In today’s world, receiving unwanted phone calls from telemarketers and debt collectors has become a common occurrence. While some of these calls may be legitimate, others can be harassing and intrusive, causing significant distress to the recipient. If you are receiving harassing phone calls from a company, you may be wondering if you have any legal recourse. Can you sue the company for harassing phone calls? The answer is yes, but there are certain requirements that must be met.
What is Considered Harassment?
Before we delve into the legalities of suing a company for harassing phone calls, it is essential to understand what constitutes harassment. Harassment can take many forms, including repeated phone calls, threats, abusive language, and unwanted solicitations. If a company is calling you repeatedly, even after you have asked them to stop, this can be considered harassment. Additionally, if the company is using abusive language or threatening you in any way, this is also considered harassment.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal law that was enacted in 1991 to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls. The TCPA prohibits companies from making unsolicited calls to consumers who have not given their express consent to receive them. Additionally, the TCPA requires companies to identify themselves and provide their contact information during the call.
If a company violates the TCPA by making unsolicited calls or failing to identify themselves during the call, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Under the TCPA, you can sue the company for up to $500 per violation. If the company’s actions were willful or knowing, you may be able to sue for up to $1,500 per violation.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
If you are receiving harassing phone calls from a debt collector, you may be protected under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a federal law that regulates the behavior of debt collectors. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are prohibited from using abusive language, making threats, or calling you repeatedly.
If a debt collector violates the FDCPA by engaging in any of these behaviors, you may be able to sue them for damages. Under the FDCPA, you can sue for up to $1,000 in damages, plus any actual damages you suffered as a result of the harassment.
In addition to federal laws like the TCPA and FDCPA, many states have their own laws that protect consumers from harassing phone calls. These laws may provide additional protections or remedies beyond what is available under federal law.
For example, some states have laws that require companies to obtain your express consent before making telemarketing calls. Other states have laws that prohibit companies from calling you before 8 am or after 9 pm. If you are receiving harassing phone calls, it is important to research your state’s laws to see if you have any additional legal options.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you believe that a company has been harassing you with unwanted phone calls, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. To do so, you will need to gather evidence of the harassment, such as call logs or recordings of the calls. You will also need to document any actual damages you suffered as a result of the harassment, such as lost wages or medical bills.
Once you have gathered your evidence, you can file a lawsuit in small claims court or hire an attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf. If you win your case, you may be awarded damages for the harassment, as well as any actual damages you suffered.
Receiving harassing phone calls from a company can be a frustrating and distressing experience. However, if you are being harassed, you do have legal options. The TCPA and FDCPA provide protections for consumers who are receiving unwanted phone calls, and many states have their own laws that provide additional protections. If you are considering filing a lawsuit against a company for harassing phone calls, it is important to gather evidence and document any actual damages you suffered. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to hold the company accountable for their actions and receive compensation for your losses.