Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Lawmakers Fight to Close Robocall Debt Collection Loophole

Federal lawmakers are attempting to close a recently opened loophole that allows the federal government to automate unwanted, even incorrect debt collection calls to consumers.  This all started in late 2015, when an addition to a budget bill amended the existing telecommunications law allowing robocalls “made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States.”

Sen. Ed Markey (MA) is attempting to put an end to this with the HANGUP Act of 2017, which would close the debt-collection loophole opened by the 2015 budget bill.

The proposed legislation goes a step further,“walking back” the FCC’s July 2016 “Broadnet” decision, in which the Commission ruled that anyone in the federal government, including contractors, could send out robocalls, so long as the automated calls explicitly involve government business.

Senator Markey argues that the intention of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which limits the use of robocalls, is clear: “consumers should not be subject to unwanted robocalls and robotexts on their phones. But recent carveouts by Congress and the FCC allow government contractors to robocall and robotext consumers without their affirmative express consent…No one wants to be interrupted during family mealtime or when helping children with homework.”

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