CUNA’s Dempsey talks TCPA decision, next steps

March 26, 2018

CUNA plans to seek additional clarity surrounding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), following a significant step forward with the D.C. Court of Appeals decision to overturn parts of the 2015 Omnibus Ruling, CUNA Senior Director of Advocacy Leah Dempsey said during an interview. Appearing on CUBroadcast, Dempsey broke down last week’s decision, what it means for credit unions and what could happen going forward.

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the 2015 Omnibus ruling it created numerous compliance concerns for credit unions. CUNA filed a petition with the FCC in September outlining potential avenues for relief under the TCPA, and the FCC opened it up for public comment a week later. 

CUNA saw two significant changes in the court’s decision last week, overturning of the definition of an autodialer, and the FCC’s reassigned number approach being vacated.

“A lot of credit unions weren’t using what they thought to be an autodialer, but after the 2015 ruling, it was so complicated what qualified as an autodialer, they were not sure whether they had to now comply with the TCPA,” Dempsey said. “The definition was so broad it could include anything such as a smartphone or computer as an autodialer. The opinion did recognize that, and reversed the FCC’s 2015 interpretation. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we need more guidance.”

Dempsey noted that the court’s decision refers a number of issues back to the FCC to provide more guidance. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai dissented on the 2015 order.

“Credit unions should continue with all the compliance they’ve been working on, continue to follow CUNA’s compliance resources, continue to determine whether they need to come into compliance, but should know we have a good opportunity with FCC to work on this more,” Dempsey said.