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Bank of America ordered to pay Florida couple $1M for harassing them with 700 collections robocalls

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A federal judge ordered Bank of America to pay a Florida couple just over $1 million after a company subsidiary harassed them with hundreds of collection calls over a four-year period, ABC News reported.

The judge awarded Nelson and Joyce Coniglio $1,051,000 — roughly $1,500 for each of the 700 automated “robocalls” the Coniglios received after they fell behind on the mortgage for their second home in suburban Tampa. The pre-recorded calls began not long after the bank took over the mortgage in 2009.

“We would be out at dinner and they would ring my mother’s cellphone,” the couple’s son, Jason Coniglio, told the Tampa Bay Times. “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.”

The Coniglios sued the bank in July, arguing that on top of the hundreds of calls, they also received “threatening collection letters asserting false and misleading information.” The suit also said that the calls continued even after the couple asked for them to stop, a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

“If I did what Bank of America did, I’d probably be behind bars,” Joyce Coniglio told WTSP-TV.

The bank defended its actions in a statement to ABC News, saying it was trying to help the couple avoid foreclosure.

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“Because our calls were not answered and our efforts to help the Coniglios avoid foreclosure were urgent, these calls continued,” Senior Vice President Dan Frahm said. “We are committed to help homeowners in need of assistance avoid foreclosure.”

ABC reported that Bank of America was ordered to pay $32 million last September in another settlement involving a class action suit filed by 7.7 million customers over “robocalls.” And the bank was forced to fire a collection company based out of Texas in 2010 after ABC reported that it used profanities and racial slurs while contacting lenders.

Watch ABC’s report on the Coniglios’ court victory, as aired on Thursday, below.


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Trump’s only winning strategy is to tear down Democrats — because he has nothing to promote: MSNBC panel

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President Donald Trump has little to promote for 2020, so political analysts on MSNBC think that he'll likely spend the campaign working to tear everyone else down.

Howard Fineman noted that if Trump intends to do a "tear down" campaign, the most important things Democrats will have are policy proposals to set themselves apart from a White House that is unwilling to pass anything through Congress.

"It's just a question of can he do what he did in 2016 and 2018, which was, frankly, mobilize voters in a fear-tactic kind of way," said Fineman during Monday's "Meet the Press."

Host Kasie Hunt said that it seems the new Trump poll numbers show that his base is losing enthusiasm as they go into the election.

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Trump being a ‘compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus’ is why he failed on Iran: Conservative columnist

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President Donald Trump's highly-criticized decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has resulted as was warned, with the country reviving its nuclear program, a conservative columnist explained in The Washington Post on Monday.

Conservative Max Boot took a victory lap in the hard-hitting column, reminding that he had signed a March 2016 letter by 121 Republican foreign policy analysts warning about Trump's approach.

"I wish we had been wrong, but we were all too right," Boot wrote.

"Trump has shown no ability to grow in office; but then it’s hard to learn if you all you read is Fox News chyrons. He is today the same compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus he was at the start of the 2016 campaign," Boot said. "Only now, the stakes are much higher."

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Congress needs to ‘follow the rubles’ on Trump: Oversight congressman

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told host Wolf Blitzer that Congress needs to "follow the rubles" on Trump to find out why he expresses an affinity for Russia to the point of contradicting U.S. national security interests.

"As you know, The New York Times is reporting that President Trump is being largely kept in the dark by his own administration about cyberweapons being developed for use against Russia's infrastructure as a warning to the Russians not to use their cyber warfare capabilities against America's power grid and America's infrastructure," said Blitzer. "What national security concerns does this raise, the president not being fully informed about what is going on?"

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