Bank of America just reached a record settlement in a case where it was accused of sending harassing debt collection “Robocalls” to customers’ cell phones. The $32 million settlement includes a provision directing Bank of America to desist from calling its clients’ cell phones without prior approval which may affect 7.7 million credit card holders and mortgage loan customers. Sallie Mae held the previous settlement record ($24 million) for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

This law, enacted in 1991, makes offending business’ liable to a $500 penalty per illegal call and $1500 penalty for willfully violating the law.  Make sure your home phone and cell phones are registered with the National Do Not Call Registry (US). Then, if you feel a company is violating your rights, take the time to get as much information as to who is calling you, for which company, as well as the time and date of the call.

You should be aware of the existence of  a number of statutes protecting the consumer, including the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, Consumer Protection Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act and, of course, the aforementioned Telephone Consumer Protection Act.