NAFCU, trades petition FCC for autodialer clarifications

WASHINGTON, DC (May 4, 2018) — The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) today, along with more than a dozen  other trade associations, petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) definition of automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS).

NAFCU has engaged on this issue since the FCC issued the declaratory ruling, entering into ACA’s suit in September 2015. The association has consistently sought clarification related to the law as credit unions have ceased important communications with members about their accounts over fear of inadvertently violating the rule.

The petition comes as a result of the March decision in the ACA International v. FCC lawsuit in which the court invalidated the FCC’s definition of “autodialer” and rejected the commission’s interpretation of when a caller violates the TCPA by calling a reassigned number. The lawsuit stemmed from a declaratory ruling and order the FCC issued in July 2015 providing limited exemptions under the TCPA for financial institutions making free autodialed calls to consumers.

In the petition, the groups request that the FCC issue a declaratory ruling to:

  • confirm that to be an ATDS, equipment must use a random or sequential number generator to store or produce numbers and dial those numbers without human intervention; and
  • find that only calls made using actual ATDS capabilities are subject to the TCPA’s restrictions.

NAFCU joined with other financial services trade groups last month to highlight some of the unintended consequences of the TCPA’s vague language as the Senate Commerce Committee and House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection held hearings on combatting illegal robocalls.


The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions is the only national trade association focusing exclusively on federal issues affecting the nation’s federally-insured credit unions. NAFCU membership is direct and provides credit unions with the best in federal advocacy, education and compliance assistance. For more information on NAFCU, go to or @NAFCU on Twitter.


Molly Safreed, (NAFCU)

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