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Settlement Highlights Different Costs of Settling FDCPA and TCPA Cases

A recently settled class action is making the rounds in the credit and collection industry as it showcases the vast differences between settling cases alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and those alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

A copy of the final order and judgment in the case of Sheean v. Convergent Outsourcing can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff filed a class-action suit, alleging the defendant contacted him on his cell phone using an automated telephone dialing system where he was not the intended recipient of the call and the calls continued even after he informed the defendant it was calling the wrong number. The suit alleged violations of both the FDCPA and the TCPA.

The TCPA class was defined as anyone: (1) to whom Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. placed, or caused to be placed, a call, (2) by using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice, (3) from November 11, 2016 through February 25, 2019, (4) either (i) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service, but not assigned to the intended recipient of Convergent Outsourcing, Inc.’s calls, or (ii) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service, to which Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. was previously instructed to stop placing calls or informed that the number was a wrong number.

The FDCPA class was defined as anyone: (1) to whom Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. placed, or caused to be placed, a call, (2) from May 15, 2017 through February 25, 2019, (3) and in connection with the collection of a consumer debt, (4) after Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. was instructed to stop placing calls to his or her telephone number or informed that the number was a wrong number.

While the classes are pretty similar, the settlement sizes are not. The defendant was instructed to establish a $40,000 settlement fund to manage the FDCPA claims and a $3.7 million settlement fund to manage the TCPA claims. The named plaintiff will receive $50 from the FDCPA settlement and $4,450 from the TCPA settlement, for essentially the same violations.

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