Debt collectors and credit card companies like to claim that even though their computer dialed (or texts) are illegal, you can’t sue unless you actually received the call or read the text, etc. But the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) talks in terms of the bad act — illegally calling or texting or faxing — not the receiving of it.
Just as someone who fires a gun at you can violate the law, even if it doesn’t hit you, when a company uses a robo-dialer to call your cell phone without your express permission, it does not matter whether you answer the phone or not.
The damage is done when the calls are made.
This was recently confirmed by the Georgia Supreme Court which stated that the illegal faxes sent — even if not received — supported damages.
Here’s the bottom line — if you are getting calls from debt collectors or credit card companies or car finance companies — examine your situation to see if the calls are legal or illegal. You can start with this FAQ on calls to cell phones and then meet with a consumer lawyer who does this type of work to see if in your individual situation whether or not the calls are proper.
This will then help you to decide the best course of action for you to take.
If you live in Alabama and want to chat with us give us a call at 205-879-2447 or fill out our online contact form and we will get back with you in 24 hours.