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Debt Collector Uses Predictive Dialer to Reclaim Funds

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September 08, 2011

Debt Collector Uses Predictive Dialer to Reclaim Funds

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Predictive dialers can be utilized to promote a product, service or upcoming event getting the message out to a large amount of people quickly. However, sometimes this technology is used for evil instead of good.

According to Courthouse News Services, that is exactly what happened in a recently filed lawsuit in which a debt collection company must go on trial for using a predictive dialer system to call and text consumers. The company, Consumer Portfolio Services, known as an auto-finance lender, placed countless collection calls in an attempt to retrieve unpaid loans.    

Within the federal lawsuit, Roslyn Griffith and Jerret Cain allege that the company contacted their cellphones with multiple calls and text messages, violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act which outlaws companies from utilizing an automatic telephone dialing system such as predictive dialer.

 Consumer Portfolio Services is sticking to its guns, stating that its predictive dialer is not illegal in the slightest. Although the act forbids debt collectors from using all types of technology that can store or produce numbers through use of a random or sequential number generator, Consumer Portfolio Services is claiming that its dialer doesn’t have the ability to complete these functions, Courthouse News Service revealed.

 U.S. District Judge John Grady wrote in a statement, "The dialer automatically dials numbers and routes answered calls to available collectors. Even assuming that CPS's equipment can only function in this way, and cannot generate and dial random or sequential numbers, it is still an 'automatic telephone dialing system.'"

 To find out the ruling of this case and how it could potentially alter the future of the predictive dialer industry, be sure to stay tuned to the predictive dialer channel, exclusively on TMCnet.

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Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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