Collectors Calling on Federal Debt May Now Use ATDS to Dial Cell Phones?

Last week I wrote about the latest budget deal working through Congress, and its inclusion of a provision to allow those collecting federal student loans to call consumer cell phones using an autodialer (ATDS). That two-year budget has since passed the Senate Friday by a vote of 64 to 35, and was signed into law yesterday by President Obama.

According to an article in The Consumerist, some are determined to get the cell phone provision rolled back. This week, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)  introduced the Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone calls (HANGUP) Act. This bill — co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (Oregon), Sen. Claire McCaskill (Missouri), and Sen. Bob Menendez (New Jersey), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vermont), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont), and Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) – would re-amend the Communications Act by removing the language inserted by the budget bill.

The ARM industry should note that the provision in the bill signed earlier this week includes a deadline of “not later than nine months after the date of enactment of the Act, [the FCC] shall prescribe regulations to implement the amendments made by this section.” So you’re not going to want to turn on that autodialer just yet.

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