Thirty Lawmakers Urge the FCC to Stop Debt Collection Robocalls

Maureen Mahoney
Policy Analyst

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Top lawmakers are showing their support for important protections against debt collection robocalls. Last week, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) submitted a letter to the FCC that offers key backing for important proposals that will help rein in debt collection robocalls, and twenty-nine members of the House and the Senate signed on.

The letter was submitted as the FCC works toward finalizing rules on debt collection robocalls to cell phones. They’re tasked with formulating rules to implement a loophole in the budget bill that allows these calls to collect debt owned by the federal government (such as student debt and tax debt). Last month, the FCC released a proposal that put important protections on debt collectors. It’s now considering thousands of comments that were filed in response to their proposals. Final rules are expected August 2.

The lawmakers’ letter supports the FCC’s proposals to limit the number of debt collection robocalls per month to three; to notify consumers of their rights to opt out of future robocalls – and require companies to honor those requests; and to restrict the robocalls to the debtor, not their family and friends.

The lawmakers also asked the FCC to go further, by clarifying that the calls are only allowed between 8 am and 9 pm; and by placing the protections in the rule itself, so the rules of the road are clear and easily accessible to everyone.

In addition to these lawmakers, over 15,000 consumers like you submitted their own comments to the FCC, explaining why protection from debt collection robocalls are so important to them. Twenty-five state and national consumer groups, including Consumers Union, also submitted joint comments.

We’ll keep a close eye on developments. In the meantime, you can still take action to stop debt collection robocalls to your cell phone. Click here to ask your lawmakers to support legislation that will close the loophole on these calls!

 

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