With Your Help, NCLC is Fighting Robocalls to Cell Phones
Key Consumer Protection Law is Under Siege
Consumer Protection at Risk
NCLC is fighting attempts by big business to take away protections afforded consumers by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA currently prohibits robocalls and texts to cell phones without the consent of the owner.
The debt collection and banking industries, among others, are lobbying the FCC to gut the important consumer and privacy protection and allow wrong number calls to cell phones with impunity. This will subject consumers to intrusive calls and texts meant for the person who previously used the cell phone number. Industry groups also want to limit consumers' ability to stop harassing calls by debt collectors to their cell phones.
NCLC has urged the FCC to require the development of new methodologies - and to use existing technology - to stop these unwanted robodialed calls to cell phones.
Congress passed the TCPA more than 20 years ago to protect consumers from receiving annoying robocalls to cell phones. Such calls invade privacy, disrupt lives, and use up expensive minute and text allowances on cell phones.
Millions of consumers have registered their phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry, signifying their desire to avoid unwanted calls and protect their privacy. Nevertheless, more than 3.7 million Americans reported telemarketing complaints to the FTC in 2013, and more than 2 million of the complaints reported the use of robocalls.
Since consumers are already bombarded with unwanted texts and calls, NCLC fears that weakening the TCPA would only increase the problem.
NCLC is the lead advocate in a coalition of national and state civil rights, community and consumer groups which sent a letter urging the FCC to protect important consumer and privacy protections. NCLC, with the assistance of attorneys from the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), has also filed numerous comments with the FCC in response to industry attempts to weaken the law.
We at NCLC are particularly concerned about the potential impact of weakening the TCPA on our low-income clients, many of whom rely on their cell phones as their primary means of communication, and cannot afford to purchase unlimited minutes.
The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) and The National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) circulated a petition for consumers to send a message to the FCC: More than 25,000 people have signed the petition. Click here to add your name!
No Robocalls to Cell Phones without our Consent
Add your name to the petition
Tell FCC: Don't let debt collectors harass you on your cell phone, burning up your $$ cell phone minutes
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its long-awaited report on forced arbitration this week. The report reinforces the conclusions of AFJ’s short documentary, Lost in the Fine Print: Forced arbitration is a bad deal for consumers, depriving them of the chance to stand up for their rights in court.
Sign the petition to stop forced arbitration today!
Did you know that Wall Street has found a way to cheat, steal, and defraud Americans without ever being held accountable for their actions? It’s called forced arbitration.
Buried in the fine print of many bank and credit terms of service are dangerous forced arbitration clauses that kick cheated consumers out of court and instead funnel them into a secretive dispute mill rigged in favor of Big Banks and predatory lenders. With forced arbitration, corporations have granted themselves a license to steal and evade the law. And they are getting away with it.
But with your help, this can be stopped. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can revoke corporations’ license to steal by stopping the abusive practice of forced arbitration.
Join us in telling the CFPB to put Americans’ financial security above Wall Street profits and stop forced arbitration. Sign the petition to the CFPB today!
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From Rep. Williamson:
Today, the Oregon Senate passed HB 2700—the class action accountability bill— by a vote of 17-13. That means the bill is now headed to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for her signature.
Thanks to your support and the grassroots advocacy of hundreds of other Oregonians, the Legislature voted to close the loophole that allows at-fault corporations to avoid paying the full penalty ordered by a court when they injure or defraud someone.
Because of you, big corporations will no longer be able to duck their responsibilities and avoid paying millions in penalties that they owe Oregon consumers.
I was proud to co-sponsor this bill with my colleague Representative Tobias Read. We are grateful to the 50 courageous legislators in the House and Senate who joined us in voting for HB 2700. These men and women stood up to tough corporate pressure and did the right thing for Oregon families and consumers.
You can thank these pro-consumer legislators by signing our card today.
When Governor Brown signs HB 2700 into law, our state will finally stop letting corporations who injured or ripped off Oregonians off the hook.
In the years ahead, remaining class action funds will go to Legal Aid of Oregon to provide services to needy citizens who cannot afford private lawyers and to appropriate charities designated by the judge in each case.
We hear a lot about elected officials when they disappoint us. I think it’s also important to recognize committed public servants when they do the right thing. . . .
/s/ Representative Jennifer Williamson
Oregon PEN is published by the Oregon Public Empowerment Network LLC, a private "B" Company formed not just to publish Oregon PEN, but also to devote all proceeds above expenses to the support of groups who meet critical needs in Oregon and who are making Oregon better.
The ONLY advice I give away: If you get served with a demand from a lawyer or a summons from a court, CALL A REAL LAWYER
One of the most difficult things I do is explain to people that I can no longer help them, although I could have helped them easily . . . if they had come to me in time. This happens all the time in debt lawsuits where someone sues you and serves you with a summons for a debt you don't (think you) owe.
I think the problem is, we learn a lot of things in life, but so far as I know, nobody in high school teaches you how to deal with the legal system (except to hope that you don't get arrested in your youthful exuberance).
There's way too many possible situations to cover in detail, so let me boil it down for you into one simple, fail-safe rule:
If you get a letter FROM a lawyer or a summons or threatening letter from a court or government agency, call a real, licensed attorney and ask how to respond.
If you instead try to take a crash course on Internet Law School or Facebook Law School or wait until you realize you are in over your head, you may easily wait yourself into a much more expensive or even dangerous class of problem. If you can't afford a complete consultation with an attorney, call the Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 800-42-7636; they offer brief (1/2 hour or so) consults for just $35.
Like bullies and illnesses, lawsuits can be ignored, but they won’t go away. Denise Norton learned this valuable lesson the hard way this week when she found out that a lawsuit she has tried to ignore could wind up costing Norton her North Seattle home. . . .
Right now, Oregon is one of only two states in the nation that returns class action windfalls -- unclaimed damages -- to corporations found liable for wrongdoing by a judge or jury.
So, today, Oregon law lets corporations who injured or ripped off workers keep part of the judgment they were ordered to pay.
HB 2700 closes this outrageous loophole in Oregon law that allows unclaimed funds remaining in class action settlements to be returned to corporations who were found guilty of wrongdoing.
Under HB 2700, unclaimed class action penalties would go to Legal Aid of Oregon to provide services to needy citizens who cannot afford private lawyers and other appropriate charities as designated by the judge in the case -- NOT back to the companies whose wrongdoing required a lawsuit to fix in the first place!
SIGN THE PETITION IN FAVOR OF HB 2700: http://jenniferfororegon.com/petition/