New TCPA Amendments Exempt Collection Of Federal Debts

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The 2015 legislation that approved the federal budget included a significant amendment to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C., Section 227. The recent amendments, effective November 2, 2015, exempt certain businesses from the TCPA for calls made in connection with “collection of a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States.” The amendments also call upon the FCC to issue regulations interpreting the new provisions within nine months, so the meaning of the amendments remains a little murky for the moment. However, it does appear clear that collection calls made by servicers of federally-backed mortgage loans and federally-funded student loans are exempt from the TCPA. The most significant impact of the amendments is the freedom these businesses now have from often crippling class-action litigation under the TCPA.