Capital One and three collection agencies agreed to pay $75 million to settle class-action claims that they called people on their mobile devices without consent. It's the largest cash settlement in the 22-year history of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Under the no-fault pact, Capital One will contribute $72.5 million to a settlement fund. AllianceOne Receivables Management Inc. will pay $1,434,672; Leading Edge Recovery Solutions LLC will pay $996,205; and Capital Management Systems LP will pay $24,220.
The companies were charged with using autodialers and/or pre-recorded messages in calls to cell phones without the consumers' express consent. They admit no wrongdoing in the settlement. Up to 30% (an estimated $22.5 million) of the settlement will pay the consumers' attorneys with the five lead plaintiffs in the class-action suit receiving less than $5,000 each.
Capital One has reportedly changed its business practices since the claims surfaced. "Capital One has developed and implemented significant enhancements to its calling systems designed to prevent the calling of a cellular telephone with an autodialer unless the recipient of the call has provided prior express consent," according to the proposed agreement.
The settlement, approved this week, was filed in mid-July in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, reported BloombergBNA.
AllianceOne Receivables, based in Eagan, Minn., was recently in the news in April after agreeing to pay a civil penalty of $21,412 in North Carolina to refund processing fees. The agency did not acknowledge violating any laws but agreed to stop collecting the fees.