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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.

Customer service team working in headsets, woman in front.

Capital One and Three ARM Firms Agree to $75 million TCPA Settlement

In what is being touted as the largest TCPA settlement ever, Capital One and three collection agencies have agreed to pay $75.5 million into a settlement fund to end litigation in a combined class action. The agreement admits no wrongdoing on the part of the companies for allegedly using autodialers and/or pre-recorded messages in calls to cell phones without the consumers’ express consent.

DIANE SAWYER

Debt Collector Opens Its Doors to ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

Gordon Beck, Chief Operating Officer of Diversified Consultants, Inc., based in Jacksonville, Florida, sat for an interview last week with ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. Beck said ABC set out to investigate TCPA lawsuits where companies – including collection agencies – dialed wrong numbers. ABC producers told Beck that he was the only collection agency official that agreed to be interviewed.