The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Makes it Challenging to Comply and Collect
April 04, 2014
For anyone with accounts receivable management (ARM (News - Alert)) responsibilities, you are more than painfully aware of just how difficult the job of collections has become. As a result of new and stricter government regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the increased litigation caused by longer-standing and constantly updated regulations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), compliance has become a major challenge. It has greatly complicated the ways in which you can lawfully interact with those who owe your company money.
On the CFPB side of things, their CFPB Supervision and Examination Manual, now mandates that your organization have a systematic control mechanism in place, a Compliance Management System (CMS), which includes:
- Board level oversight
- Compliance-related policies and procedures (documented)
- Treatment of consumer complaints within CMS — everything from initial response and resolution, through root-cause analysis
- Internal and independent testing and audits
- Third-party service provider oversight and recordkeeping
And, when it comes to the TCPA, which was intended when enacted in 1991 to curb the most egregious practices of telemarketers and stop consumers from having to pay for calls made to cell phones back when those in the U.S. had to pay for incoming calls, there has been what can be called “mission creep.” TCPA now spans autodialing, texting, calls to cell phones, faxing, certain landline calls, express consent and more.
In short, as noted, it is complicated out there and prospects are it is only going to become more so.
If you are an ARM professional there is a webinar coming up on April 29, 11:30 EDT/16:30 BST, The Pitfalls of TCPA and its Impact on Your Business, that you are sure to want to participate in. Sponsored by Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) subject matter experts Mike Bevel, Editor of InsideARM, Martha Buyer, telecommunications attorney, and Interactive Intelligence Product Manager Chad McCormick are going to walk people through TCPA’s increasingly complex governance so you can improve adherence, while maximizing performance. Plus, those participating live will have an extensive opportunity to ask all of the presenters questions following their presentation.
So mark your calendars and be sure to register. 2014 is already a challenge given all of the rules and regulations that need to be complied with along with the changes on how your organization can engage customers so you can get paid in a timely and legal manner. Be forewarned as to best practices is being forearmed. This is an instance where knowledge is power, and getting advice from the experts on how to mitigate risks could be extremely valuable.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker