violation of the TCPA.  Thus, unanswered calls from creditors and calls to a consumer with an "unlimited minutes" plan were still violations of the TCPA.  

Only the "Called Party" can Consent to the Calls

The last point to take away from Osorio is that the "called party" must be the person who gave consent for the call.  Thus, if a creditor calls a debtor's relative, this is only proper if the relative gave express consent for the creditor to call.  The Court did not get to fully rule on the issue of whether an agent can give express consent for the other based on their relationship, but held that this was a factual determination on a case-by-case basis.  In other words, in some circumstances, a consumer may be have the ability to consent to calls on behalf of another party.  Determining whether this is true is different in every scenario and is based on principles of agency law.  

In rendering its holdings in Osorio, the Court exercised a thorough review of the language of the statute and how each clause was written.  In addition to being correct on the minute technicalities of the TCPA language, the Court's ruling was also practically correct.  If telephone calls are the primary means of a creditor's communications, then what the parties actually say during the calls should be afforded weight.  If a consumer verbally requests a creditor to stop calling, then that request should be honored.  It would be superfluous to also make the consumer put the request in writing.  

Likewise, creditors who violate the TCPA should not be given a "pass" on violations for certain calls simply because a consumer did not answer or was not otherwise charged for the call.  The crux of the TCPA is harassing conduct to a consumer.  Thus, if a creditor is violating the TCPA, its violations should not be penalized less because a consumer did not answer the call or had unlimited minutes.

In sum, the Eleventh Circuit nailed the ruling in Osorio.  It substantiated what many attorneys such as myself and others have been arguing for quite sometime.  If you tell a creditor to stop calling, that is exactly what they should do.  


Monday, May 12, 2014

Citibank and Citicards Keep Calling Me - Stop Collection Calls

Stop Collection Calls from Citibank and Others

Calls from debt collectors or creditors such as Citibank and Citicards can be annoying.  What most people don't know is that the calls can also be illegal.  We can help stop the collection calls from your creditors, including Citibank and Citicards and we also may be able to reduce your debt or even get you money for the calls!  Under certain laws, you may be entitled to up to $500 per call. You have rights that prevent debt collectors from calling you and, yes, you can sue debt collectors to enforce those rights. 

How is it possible that you could be entitled to money for their harassing conduct?  When creditors and debt collectors call your cell phone using automated dialing equipment, they may be violating the TCPA.  The TCPA is federal law that was enacted to protect consumers.  The TCPA allows for damages of up to $500 per violation in certain situations.  Put more plainly, with the correct notice, you may be entitled to up to $500 per call.  But, to stop the harassing phone calls and to recover under the TCPA, the correct procedures must be followed and the correct notice must be given.  

We can get the calls to stop and will send the proper notice on your behalf.  Moreover, we take TCPA cases at no cost to you.  We only get paid if we recover money on your behalf.  Our fees come out of any recovery we obtain from the debt collectors, so you have nothing to lose!  Follow the steps below to ensure your rights under the TCPA will be preserved.  

  1. Call Davis Law Firm and ask us to send a "notice of representation" and "no contact" demand on your behalf, revoking your consent for them to call you. This is necessary if you truly want the calls to stop and if you have any hope at obtaining compensation for their harassment. We will not charge you for this

  2. On the first call after reading this, answer the call.  Ask for their fax number and address.  This is where we will send the notice of representation and letter revoking consent.

  3. When they call, answer all calls and tell them to stop calling you.  Say "Please do not call me." Say it a couple times, then hang up. 

  4.  Keep a detailed call log regarding any calls from them. I like to use an excel spreadsheet.  List the time and date of the call, the number they called you from, what they said, what you said ("stop calling" and "I have an attorney"), whether the call used an automated dialer or left an automated message, and any other details of the call. 

As stated above, we take cases of harassing phone calls on a contingent fee basis, meaning that you don't owe us anything unless we recover money on your behalf.  Contact us today so you can begin living your life harassment free. 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Get DirecTV to Stop Calling You

Stop Collection Calls from DIRECTV

If you have service with DirecTV, you probably know by now that they sometimes call you repeatedly if you miss a payment or don't properly close out your account.  Our research has shown that just to get DirecTV to turn off your service is a pain. They may transfer you multiple times, try to talk you out of it, and sometimes even "accidentally" hang up on you.  The result is that you're sometimes so frustrated that you just cannot properly cancel your service and you may have a small balance. 

When you have a balance, DirecTV may call you non-stop to get you to pay.  Sometimes they may even use automatic dialing systems or "robo dialers," or leave you automated messages. You can tell a company is using an autodialer when there is a delay when you pick up the phone.    

Why does a law firm care that DirecTV is calling you?  Because they may be violating your legal rights.  If the proper notice is given by an attorney, you may even be entitled to up to $500 per illegal call.  But to entitle you to any compensation and to get the calls to stop, you must follow the five steps listed below down to the last detail.  

5 Steps to Get DirecTV to Stop Calling You

  1. Call Davis Law Firm and ask me to send a "notice of representation" and "no contact" demand revoking your consent for them to call you. This is necessary if you truly want the calls to stop and if you have any hope at obtaining compensation for their harassment. We will not charge you for this

  2. When they call, answer the call and tell them to stop calling you.  Say "I revoke my consent for you to call me." Then hang up.  That's it.  Don't spend any more time talking to them than that. 

  3. Ask for their fax number and address.  This is where we will send the notice of representation and letter revoking consent.

  4.  Keep a detailed call log regarding any calls from them. I like to use an excel spreadsheet.  List the time and date of the call, the number they called you from, what they said, what you said ("stop calling" and "I have an attorney"), whether the call used an automated dialer or left an automated message, and any other details of the call. 

If you follow these steps, DirecTV will stop calling you.  Don't be scared about step 1, just call us and tell us what's going on.  We deal with these cases all the time and we're happy to get the notice of representation out on your behalf.  With these type of cases, you don't pay us any money unless we recover money on your behalf.  If we recover, we'll take out an agreed percentage.  If we don't recover you any money, then you don't owe us anything. Pretty simple, right? These contingent fee agreements are beneficial for both parties.  And at the very least, we can get the calls to stop.  If DirecTV or any other party is continually calling you, call Davis Law Firm today.  

 


Friday, March 28, 2014

Repeated Collection Calls from Citibank or Citicards May Be Violating Your Rights

Collection Calls From Citibank May be Violating Your Rights 

If you have a Citbank credit card or a Citicard or another credit card and have missed a payment, you may have experienced a creditor's collection tactics.  In my experience, some creditor's representatives will call you relentlessly to the point that their tactics can be considered harassment.  In addition, some creditors and debt collectors often uses automated dialers (or robodialers) and leave pre-recorded messages.  If this is happening to you, you need to call a consumer protection attorney as soon as possible.  By calling you repeatedly, their actions may be considered harassment and you may be entitled to damages. 

In some situations, TCPA violations can entitle you to $500 per violation.  Yes, that is sometimes $500 PER CALL.  With 4-5 calls daily, you can see where a TCPA claim against Citibank or another creditor could potentially be a big deal.  They often make the gamble their gains through illegal collection efforts on the majority of people will outweigh the very losses they incur by the very few people who know their rights.  

But before being entitled to damages under the TCPA, you have to follow the proper notice procedures.  In essence, you have to follow the rules to revoke consent for the creditor to stop calling you.  In addition, it's prudent to inform them to direct all communications to your lawyer and give them your lawyer's contact information.  

If you follow the right steps when you're being harassed, you could end up having your credit card debt erased or even receive money on top of that.  At the very least, we can get the harassing calls to stop.  Here is what you should do if Citibank or another credit card company is calling you repeatedly: 

  1. Call Davis Law Firm and let me send the credit card company a notice of representation and a letter revoking consent to call you. I will do this at no cost to you.  

  2. Verbally tell the representative that they may no longer call you and that you want them to put that in their call notes. 

  3. Keep a detailed log of the calls.  The log should include time and date of the call, number called, what they said, what you said, and whether the call was through an automated dialing system or left an automated message.  It should be similar to the example below: 
Sample Call Log
 

Entity

Number

Call
Date

Call
Time

Account No.

Automated Dialer or Pre-recorded Voicemail?

Notes

ABC Credit Card Co.

 Ex: 888-555-5555

14-Nov

1:23 PM

12345

Yes. 

There was a 5 second delay before he picked up, which indicated it was an automated dialer. 

Someone called and I answered. I spoke with Bob.  He said I owed them money. I said to quit calling me and that I had a lawyer. I gave him my lawyer's name, phone (904-400-1429) and fax (904-638-8800). He called me a deadbeat.  I hung up.  

 

If you're receiving unwanted calls from Citibank, Citicards, or any other creditor, give Davis Law Firm a call to help you today.  We often take these cases on a contingent fee basis, meaning you don't pay us anything unless we recover money for you.




The Davis Law Firm is located in Jacksonville, Florida and serves clients throughout the states of Florida and Georgia, including Jacksonville, Miami, Pensacola, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, St. Augustine, Fort Myers, Daytona Beach, Panama City, Destin, Melbourne, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Tallahassee, the Florida Keys, and everywhere in between.



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50 N. Laura Street, Suite 2500, Jacksonville, FL 32202
| Phone: 904.400.1429

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