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On a do not call list? Yes, telemarketers trying to buy your home are likely violating the law

Unless there is a previous business relationship, the telephone consumer protection act protects you from telemarketers trying to sell or buy.

PHOENIX — An unprecedented housing market may have your phone blowing up from an unprecedented amount of calls.

However, are those unwanted calls legal if you are on the do not call list?

THE QUESTION:

Mel Knoy asks: “If I'm on the “national do not call registry” but get unsolicited calls from people wanting to buy my house. Are they breaking the law?”

THE SOURCES:
-John Sud with the Rose Law Group
-The Telephone Consumer Protection Act

THE ANSWER:
Yes, unless there is a prior business relationship, calls to buy your home violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

WHAT WE FOUND.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act passed decades ago, is what protects unwanted telemarketers.

The law makes it at least a $500 penalty for violations of telemarketers calling those on the national do not call registry.

“If they are calling to sell you something or offer you a sales pitch, then they are not protected,” John Sud, with the Rose Law Group, said.

While certain groups like political campaigns and charities are exempt from those rules, those trying to buy your home are not.

As soon as a telemarketer starts a business transaction, that's when a violation occurs. “Once they start pitching you, that’s when they leave the safe harbor,” Sud said.

Sued said that a business pitch makes it an “unsolicited advertisement” unless there is a prior business relationship.

The prior business relationship could be you inquiring with a company. If you are called and are on a registry, you can try to get them for a $500 violation.

“You can either send an email or file an electronic complaint, or you can call and the FTC will investigate any number,” Sud said.

The FTC has recovered nearly $180 million in civil penalties for violations from telemarketers. In many cases, these telemarketers count on you hanging up and never reporting them.

“Inaction is a huge issue because if you aren’t willing to do anything, they will continue to do it. They need a reason to stop doing it,” Sud said.

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