January 09, 2020

NAFCU shares credit union TCPA concerns with FCC, reiterates need for clarity

dan and o'reilly
NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger  with FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly

In a follow-up to a meeting with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael O' Rielly, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger reiterated NAFCU's call for guidance and relief under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and shared concerns from member credit unions in a letter sent Wednesday.

Last week, President Donald Trump signed legislation expanding the FCC's enforcement authority over violations of the TCPA and requiring voice services providers to authenticate and block illegal robocalls. 

"NAFCU continues to hear concerns regarding the current unclear TCPA landscape, which poses operational challenges and the potential for costly litigation," wrote Berger. "As the goal of eliminating illegal robocalls gains more attention in Congress, NAFCU urges the FCC to continue to lead in efforts to delineate between illegal robocalls and legitimate communications by providing callers with clarity under the TCPA."

Berger highlighted that one of the major concerns among credit unions is the difficulty in implementing procedures to contact members that would not violate regulations under the TCPA, including issues related to the definition of an autodialer.

"Credit unions, as member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institutions, always put their members first and work hard to provide their communities with key financial products and services," he added. "However, growing litigation has had a chilling effect on helpful, time-sensitive communications with members, while leaving fewer resources for credit unions to provide necessary services to their local communities."

NAFCU has actively worked with the FCC on efforts to modernize the TCPA for more than three years, and will continue its advocacy to ensure credit unions can contact their members regarding important, time-sensitive information, without fear of frivolous litigation.

Additionally, NAFCU previously joined with several other trade groups to recommend that the FCC direct voice service providers to notify callers and consumers of blocked calls and remove erroneous blocks expeditiously in order to receive safe harbor protection.

The association has also met with staff from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai's office and the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Office.