BIG NEWS?: Court Confirms Call Offering Business Loan Does not Trigger FTSA– But Does it Matter Anymore?

So tons of traffic on TCPAWorld right now.

Sure most of it is celebrating the HUGE one year anniversary of Troutman Firm!

But also, TONS of interest in this new amendment in Florida that is likely to gut the FTSA and require consumers to notify robotexters 15 days before suing them. Really interesting stuff. (BTW–sources tell us the Senate is INDEED going to take up the House bill next week so… stay tuned!)

Well a new ruling out this week confirms that the FTSA only applies to calls regarding consumer services and NOT to calls for business purposes. That is big news–IF the amendment doesn’t pass the Senate (and we will know within one week if it does or doesn’t).

In Brown v. Care Front Funding, 2023 WL 3098355 (M.D. Fl. April 6, 2023) the Plaintiff sued complaining of calls offering business loans to her.

The Defendant failed to show up–always a bad idea–and a default was entered. Nonetheless, despite the absence of any defense the Court refused to enter judgment in favor of Plaintiff on the FTSA claim, and the reasoning is important:

Here, the unambiguous language of section 501.059(8)(a), under which Plaintiff has brought Count II, is that it applies only to “telephonic sales calls” made without the called party’s prior written consent. Fla. Stat. § 501.059(8)(a). The statute further unambiguously defines “telephonic sales call” as a telephone call for the purpose of soliciting a sale of any consumer goods or services, soliciting an extension of credit for any consumer goods or services, or obtaining information that will or may be used for the direct solicitation of a sale of consumer goods or services or an extension of credit for such purposes. Fla. Stat. § 501.059(1)(j). The statute similarly unambiguously defines “consumer goods or services” as “real property or tangible or intangible personal property that is normally used for personal, family or household purposes … and any services related to such property.” Id. § 501.059(1)(c). Thus, as written, section 501.059(8 (a) does not apply to telephone calls made for the purpose of soliciting a sale of or extending a line of credit for goods or services that are not “normally used for personal, family, or household purposes.” Id.

This is a really helpful ruling because the wording of 501.059 is not as clear as it should be. Nonetheless at least one court has now held directly that business lending is NOT covered as a telephonic sales call under this section of the FTSA (but beware of 501.603 which has a different (broader) definition of commercial solicitation!)

We will keep a VERY close eye on Florida next week. More to come (and happy weekend!)


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