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Robocalls to Your Cellphone For Delinquent Federal Student Loans Should Be Capped at 3 Per Month: FCC

May 16th, 2016 · No Comments · Debt Collection

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: January 4, 2018)

FCC caps federal student loan robocalls to three per monthUntil recently, debt collectors weren’t allowed to robocall your cellphone without your permission. That changed last year when Congress decided to make an exception. If you’re delinquent on debt owed to the federal government, debt collectors no longer need your permission to robocall your cellphone. Fortunately, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has an opportunity to place restrictions on this new law via proposed rules now open for public comment.

About the Law

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, debt collectors are prohibited from robocalling your cellphone without your consent. Last fall, though, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 included a provision exempting those collecting debt on money owed to the federal government.

So, for instance, if you fall behind on your federal student loan, the debt collector does not need your consent to send automated calls or texts to your cellphone.

But before debt collectors have a chance to get too excited about this new-found freedom, the FCC gets to put its stamp on it. In fact, the Budget Act requires FCC involvement, stating the Commission’s responsibility to “prescribe regulations to implement the requirements,” including the ability to “restrict or limit the number or duration” of the robocalls.

FCC Proposed Restrictions on Robocalls

If adopted, the FCC’s proposed rules would:

  • Limit the number of these robocalls to 3 per month, whether the phone call is answered or not
  • Require debt collectors to disclose in each robocall that the robocalls can be discontinued entirely at the consumer’s request
  • Prohibit robocalls to borrowers whose accounts are in good standing
  • Prohibit debt collectors from robocalling family and friends of the borrower

What Do You Think?

The FCC wants to hear about it. They are accepting public comment until June 6, 2016. Here’s where to submit a filing (i.e., comment).

Do You Know Your Rights?

Just because you’re behind on debt doesn’t give collectors the right to treat you any old way. Take a look at required and prohibited conduct on the part of a collection agency.

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