ACA International Applauds Members of Congress Seeking to Modernize FCC Rules Hindering Business Communication with Consumers

Dec 07, 2010, 17:29 ET from ACA International

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection professionals, applauds 11 members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee for their leadership in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not to hinder consumers and businesses from effectively communicating.  

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In a letter to the FCC, these bipartisan members of Congress asked the FCC not to enact a proposed rule change to the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and allow the use of autodialers and pre-recorded messages without prior written consent when placing calls to consumers on wireless telephones. The signatories are Representatives Lee Terry (R-Nebraska), Fred Upton (R-Michigan), Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Sue Myrick (R-North Carolina), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Bart Gordon (D-Tennessee), Mike Ross (D-Arkansas), John Shimkus (D-Illinois), Cliff Stearns (R-Florida) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee)

ACA has previously filed comments with the FCC (May, June) and will continue to encourage Congress to take immediate action to modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

"We will continue to advocate amending the TCPA to improve communication between and among consumers and those service providers with which consumers choose to engage," said ACA General Counsel and Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs Valerie Hayes. "The TCPA should recognize a consumer's expectation and right to receive calls on their wireless phone using an autodialer or pre-recorded message by those with whom the consumer has an established relationship. These are essential business efficiency tools."

New technologies have transformed how consumers communicate, and expect to be communicated with, by friends, family and companies with whom they have a business relationship.  Mobile phones, e-mail and texting have replaced the landline telephone and fax machine as essential communication tools for most Americans.  Today, more than 80 percent of Americans own a cell phone and a rapidly growing number of consumers consider their cell phone as their primary telephone versus a land line. In fact, more than 20 percent of American households are now cell phone only.

According to Hayes, ACA shares the same perspective as 97 percent of the American consumers who participated in a recent survey conducted by the organization, that the repayment of duly owed consumer debt is an essential personal responsibility. "But debt cannot be collected if our members cannot communicate with consumers," she said.

ACA believes that proper communication between businesses and consumers is a vital component of a strong consumer protection environment.  It ensures consumers are made aware of changes to the status quo and provides an opportunity to address pressing issues that stave off otherwise unavoidable, adverse financial action, such as foreclosure, negative credit reporting or litigation.

ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, is the comprehensive, knowledge–based resource for success in the credit and collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together more than 5,000 members worldwide, including third–party collection agencies, asset buyers, attorneys, creditors and vendor affiliates. ACA International establishes ethical standards, produces a wide variety of products, services and publications, and articulates the value of the credit and collection industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers. For more information about ACA International, visit www.acainternational.org.

CONTACT: Mark Schiffman, +1-952-928-8000 Ext. 124 or Schiffman@acainternational.org

SOURCE ACA International



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