In Doucette v. GE Capital Retail Bank, 2014 WL 4955675 (D.N.H. 2014), Judge McCafferty dismissed a TCPA claim on the basis that debt collection calls to a residential line were not protected by the TCPA.
GE issued Mrs. Doucette a credit card. She accumulated debt on the card, and then fell behind on her payments. In June of 2013, she “began to receive collection calls” that “were made by NCO in an attempt to collect payment on the [d]ebt” she owed GE. Am. Compl. (doc. no. 13) ¶¶ 18, 20. “In its debt collection efforts, NCO was either acting on behalf of or as an agent [of] or [in the] employ of GE.” Id. ¶ 23. NCO “placed [some of its] Collection Calls using an artificial or prerecorded voice to [the Doucettes’] residential telephone line.” Id. ¶ 104. In Count V of their amended complaint, the Doucettes claim that by placing automated collection calls to their residential phone line, without having gotten their consent to receive such calls, NCO violated 47 U .S.C. § 227(b)(1)(B).. . . Based upon the foregoing, it is clear that the FCC, acting pursuant to its authority under 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(2)(B), has enacted a rule, and has issued several orders, exempting debt-collection calls from the prohibition stated in § 227(b)(1)(B). Because the Doucettes’ TCPA claim is based upon the debt-collection calls they received from NCO, they have failed to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. See Meadows v. Franklin Collection Serv., Inc., 414 F. App’x 230, 235 (11th Cir.2011) (granting debt collector’s motion for summary judgment and holding that “prerecorded debt-collection calls are exempt from the TCPA’s prohibitions on [prerecorded] calls to residences”); Zehala v. Am. Express, No. 2:10–cv–848, 2011 WL 4484297, at *5 (Sept. 26, 2011) (granting motion to dismiss TCPA claim and explaining that “[p]rerecorded telephone calls made for the purpose of debt collection have consistently been found to fit both exemptions for calls not containing ‘unsolicited advertisement or constitute telephone solicitation’ and calls made to a recipient ‘with whom the caller has an established business relationship’ ”) (citation omitted).