The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency autodialed student debtor, Neil Silver, in January 2014 in an effort to collect on student debt. Silver claimed that these calls were made without his consent, and therefore violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. In February 2014, Silver filed a class action lawsuit against the Education Assistance Agency seeking to represent all those called via an automatic telephone dialing system over the preceding four years.
Over a year after Silver filed his lawsuit, the United States Congress passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 2016. That statute amended the TCPA to provide an exemption for calls made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States.
After Congress amended the TCPA, the Education Assistance Agency filed a motion for summary judgment stating that the new law barred Silver’s claim. Silver objected, arguing that would be an unfair retroactive application of a statute. The Court in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California rejected Silver’s argument. Continue reading this entry