Take Action Today: Tell the FCC to Hold Strong against Debt Collection Robocalls!

Maureen Mahoney
Public Policy Fellow

Monday, January 30th, 2017

It’s deja vu all over again. Student loan servicers and lenders like Navient and Nelnet are pushing back against strong rules against robocalls that you helped implement. They’re trying to get free rein to robocall your cell phone. But you can fight back: tell the FCC that you don’t want these robocalls!

For many years, most robocalls to cell phones had been illegal – which is particularly important, because so many people are charged per call or have limited minutes on their cell plans. But Congress wedged a provision into the 2015 Budget Bill that exempted federal debt collectors, such as Navient, Nelnet, and Great Lakes, from these restrictions. The provision also directed the FCC to issue rules to implement the new measure.

Thanks to 15,000 comments from consumers like you, the FCC passed rules that put important limits on these robocalls:

  • Limited the number of robocalls to three per month per caller;
  • Specified that family, friends, and references of the debtor could not be robocalled without permission; and
  • Gave consumers the right to opt out of the calls at any time.

These rules are one of consumers’ last lines of defense against invasive, disruptive debt collection robocalls. But now, the lenders have filed a petition for reconsideration of these rules. We have until February 1 to submit comments to the FCC, urging them to uphold the rules on debt collection robocalls.

Consumers deserve the right to protect themselves from these robocalls. Timothy, of Danbury, WI told us how debt collection robocalls have impacted his family:

Back in June 2012 the calls from Sallie Mae started coming in it started out with about 5 phone calls a day to my cell phone. . . . It’s madness what these companies put the consumer and their families through, it has to stop, like the 20 phone calls a day that me and my mother were getting while we were both taking care of my dying father, we needed our phones open for emergency services and Sallie Mae diminished this ability, and they didn’t care that they made my dying father’s last days on earth miserable either or that they made it harder for him to breathe by increasing his anxiety.

Click here to submit a comment to the FCC, and tell them you want them to hold strong on robocalls! If possible, please also share a personal story explaining how robocalls have affected you.

You can make a real difference. The FCC specifically mentioned in the original ruling that  comments from consumers were a key factor in their decision to issue very strong rules. Take action today!


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One response to “Take Action Today: Tell the FCC to Hold Strong against Debt Collection Robocalls!”

  1. good morning fcc –

    just do it!

    – rlds


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