In a case involving alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Midland Credit Management Inc. — a subsidiary of Encore Capital Group, Inc. — and other similar companies have reached an agreement to settle the multi-district litigation against them. According to the complaints, the defendants were accused of violating the TCPA when they tried to contact debtors. The allegations state that the defendants had used automated dialing systems, as well as prerecorded or artificial voices, to call debtors’ cell phones without having their prior express consent.
The multi-district litigation came from three separate lawsuits involving TCPA violations that were filed in 2010 and 2011. On October 11, 2011, the three cases were combined and sent to the Southern District of California Court.
The settlement resulted in a value of more than $20 million to the plaintiffs to be paid by the defendants. This includes the following:
- $13 million credit component – pro rata credits to the accounts of approved claimants
- $2 million cash component – pro rata cash payments to approved claimants without accounts
- Between $3 million and $3.3 million for costs of notice and claims administration
- $2.4 million in attorney’s fees and litigation costs
- $7,500 incentive payments for the three multi-district litigations to be paid through the cash component
According to the claim, the claimants in the United States were all called on their cell phones by either the defendants or their subsidiaries, related, or affiliated companies. These were calls made between November 2, 2006 and August 31, 2014, all using the prerecorded voice messages or autodialers. Final approval of the settlement will be determined at a hearing on August 26, 2016.
Last month was a huge month for TCPA settlements, including a $4.5 million settlement against Citizen’s Bank, a $16.3 million settlement against Wells Fargo, and a $9.25 million settlement against American Express.
Claimants were advised to file their claim by calling a toll-free number. Each of the 329,755 claimants involved will receive roughly $23.49 in cash payments and about $58.84 in credits.
If you believe you have been contacted in a manner that violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, you may be able to take action against the violating party. You have rights and there are regulations prohibiting creditors from contacting you in certain manners and at certain times. When they violate these rights, you may be able to seek compensation. Our Chicago consumer lawyers at Atlas Consumer Law are prepared to meet with you to talk about your potential case.
Contact us today to get started.