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TCPA Declaratory Ruling Announcement

August 14, 2015

Dear Clients,

 

Professional Finance Company is very proud of its efforts in the arena of regulatory compliance. We have pro-actively invested in systems, personnel, training and process development to ensure that our efforts on our client’s behalf insulate them from any potential threats under many of these law’s vicarious liability provisions. It is important that businesses who routinely engage collection agencies to collect delinquent debt on their behalf oversee the agencies efforts. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has publicly stated that a failure on the part of a business to exercise due diligence in selecting their agency partners is a dereliction of duty and should necessarily expose the business to liability under any law intended to protect the consumer.

 

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission held a hearing and issued a Declaratory Ruling on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for the purpose of clarifying language in the Act. This declaratory ruling is now controlling law under the TCPA. For background purposes, the TCPA was initially drafted in 1992 and was aimed primarily at telemarketing in the days when consumers had limited minutes on their cell phone and were being inundated with calls that were both annoying as well as costly for the consumer. The Act was expanded to cover a broad spectrum of businesses who rely on auto-dialing technology for its increased efficiencies. This broadened scope grew to include debt collections. It is our position as well as our professional trade association’s that the TCPA should never have been expanded to include debt collection. In fact, many consumers are being harmed directly as a consequence of this onerous piece of legislation – they are denied access to vital information regarding their obligations, their rights and their options and they ultimately may suffer harm through credit reporting and litigation on bills they might have easily resolved via a telephone call.

 

I have attached a letter drafted by our Director of Compliance which highlights the key issues borne out of this declaratory ruling and the steps you can take to help us tackle this challenge together. Since these rulings were published we have spent numerous hours revamping our call strategies and have engaged new, innovative technologies and software solutions that will allow us to remain both compliant and productive. Despite any efforts on our part, without your assistance, revenues from bad debt collections will be impacted and compliance placed at risk.

 

PFC has scheduled a webinar on September 9, 2015 at 9 AM MST which we encourage our clients to attend. The webinar will provide important information on this subject matter as well as other legislation. In addition, we strongly urge all of our clients to consider adding language to their own documents or agreements creating the debt to be signed by the consumers at point of service. The language suggested in the attachment is clearly in the best interests of all parties and is purposely broad. We trust that you will carefully consider taking the necessary steps and we are prepared to offer assistance wherever we are able. As always, we appreciate the opportunity to be of service!

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Michael V. Shoop

President/CEO

Professional Finance Company, Inc.

An ACA PPMS Certified Agency

Office: 970-347-5314

Cell: 970-381-1550

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