Audet & Partners, LLP reports that Wells Fargo NA has agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle class action claims that the bank illegally called customers on their cell phones in the process of debt collection. Lead plaintiff Lillian Franklin had brought the lawsuit against Wells Fargo in August 2014 alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California claimed that Wells Fargo had repeatedly dialed the cell phone number of Ms. Franklin in 2010 apparently to collect a credit card debt. Under the TCPA, companies are prohibited from using “autodialers” – electronic devices that can randomly generate and call phone numbers with prerecorded messages – in addition to contacting individuals on cell phones in the absence of customer consent.
Violations of the TCPA may cost companies $500 per violation, or $1,500 if such violation is deemed “willful.” By settling the TCPA lawsuit, Wells Fargo has avoided more extensive damages if it were found that an “autodialer” was used and/or if the alleged TCPA violations were found to be willful.
If you believe that you have been contacted by a company on your cell phone, either in a voice call or text message, and did not consent to such contact, you are urged to contact a TCPA attorney at Audet & Partners, LLP for a free, confidential case evaluation. You can request a consultation either by calling (800) 965-1461, or by completing and submitting our online inquiry form on the right side of this page.