Ruling says telemarketers can be sued in federal court

Ruling says telemarketers can be sued in federal court A recent ruling passed down by the U.S. Supreme Court states that telemarketers and other businesses, such as debt consolidation or collection firms, that repeatedly call homes can be sued in state and federal courts.

The decision came as the result of a lawsuit involving a man who was repeatedly harassed by debt collectors with recorded phone calls, according to a report from the Associated Press. The calls came from Arrow Financial Services, which was trying to collect student loan debt for Sallie Mae. The recipient, Marcus Mims of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, sued for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The case was originally thrown out of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the law did not give permission for federal suits, only those in state courts, the report said. However, other courts ruled in favor of Mims and the suit moved forward until it reached the nation's highest court.

Consumers should do all they can to educate themselves about the rights they have when dealing with debt collection firms, which sometimes engage in harassing behavior when trying to collect credit card debt.