'Autodialer' rule issues detailed for CUs during CUNA webinar

September 3, 2015

WASHINGTON (9/3/15)--CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group attorneys and legal experts from Ballard Spahr LLC provided a thorough overview of issues facing credit unions relating to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a declaratory ruling on the TCPA in July, which affects credit unions and others that use automated telephone dialing systems, otherwise known as autodialers. 

The archived webinar will be available soon, and can be viewed by registering for the event.

Speakers included Leah Dempsey, senior director of advocacy at CUNA, Valerie Moss, CUNA’s senior director of compliance analysis, attorneys Daniel McKenna and Kim Phan from Ballard Spahr LLP and Lauren Capitini from CUNA Mutual Group.

The FCC’s ruling created significant risks under the TCPA for businesses that communicate with consumers by telephone. The order took immediate effect upon its release on July 10.

As discussed during the CUNA webinar, the FCC expanded its interpretation of the autodialer definition to potentially bring many telephone systems within the scope of the TCPA. Therefore, many credit unions will need to reevaluate their telephone systems to determine if they are covered by the new rules.

Ballard Spahr attorneys also discussed the TCPA’s “prior express consent” and “consent revocation” provisions, which have also been expanded by the FCC’s recent ruling and order. Notably, consumers have the right to revoke their consent to receive automated calls and text messages in any reasonable way and at any time. 

The FCC’s order includes limited exemptions for certain “pro-consumer” calls/texts that are “free” to the recipient--such as risk alerts for potential fraud or security breaches. However, as the team of experts pointed out, these calls must comply with a number of conditions and cannot be counted against any plan limits that apply to the recipient.

Lauren Capitini, senior regulatory compliance manager for CUNA Mutual Group,  provided an overview of certain operational considerations regarding forms and documents, and CUNA staff provided an overview of compliance resources and TCPA advocacy efforts to-date.

CUNA’s e-Guide section on telemarketing contains additional TCPA compliance information. For more information about CUNA’s compliance efforts visit CompBlog. For advocacy efforts, visit CUNA’s Removing Barriers Blog.

CUNA also has a webinar scheduled for Sept. 14 on the U.S. Department of Defense’s changes to the Military Lending Act.