In Lee v. Wells Fargo Home Mortg., 2013 WL 6561783 (W.D.Va. 2013), Judge Moon found a autodialed debt collection calls to a land-line barred by an existing business relationship.
Finally, Plaintiff claims Defendant violated 47 U.S.C. § 227 of TCPA. Section 227(b)(1)(B) of the TCPA prohibits using an automated telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) to initiate any telephone call to any residential tel-ephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express con-sent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes or is exempted by rule or order by the [Federal Communications] Commission under paragraph (2)(B). 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(B) (emphasis added). The Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) has exempted from the TCPA calls “made to any person with whom the caller has an established business relationship at the time the call is made.” 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(a)(2)(iv). Regulations by the Com-mission also exempt calls “made for a commercial purpose” that do not “include or introduce an unsolicited advertisement or constitute a telephone solicitation.” 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(a)(2)(iii). ¶ Both of these exceptions apply to creditors’ debt collection calls. The Commission has explicitly noted that “prerecorded debt collection calls would be exempt from the prohibitions on such calls to residences as: (1) calls from a party with whom the consumer has an established business relationship, and (2) commercial calls which do not adversely affect privacy rights and which do not transmit an unsolicited advertisement.” In the Matter of Rules & Regulations Implementing the Tel. Consumer Prot. Act of 1991, 7 FCC Rcd. 8752, 8773 ¶ 39 (October 16, 1992). Additionally, the Commission has noted “all debt collection circumstances involve a prior existing business relationship.” Id. at 8771–72 ¶ 36. The Eleventh Circuit found the Commission’s regulations exempted a debt collection agency from the TCPA because the agency “had an existing business relationship [with the debtors], and the calls were made for a commercial, non-solicitation purpose.” Meadows v. Franklin Collection Serv., Inc., 414 F. App’x 230, 235 (11th Cir. Feb. 11, 2011) (unpublished). ¶ I find the TCPA does not apply to Defendant’s calls to Plaintiff, for two reasons. First, it had an established business relationship with Plaintiff because Plaintiff owed it a debt. Second, Defendant’s attempts to collect by calling Plaintiff at her residential phone number were made for a commercial, non-solicitation purpose.FN4 Two courts in the Eastern District of Virginia have agreed with this analysis, and one was summarily affirmed by the Fourth Circuit. In Gray v. Wittstadt Title & Escrow Co., LLC, a district court found that 209 calls made over the course of a year, to a plaintiff from a bank holding the plaintiff’s mortgage debt, did not violate the TCPA. The court found that “calls made by a party attempting to collect a debt owed to it are exempt from the TCPA.” Gray v. Wittstadt Title & Escrow Co., LLC, No. 4:11–CV–111, 2011 WL 6139521, at *4 (E.D.Va. Nov. 28, 2011), aff’d per curiam, 475 F. App’x 461 (4th Cir. Aug. 20, 2012). The court dismissed the pro se plaintiff’s TCPA claim under Rule 12(b)(6). Id. See also Clayton v. Aaron’s Inc., No. 3:13–CV–219, 2013 WL 3148174, at *2 (E.D. Va. June 19, 2013) (sending text messages for the purpose of collecting a consumer debt were found to be activity “exempt from the TCPA” and plaintiff’s TCPA claims were dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6)). I find this analysis persuasive and likewise dismiss Plaintiff’s TCPA allegations as failing to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6).