NAFCU urges Congress to address ‘problematic’ TCPA language
WASHINGTON, DC (October 25, 2017) — Today, National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler in a letter reminded lawmakers of the adverse effects some of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) provisions have on the credit union industry. The letter comes a day before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing and review the activities of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
In the letter to subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Ranking Member Michael Doyle, D-Pa., Thaler urged congressional action to “revise the antiquated and problematic language in the TCPA.” Thaler commended the FCC for its efforts to crack down on illegal robocalls but argued the commission’s efforts to modernize the regulation have only made it vaguer, increasing the potential for frivolous lawsuits.
“Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions, so they are not making unlawful calls to their member-owners,” Thaler wrote. “Credit unions are simply attempting to relay important information about their members’ existing accounts, including whether they may have been affected by identity theft or a data breach and what can be done to help them stay protected.”
In July 2015, the FCC released a declaratory ruling and order that provides limited robocall exemptions under the TCPA for financial institutions making free autodialed calls to consumers. NAFCU has mentioned to the FCC on numerous occasions that the order has led to financial institutions ceasing important communications with members about their accounts over fear of inadvertently violating the rule.
In September 2015, NAFCU entered a suit challenging the FCC’s order on TCPA prohibitions on autodialed calls to account holders. Oral arguments were heard in the case last October in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; the court could issue a decision at any time.
For full text of the letter, please click here.
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 www.nafcu.org or @NAFCU on Twitter.