Credit unions called on Congress to urge the Federal Communications Commission to rethink how it implents legislation aimed at combatting "robocallers."

The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing Wednseday for the Federal Communications Commission focused on implementation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions and the Credit Union National Association were two of the top-line advocates for credit unions, each submitting a petition to the FCC.

"CUNA has consistently pressed upon the commission the urgent need to modernize its approach to the TCPA,” reads a letter submitted by CUNA to the congressional panel just before the TCPA hearing. included filing a petition in September 2017 outlining how the FCC could provide credit unions with TCPA relief.”

Both organizations requested a clearer definition of ATDS, equipment known for its capacity of storing and/or producing phone numbers, which are then typically dialed.

The two groups also requested that the commission interpret specific language, such as “called party”, in which it is currently unclear if a called party is the intended recipient of a phone call or the party the caller expected to reach.

NAFCU and CUNA urge the FCC to establish opt-out methods for those receiving calls from an ATDS, but no longer wish to do so. The creation of a centralized reassigned numbers database was also included within both parties’ requests.

“NAFCU would like to reiterate its support of the FCC's efforts to evaluate the creation of a reassigned numbers database,” Ann Kossachev, Senior Regulatory Affairs Counsel, wrote in a letter to the FCC. “NAFCU and its member credit unions urge the FCC to create a single, FCC-designated database and require service providers to report all reassigned numbers information.”

Enacted in 1991, the TCPA regulates telemarketing calls, autodialed calls, prerecorded calls, text messages, and unsolicited faxes. In 2003 and 2012, the FCC revisited TCPA rules and most recently, hosted a forum with the Federal Trade Commission in fighting robocalls in March of 2018.

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