Computer-Based Phone System Does Not Violate TCPA Prohibitions on Use of Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems

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The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has agreed with the Northern District of Illinois’s reasoning in Arora v. Transworld Systems Inc., 2017 WL 3620742 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 23, 2017), and found that a loan servicer’s use of a computer-based phone system to contact an individual’s cell phone without permission does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227, prohibition on the use of Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (“ATDS”). The plaintiff in Ferrer v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, 2018 WL 582584 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 25, 2018) alleged that Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC’s (“Bayview”) calls to her cell phone after she revoked consent constituted prohibited use of an ATDS pursuant to the TCPA.

The TCPA defines an ATDS as equipment that can store or produce phone numbers to be called and dial those numbers. Bayview submitted evidence that its system merely allowed “a user to dial phone calls using a computer keyboard and mouse,” and that the user must manually dial a call. The system could not make a call without human input, and could not “dial predictively, store, or produce telephone numbers independently.” While Bayview may have used an ATDS to make calls to other numbers belonging to the Plaintiff, those numbers were not cell phone numbers for which Plaintiff was charged, and therefore did not fall under the TCPA’s prohibitions. Because all of Bayview’s calls to the Plaintiff’s cell phone were made on a system that was not an autodialer, and because all such calls required human intervention, the Court granted summary judgment to Bayview.

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