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Primary plaintiffs Antoinette Stansberry and Wesley Thornton filed a class action lawsuit in April of 2016 against NCO Financial Systems for violating several provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The United States Congress passed the TCPA to prevent telemarketers from making annoying phone calls to consumers who never gave consent to receive the telephone calls.
Thornton alleges the unlawful telephone calls began in January of 2009 and continued until near the end of 2011, with as many as seven calls per day coming through his cell phone. Stansberry claimed she received similar calls from NCO Financial Systems that started in 2013. Both primary plaintiffs assert NCO made the phone calls by using automated phone dialing equipment that projected prerecorded messages, which also violates the TCPA.
Both primary plaintiffs state in court documents that they never permitted NCO Financial Systems to dial their cell phone numbers to send automated prerecorded messages. Stansberry and Thornton also charge NCO with acquiring the cell phone numbers through the practice known as skip tracing. Class counsel argued during the initial phase of the class action lawsuit that the telephone calls violated the TCPA.
The terms of the class action settlement mandates NCO to set up an $8 million fund to compensate eligible class members for violating the TCPA, as well as paying for court costs and attorney fees. NCO Financial Systems has also consented to change some parts of the company’s telemarketing program. The company continues to deny all of the allegations and the settlement does not require NCO to admit breaking any provisions of the TCPA.
What You Need To Know
According to court documents, the NCO class action settlement created two subgroups. The injunctive settlement class includes consumers who received telephone calls made by or on behalf of NCO Financial Systems between Jan. 16, 2009 and Aug. 31, 2016. Damages subgroup consumers have to meet one or more criteria, which the class action settlement website www.DebtCallSettlement.com has posted.
The potential award per class member is up to $90. In addition, NCO Financial Systems has agreed to change several policies to comply with the provisions mandated by the injunctive class action settlement. The company must document consumer permission to receive telephone calls, as well as refrain from using an automated dialing system.
Eligible class members have until October 17, 2017 to file a valid claim form. The judge presiding over the case Thornton, et al. v. NCO Financial Systems Inc., Case No. 16 CH 5780, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Chancery Division has scheduled the final hearing on October 26, 2017. Refer to the class action settlement website to learn what transpired during the final hearing.
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