Monterey Financial Services faces a proposed class action in California over alleged robocalls placed over a debt supposedly owed to timeshare companyWestgate Resorts.
The plaintiff, a Fort Stewart, Georgia resident, claims in the 15-page case that although he initially ignored Monterey’s robocalls when they began in June 2021, supposedly after the man defaulted on histimeshare contract, he began to feel “harassed” and answered one such call the following March, at which time he requested that the calls stop.
Despite the request, Monterey Financial Services continued to call the plaintiff over the alleged Westgate Resorts debt, the suit states.
In the calls that the plaintiff did not answer, the case says, Monterey left voicemail messages that featured an “artificial and/or prerecorded voice.” One message, according to the suit, repeatedly stated Monterey’s number:
“This is Monterey Financial Services with an important message. This is an attempt to collect a debt. Please do not erase this message until you call us at 877-444-9967. Again, that number is 877-444-9967. Thank you.”
According to the complaint, it was clear to the plaintiff that Monterey’s collection calls featured a fake voice in that each voicemail he received was “precisely the same duration,” and the voice was “monotone and conspicuously not the voice of a live representative.” Moreover, the callers never identified themselves by name, and none of the voicemails identified the plaintiff by his name, the lawsuit says.
Additionally, some of the robocalls placed by Monterey failed to disclose that the company was a debt collector attempting to collect a debt, a requirement of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, according to the case.
“In total,” the lawsuit says, “Defendant has placed no less than fifteen (15) robocalls to Plaintiff’s cellular phoneafterPlaintiff requested that Defendant cease its calls.”
The allegedly harassing robocalls invaded the plaintiff’s privacy and have caused “actual harm,” the suit contends.
The case looks to represent:
“All individuals in the United States (1) to whom Defendant or a third party acting on Defendant’s behalf, placed, or caused to be placed, a call; (2) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service; (3) using an artificial or prerecorded voice; (4) without his/her consent; (5) within the four years preceding the date of this Complaint through the date of class certification.”
The lawsuit also looks to cover:
“All individuals in the United States (1) that received a voicemail from Defendant;(2) within the one (1) year preceding the filing of this Complaint and during its pendency; (3) in connection with the collection of a consumer debt; (d) in which Defendant failed to identify itself as a debt collector attempting to collect a debt.”
The case alleges Monterey Financial Services violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by repeatedly placing automated robocalls to the plaintiff without first securing prior express written consent to do so.
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