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Court to Hear TCPA Oral Arguments Next Week
Thursday, October 13, 2016 6:50 AM

Oral arguments begin Oct. 19 in the case brought against the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) July 2015 order that creates onerous restrictions for contacting members, for credit unions subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). That order has created ambiguity about what is considered an automatic dialing system, and has been followed by confusing guidance about requirements for calling reassigned phone numbers, on how consumers can revoke consent, and on making free-to-end user calls.

CUNA joined this case by filing a joint amicus brief last December with other financial services groups. CUNA has serious concerns that the FCC order has impeded credit unions’ ability to communicate important information to their members, including relevant, timely account information.

The compliance concerns associated with the order have been exacerbated by conflicting guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which encourages increased communication with consumers.

CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan said, “As other regulators, including the CFPB, have recognized, early communication with financially distressed members can help them resolve issues with the necessary information and financial education they need, more quickly, which can help them avoid additional costs or unnecessary burden.”

CUNA and Cornerstone support the concept of preserving consumers’ rights to privacy on their cell phones and protecting financial information; however, the FCC order goes far beyond the scope or purpose of the TCPA.

The TCPA was enacted into law more than two decades ago in 1991, during a time when cell phones were considered a luxury item and smartphones were still years away from production. The act needs to be modernized because it disregards consumers’ preferences to use new technologies and modern forms of communication, CUNA argues.

Since the FCC issued its order, CUNA has:

  • Written to Congress numerous times with its TCPA concerns; 
  • Outlined credit union concerns to the National Credit Union Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau;
  • Met with the FCC to discuss concerns;
  • Hosted a webinar on potential issues for credit unions; and
  • Requested congressional oversight and hearings to be held on this matter. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology conducted hearings, in which committee members raised concerns aligned with CUNA’s and CUNA submitted a letter for the hearing’s record.

In addition, Cornerstone has:

  • Conducted audio conferences on the TCPA impact.
  • Discussed the issue in-depth with credit unions at Cornerstone Road Shows, during compliance session.

Want to learn more? Attend a Cornerstone Road Show in November.