A Florida couple receiving “unrelenting” phone calls from Bank of America was awarded more than $1 million from a federal judge.
Nelson and Joyce Coniglio received 700 collection calls from the bank over a four year period, the New York Post reports.
“They treated us very badly,” Nelson told the Post. “No two ways about it.”
The couple said the bank badgered them after they had gotten behind on their house payments. Even after the Coniglios hired an attorney, the calls kept coming in.
Senior Vice President Dan Frahm said the calls were not to collect debt, but help the couple avoid foreclosure.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that the Coniglios, both 69 and married for 45 years, went to federal court in July to stop the harassment. Three months later they obtained a default judgment when B of A missed the deadline for responding to the complaint.
A family attorney told the Times he wants the bank to pay up right now.
"Unlike Bank of America we're only going to call them once," he said.
The paper said the Coniglios received hundreds of robocalls, sometimes five a day.
"We would be out to dinner and they would ring my mother's cellphone, then they would call my dad's cellphone and then when we got back to the house, there would be another message on the answering machine," said Jason Coniglio, their son.
The son worked as a mortgage broker and tried to help his parents get a loan modification. He struggled to get anyone from Bank of America on the phone, the Times said.
The two sued under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and was awarded the large sum. The damages were tripled from the bank’s $500 per call.
"The borrowers, the people who own those phones, you do have a right to privacy. And when they say to stop, you have to stop," the Coniglios' attorney, David Mitchell, told the paper.
Bank of America asked the court to reconsider the award, but the judge rejected the appeal.
The Tampa Bay Times said Nelson Coniglio pleaded guilty in 1999 to federal charges for piloting drugs and money to a Tampa ring operating in Columbia.