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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

District court allows class autodialer claims to proceed against mortgage lender

Courts Class Action Mortgages TCPA Autodialer

Courts

On May 18, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan denied a request to dismiss a putative class action concerning alleged violations of the TCPA, ruling that the plaintiff plausibly alleged the mortgage lender (defendant) sent unsolicited texts through the use of an automatic telephone dialing system (autodialer). The plaintiff claimed, among other things, that (i) the texts came by way of SMS short codes, which are “reserved for automatically made text messages”; (ii) the messages were generic and non-personal; (iii) the messages followed a similar calling pattern; and (iv) the plaintiff continued to receive them after opting out. The defendant countered that the claims should be dismissed because the plaintiff’s argument is “devoid of plausible allegations” under the TCPA that it used an autodialer that has the capacity to produce telephone numbers using a random or sequential number generator. However, the court determined that, in the absence of direction from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit “as to the kind of supporting factual allegations that must be included to sufficiently allege the [autodialer] element of a TCPA case,” the court will follow other district courts that have allowed TCPA suits to continue if the plaintiff sufficiently alleges facts to plausibly support a finding that an autodialer was used.

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