With half of U.S. households now “wireless only,” Congress saw a need to ensure that borrowers could communicate with creditors and servicers about their debts, particularly about loan modifications and other foreclosure alternatives. However, the FCC “improperly replaced the policy determination made by Congress with its own,” ABA and CBA said, exempting calls only for delinquent or defaulted borrowers, excluding numbers that unbeknownst to the caller no longer belong to the borrower and extending TCPA restrictions to landline calls.
The groups said:
Calls made pursuant to existing servicing regulations and requirements are not telemarketing ‘robocalls’ that the TCPA’s consent requirements were intended to prevent. Rather, they are calls to connect borrowers with live agents for the purpose of educating delinquent borrowers about options offered by a creditor that help the borrower to avoid foreclosure.
ABA and CBA urged the FCC to apply the exemption as expansively as Congress intended, including to mortgage loans owed to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They also urged the commission to harmonize its rule with well-established mortgage servicing practices and regulatory requirements – with many of which it is currently in conflict.
Read the comment letter.
Read the proposed rule.