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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.


6/18/2015: FCC’s Post-TCPA Decision Press Release

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2015 – The Federal Communications Commission today adopted a  proposal to protect consumers against unwanted robocalls and spam texts. In a package of  declaratory rulings, the Commission affirmed consumers’ rights to control the calls they receive.  As part of this package, the Commission also made clear that telephone companies face no legal […]


Now in the CFPB’s Sights: Collectors Hired by State & Local Government Agencies

These collectors operate outside the purview of the CFPB and with the full authority of those government agencies. These collectors frequently charge exorbitant fees and often hold the ability to effect wage garnishments, arrest, and even foreclosure against consumers. The consumers most vulnerable economically, are often caught in this cycle compounding the possibility of mistreatment.


Risks, Rather than Rewards, Still the Rule for Text Communications with Consumers

Text messaging is an easy, quick, convenient, and effective means of communication for everyone. Except debt collectors. Texting with consumers opens a deep gulf of compliance issues, regulatory hassles, and pitfalls that are almost certain to end in lawsuits. While there isn’t a clear answer, yet, as to how a collection agency can communicate with […]

Helping Hands

Ontario Systems Announces Follow-up Support for Clients in Wake of Open June 18 FCC Meeting

MUNCIE, Ind. – Ontario Systems, a leading accounts receivable technology and services provider, announced today that it will be supplying a variety of digital media from Chief Compliance Officer Rozanne Andersen after the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) open meeting on June 18, in order to analyze and comment on the proceedings both in real time […]


Graduation: ARM-U 2015 Highlights Need for Regulatory Clarity

Some questions had definite answers from panelists; however, many of the questions highlighted confusion within the laws and regulations themselves. While the FTC requires one thing, the CFPB may require something entirely different — and often contradictory. And because there is little cohesion among state laws, compliance suffers across the board. Still, even recognizing the areas of confusion can help an agency in their compliance plan. Better still, though, would be some kind of definitive answer.