On February 17, a draft rule to exempt robocalls to collect federal debt from
TCPA rules was circulated to the FCC. This proposal is looking to create a
balance between consumer protections and a directive by Congress allowing
companies servicing federally issued mortgages or student loans to autodial
borrowers without the consumer’s permission.
If the item were ultimately approved, companies like Navient Solutions,
Inc. and Nelnet Inc. may be some of the entities who would receive the
exemption. It is not yet clear whether holders of mortgage and student
loans in the private sector would receive any similar sort of TCPA exemption.
According to Bloomberg News, Performant Financial Corp., Continental Service
Group Inc., and Ceannate Corp. are among the biggest debt collectors chiefly
for past-due student loans.
Our nation’s outstanding student loan debt is currently at $1.2 trillion
and is expected to double by 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The FCC must issue and implement a provision by August 2, 2016. According
to a statement by an FCC spokesperson, the commission has spared no effort
to shield those who find themselves delinquent on a federal debt from
unnecessary abuse while still remaining faithful to Congress’s mandate.
Several measures have been proposed by the chairman to limit the number
of calls per month, stop unwanted calls, and to limit calls only for the
purpose of debt collection of delinquent debts, including calls that may
help borrowers avoid default.