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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.

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Neustar Announces Intention to Separate into Two Independent Publicly Traded Companies

Last week Neustar, Inc. (NYSE:NSR) announced that it will separate into two independent and publicly traded companies. One company will consist of the majority of Neustar’s Information Services, while the other will focus on providing Order Management & Numbering Services, including NPAC (Number Portability Administration Center).  Lisa Hook, currently President and Chief Executive Officer of […]


How the FCC Misinterpreted Congress’ Mandate for the TCPA Debt Collection Exemption

Last year, the TCPA statute was amended allowing an exemption for calls made to collect a debt owed to the United States. The amendment also directed the FCC to develop rules that “may restrict or limit the number and duration of calls made to a number assigned to a cellular phone service.” …But there are two possible interpretations of “duration of calls.”


ConServe Submits Thoughtful Response to FCC Request for Comments on TCPA Exception for Government Debts

Last week, ConServe, a leading private collection agency and federal contractor that provides services to the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Treasury, filed comments to the FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking TCPA. The comments were thorough and well-reasoned. Unfortunately, the deck at the FCC is likely stacked against collectors.


FCC Announces Anticipated Renewal Of Its Consumer Advisory Committee And Solicits Applications For Membership On The Committee

Through a public notice yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the anticipated renewal of its Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) and solicited applications for membership, subject to renewal of the Committee’s charter. It is expected that the two-year membership term on the Committee, would commence on October 22, 2016. Applications for membership are due by 11:59 P.M., […]


State Court Opinion in TCPA Class Action Lawsuit Takes TCPA to Task; And Includes Interesting Insurance Sub-plot

Court: “This case is typical of the TCPA class action cases… members received notice of the settlement more than five years after receiving the unsolicited fax, making the likelihood of filing a claim very low. In this appeal, which consists of a 12-volume record and 120 pages worth of briefs… the only ones who stand to reap any significant benefit from a favorable outcome are the attorneys for the class.”


The Senate Takes a Close Look at the TCPA

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill held a passionate debate about “robocalls” on Wednesday, during a hearing about the effectiveness of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). We predicted that it would be “fascinating,” and it certainly turned out that way. At the Senate Commerce Committee’s “The Telephone Consumer Protection Act at 25: Effects on […]