In Farrish v. Navy Federal Credit Union, 2017 WL 4418416, at *2–3 (D.Md., 2017), Judge Chasanow dismissed a TCPA claim based on debt collection calls placed by a credit munition because such calls are exempt from the TCPA.
The TCPA prohibits certain problematic telephone solicitation practices. 47 U.S.C. § 227(b). In enacting the TCPA, Congress allowed the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to exempt certain phone calls from the TCPA’s protections. 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(B). Under this authority, the FCC has exempted calls “made for a commercial purpose but do[ ] not include or introduce an advertisement or constitute telemarketing.” 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(a)(3)(iii). This exemption includes “a debt collection call on behalf of the company holding the debt[.]” In the Matter of Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 7 FCC Rcd. 8752, 8773, ¶ 39 (July 26, 1995); Rantz-Kennedy v. Discover Fin. Servs., No. CCB-12-2853, 2013 WL 3167912, *3 (D.Md. 2013) (“Courts interpreting this regulation routinely hold that debt collection calls to residences, even those made to non-debtors, fit within this exemption.”); Worsham v. Acct. Receivables Mgmt., Inc., No. JKB-10-3051, 2011 WL 5873107, *5 (D.Md. Nov. 22, 2011) (“[D]ebt collection calls fit within an exemption to the TCPA’s prohibition on prerecorded messages for calls that do not adversely affect the privacy rights that [the TCPA] is intended to protect and do not include the transmission of any unsolicited advertisement.”).  Here, Plaintiff has alleged that Defendant made calls “stating that [she] owe[d] a balance with them” on her credit card. (ECF No. 20 ¶ 1). A balance on a credit card is the amount of money due on a credit card, and, thus, the identified calls were made to collect a debt. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(5). Therefore, these calls were exempt from the TCPA’s protections. No additional allegations could cure this defect. Thus, Plaintiff’s TCPA claim will be dismissed with prejudice.