In March of 2017 a Chicago woman filed a class action suit against Comenity Bank for making repeated and harassing calls to her cellular phone, using an automatic dialer, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The woman alleges in her complaint that the repeated calls caused her to incur charges and continued after she requested that they stop. The suit was filed in the Northern District of Illinois and has been certified for class action. This is not the first time Comenity Bank has been sued for violations of the TCPA; in 2014 the company settled a class action suit filed under the TCPA for $8.5 million. Another suit, filed in the Southern District of Illinois by Cathy Castic in March of 2019, alleges that the company is still using automatic dialers to harass consumers and that it called her no less than 500 times over a period of seven months. This lawsuit was settled shortly after it was filed. Suits have also been filed against Comenity Bank for violations of the TCPA in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and California.
The TCPA is a federal act passed in 1991 to restrict the use of automatic dialers and artificial or pre-recorded voice messages. Automatic dialers, otherwise known as robocallers, can only be used to call consumers who have consented to the calls and they must provide an automatic opt out mechanism during each call. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals expanded a consumer's right to revoke their consent to being called by robocallers when it issued its opinion in Emily Schweitzer v. Comenity Bank. The Court found here that a consumer may partially revoke consent by asking a company not to call them during certain hours, such as when they are at work. Ms. Schweitzer sued Comenity Bank when its automatic dialers placed over 200 telephone calls to her cellular phone over a five month period after being asked not to call her during work hours.
Who is Comenity Bank?
Comenity Bank is not actually a bank. It is a company that offers credit cards for retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Jared, and Victoria's Secret. If a consumer defaults on their credit card payments, the company begins calling them to collect on the debt. The company is headquartered in Columbus Ohio and has been operating since 1989. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has receive over 2,300 complaints about the company in the last three years. A large majority of the complaints allege that the company misapplied or lost payments made by consumers on their credit cards.
Is Comenity Bank Calling You?
Is Comenity Bank harassing you in an attempt to collect a debt? Contact our office for a free, no obligation case review at 1-800-219-3577.