TCPA Exemption for Fed-Backed Loans Circulated to FCC

On February 17, a draft rule to exempt robocalls to collect federal debt from TCPA rules was circulated to the FCC. This proposal is looking to create a balance between consumer protections and a directive by Congress allowing companies servicing federally issued mortgages or student loans to autodial borrowers without the consumer’s permission.

If the item were ultimately approved, companies like Navient Solutions, Inc. and Nelnet Inc. may be some of the entities who would receive the exemption. It is not yet clear whether holders of mortgage and student loans in the private sector would receive any similar sort of TCPA exemption. According to Bloomberg News, Performant Financial Corp., Continental Service Group Inc., and Ceannate Corp. are among the biggest debt collectors chiefly for past-due student loans.

Our nation’s outstanding student loan debt is currently at $1.2 trillion and is expected to double by 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The FCC must issue and implement a provision by August 2, 2016. According to a statement by an FCC spokesperson, the commission has spared no effort to shield those who find themselves delinquent on a federal debt from unnecessary abuse while still remaining faithful to Congress’s mandate. Several measures have been proposed by the chairman to limit the number of calls per month, stop unwanted calls, and to limit calls only for the purpose of debt collection of delinquent debts, including calls that may help borrowers avoid default.

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