UPDATED: Consumer Groups Band Together in Support of HANGUP Act

Maureen Mahoney
Public Policy Fellow

Monday, November 2nd, 2015
woman on phone at computer

Update: Senators Markey (D-MA), McCaskill (D-MO), Wyden (D-OR), Menendez (D-NJ), Blumenthal (D-CT), Leahy (D-VT), Warren (D-MA), Sanders (I-VT), Franken (D-MN), Klobuchar (D-MN), and Baldwin (D-WI) have signed on to co-sponsor the HANGUP Act. We’ll update here as more endorsements come in.

Today, almost twenty national consumer groups joined forces to stop debt collectors from robocalling your cell phone.

As we wrote last week, the just-signed federal budget contains a clause that allows debt collectors to robocall federal debtholders without permission. But there’s still hope to stop these calls: on Wednesday, a group of Senators will introduce the HANGUP Act, which restores consumer protections against debt collection robocalls and texts to cell phones.

And now, national consumer groups, including Consumers Union, NCLC, Consumer Action, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Consumer Federation of America, and US PIRG, are throwing their weight behind the measure.  In a new letter, we urge Senators to co-sponsor the HANGUP Act to help ensure its quick approval.

Weakening cell phone rules could hurt millions of consumers, and not just debt holders. According to the letter, by watering down robocalls rules, the budget bill “would also allow robocalls to borrowers’ relatives, their references, as well as any unrelated person who has the reassigned cellphone number of these parties.”

You’ve told us that you need more – not fewer – restrictions on robocalls. In just the last week alone, over a thousand consumers like you have contacted us to tell us how they’ve been bothered by robocalls. David of Easton, MD, says:

“We got a robocall from a debt collector two days ago.  When we called back they asked for someone who has nothing to do with us.  I verified the number is ours, but we do not know this person. This is the type of thing that will snag us into constant robocalls if this wrong number persist on collectors records.”

It’s time to tell Congress that you won’t stand for robocalls. Click here to tell your Senators to co-sponsor the HANGUP Act!

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3 responses to “UPDATED: Consumer Groups Band Together in Support of HANGUP Act”

  1. John Stach says:

    Why is it we never can find out who the politicians who are responsible for adding these amendments are? If they are bold enough to write them into these bills then they should have enough backbone to claim them.

  2. Kenney says:

    i sent my Senator the request to support the Hang Up Act. Usually i try to abbreviate messages i have access to alter. This particular message regarding this issue, i thought was a bit demanding and possibly rude, and i tried to soften my message to a suggestion or a hope for action by my senator, and added “Please…” at the end to the demand made at the end of your message which was fixed.

    idk, have you found being pushy works in persuading members of Congress to support goals you wish to see realized? Cordially, kK

    • Maureen Mahoney says:

      Thanks, Kenney! We appreciate you taking the time to put your own personal touch on the email – it really makes a difference!

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