Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and other organizations filed a petition at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that the Commission take action to clarify the definition of automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) for purposes of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). CUNA joined the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International), American Bankers Association (ABA), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several others to request action, following the DC Circuit’s ruling that the existing ATDS interpretation was overbroad.

“The TCPA has had the unintended consequence of stifling credit unions’ ability to contact their members with important account information, all while financial regulators are urging financial institutions to ensure they’re using technology to make sure consumers are informed,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA chief advocacy officer. “A major part of the solution is clarity on what constitutes an autodialer. We hope the FCC will grant our petition and take a much-needed step forward in providing credit unions and other financial institutions with clarity.”

The petition urges the FCC to confirm the definition of an ATDS, specifically asking requesting a declaratory ruling that equipment must:

  • Use a random or sequential number generator to store or produce numbers and dial those numbers without human intervention; and
  • Find that only calls made using actual ATDS capabilities are subject to the TCPA’s restrictions.

CUNA is engaged with the FCC and Congress to find a solution for credit union communication and has written to both Senate and House committees to seek prompt action on the ATDS definition.