The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must tailor its broadly written regulations in order to separate bad actors who are harassing consumers with unwanted and potentially harmful robocalls from good actors like credit unions contacting their members with valuable information on their existing accounts.
As community-based, member-owned financial institutions, credit unions play no part in illegal communications and are not the type of entity the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was intended to target. Over the years, the FCC has created a regulatory labyrinth that has enriched plaintiffs’ attorneys and hurt credit unions attempting to make legitimate and useful informational calls. Credit unions deserve relief so that they may contact their members about important information regarding their accounts without a high risk of facing frivolous lawsuits.
How This Impacts You
The FCC's July 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order (2015 Order) provided very limited exemptions to the TCPA for financial institutions making free autodialed calls to consumers. This Order also caused many credit unions to cease important communications with members over fear of inadvertently violating the rule. Recently, the D.C. Circuit decided a lawsuit challenging this 2015 Order and held the FCC's interpretations of several issues to be invalid. This provides credit unions with some relief, but the FCC must now move forward with issuing new guidance and interpretations of the TCPA. NAFCU will continue to urge the FCC to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to rulemaking that does not exempt good actors making calls consumers actually want to receive.
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