NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood wrote Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai this week in support of CUNA’s petition to offer clarity for the treatment of COVID-19 related calls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). CUNA has called on the FCC to issue some form of guidance or provide clarity that calls from financial institutions related to the pandemic should fall under the TCPA’s Emergency Purposes Exception.
“The NCUA has supported and encouraged federally insured credit unions in their efforts to provide credit union members with prudent debt relief and help members understand the range of relief possibilities,” Hood wrote. “Consumers may benefit from additional information about the various loan relief programs and options that may be available to them. Autodialed calls providing information about payment deferrals, fee waivers, loan term extensions, other loan modifications and forbearance could assist consumers during this difficult time.”
The petition calls for the FCC to permit calls in three broad categories:
The petition, Hood notes, does not include calls related to advertising, telemarketing or seeking payment on a debt.
CUNA followed up the petition with a letter April 14 detailing how the FCC’s failure to act on the petition has put credit unions at risk as they work to serve their members and communities impacted by the pandemic.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger has also called on the FCC to provide clarity on the matter.