First Major Regulatory and Legislative Victory of 2005 for Creditors and Consumers

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collectors are not allowed to disclose a consumers past due debt to anyone other than the debtor and in some cases a spouse. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act would have required collectors to identify the registered name of their business in any pre-recorded messages to consumers or debtors. Since the name of many collection agencies indicates that they are a debt collection agency or that they are calling for the purpose of collecting a debt, this would have caused them to violate the FDCPA. The TCPA creates unworkable contradictions with collectors and creditors who are following the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 was created in response to consumer concerns about the growing number of unsolicited telemarketing calls to their homes and the increasing use of automated and prerecorded messages. The FCC has rules to aid consumers who wish to limit these uninvited calls. On June 26, 2003, the FCC revised its rules implementing the TCPA and established, in coordination with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a national do-not-call registry.

The term “telephone solicitation” does not include calls or messages placed with the receiver’s prior expressed permission, by or on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization, or from a person or organization with which the receiver has an established business relationship, such as a creditor or a collection agency. An established business relationship exists if you have made an inquiry, application, purchase, or transaction regarding products or services offered by the person or entity involved. Consumers, who add their number to the Do Not Call list, will not stop collection calls. This will only stop unsolicited telemarketing calls.

Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be reducing the abuse of the legal system through frivolous lawsuits. Also, the U.S. Senate approved a bill to reform class litigation. ACA International has been instrumental in getting these changes made. ACA International has used its over 5,300 members to help build support for this bill in order to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits filed against companies and collection agencies including ACA members.

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