Consumer Protection and Debt Collection Defense
Even technical violations of a consumer protection statute can wipe out a company. The lawyers at Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge are experienced not only in defending against these claims, but on providing preventative counseling to avoid any technical violations in the first instance.
Consumer protection lawsuits are often brought under federal statutes such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCP.A”), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACT.A”), and the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”). These statutes contain numerous requirements and restrictions that many businesses may not be aware of. At Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge, we regularly provide preventative counseling to our clients to ensure they’re properly educated on the statutory requirements and that processes designed to avoid violations are implemented.
The consequences of not following the statutory requirements can be catastrophic. Even when violations of these statutes may be unintended and even when the violations don’t cause any harm, a business can still be subject to statutory damages. For instance, marketing text messages or telephone calls may violate the TCPA, which carries with it statutory damages of $500 (or as much as $1500) per violation. If hundreds or thousands of calls or texts were sent, the damages can quickly become astronomical and annihilate a business. Recent consumer protection cases have settled for as much as $11M, $16.5M, $32M, $40M $75.5M, and $112.5M. Very few companies can withstand these types of damages, or anywhere close.
It may seem obvious, but the best way to avoid large statutory penalties is to avoid statutory violations. We work with our clients on the front-end to educate them on the statutory requirements and restrictions, train employees and contractors, and write internal policies and procedures—all designed to prevent violations in the first place. Ultimately, if a violation occurs and a lawsuit is filed, the lawyers at Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge have had great success defending against these claims and avoiding large statutory damages.
Whether it’s through preventative counseling or litigation, a successful defense requires counsel to have deep knowledge of the statutes and the constantly evolving case law interpreting them. We carefully follow this area of law and develop real-time, multi-layered strategies for defending our clients. Whether it’s risk avoidance, defending a single plaintiff case, or defending a massive class action, the lawyers at Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge provide a collaborative, sophisticated, and cutting-edge approach to these cases.