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TCPA

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) is the primary law in the U.S. governing the conduct of telemarketers. Its primary regulator is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The TCPA restricts the use of dialers, prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages received by cell phones, and the use of fax machines. As such, debt collectors often find themselves restricted in the communication technology they can use, especially when the technology is not explicitly mentioned in the law. For example, until the FCC issued a declaratory ruling in 2008, the ARM industry was tacitly restricted from using autodialer technology to call mobile phones. Similarly, the use of text messaging is currently a legal gray area for debt collectors.

Caution Flag

Another Reason For Collectors To Be Cautious When Calling Consumer Cell Phones

Given the data that must be weighed by a creditor or debt collector in determining where a consumer resides – the area code of the number called, the zip code of the residence of record, any statements by the consumer about his or her place of residence – it is certain that the Discover Consent Order will be the start of yet another flood of consumer lawsuits against the collection industry regarding the calling of consumer cell phones.

webinar

Webinar: What You Need to Know About the FCC’s TCPA Declaratory Rulings

On June 18, the FCC voted on a package of declaratory rulings under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The rulings are designed to close loopholes, provide clarity on how the Commission interprets TCPA, and affirm consumers rights to control the calls they receive. The rulings will have substantial impact on marketing and customer operations […]

Cell Phones

What Debt Collectors Really Need To Know About the FCC Order and the TCPA

The recent order issued by the FCC regarding the TCPA encompasses 138 pages (including hundreds of footnotes) and created an instant tidal wave of questions, comments and uncertainty about the use of telephone technology to contact consumers on mobile phones. After digesting the order, Moss & Barnett attorneys John Rossman and Mike Poncin share what you need to know.

Try again

PayPal Tries To Get User Agreement Right Under New TCPA Ruling

In June, EBay and PayPal revised their user agreements to include a statement related to their ability to communicate with customers via autodialed calls and text messages for various purposes, including collecting a debt. The change raised eyebrows. Yesterday, they tried again, in the wake of the FCC’s release of its TCPA ruling last Friday. But they still may not have gotten it right.