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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.


Did the FCC Even Consider the Thousands of Responses to its Rulemaking Proposal?

Last Friday, Tom Wheeler, Chairman of The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a blog entitled “Cutting off Robocalls.” The portion of the piece that has received the most media attention was this: “In regard to the Commission’s expectations that carriers respond to consumers’ blocking requests, I have sent letters to the CEOs of major wireless and […]


Minnesota’s Automatic Dialing Statute: You May be Liable for Calling a Wrong Number in Minnesota

All debt collectors and others who call Minnesota telephone lines using a prerecorded or synthesized voice message with an auto dialer should know about the Minnesota Automatic Dialing-Announcing Devices statute, Minn. Stat. § 325E.26, et seq. (“ADAD Act”). In short, the Minnesota statute provides that if you call a Minnesota telephone line – residential or […]


$9.25 Million TCPA Class Action Settlement by American Express Preliminarily Approved in Illinois Federal Court

On July 6, 2016 a federal judge in Illinois gave initial approval to a $9.25 million settlement between American Express Co., American Express Centurion Bank (together AmEx), and consumers who said the company made illegal debt collection calls and telemarketing calls to their cell phones. This case is the third significant TCPA class action settlement insideARM has reported on in the last 10 days.


TCPA Defendant Can’t Compel Arbitration Based on Provision in “Terms of Use” Published on Website

Yesterday, a California federal judge ruled that Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (DSG) can’t compel arbitration of a consumer’s proposed class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because the consumer wasn’t aware of an arbitration provision published in the DSG’s website’s “Terms of Use.”