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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.

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ARM Firms Should Not Be Deceived by TCPA Victories

Debt collectors breathed a collective sigh of relief after the Eleventh Circuit reversed a district court ruling in the Mais case. Coupled with the FCC’s seemingly business-friendly declaratory rulings of GroupMe and Cargo Airline Association, matters appear to be on the upswing for creditor representatives with regard to the TCPA. But don’t be deceived: the relief brought by the positive developments must be tempered by the amicus curiae brief filed by the FCC in a case involving a collector.