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Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Reply Comments Highlight Credit Union Participation in TCPA Petition Process
Posted November 22, 2017 by CUNA Advocacy

In support of CUNA’s Petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking declaratory relief from credit unions subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), credit unions, other trade associations, and service organizations have filed comments corroborating the need for the common-sense Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) reforms set forth in the Petition. CUNA highlighted this support in Reply Comments filed on November 21.

These comments show the overwhelming need for the Petition’s reforms because as summarized by the Ohio Credit Union League, “present circumstances are jeopardizing consumers’ unabridged and continued access to open and timely communications provided by their cooperative financial institutions.”

Other commenters in support of the Petition representing credit unions included: Illinois Credit Union League (Oct. 29, 2017); Wright-Patt Credit Union (Oct. 31, 2017); Bellco Credit Union (Oct. 31, 2017); Digital Liberty (Nov. 2, 2017); Ohio Credit Union League (Nov. 2, 2017); Public Service Credit Union (Nov. 2, 2017); Access Community Credit Union (Nov. 3, 2017); American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research (Nov. 3, 2017); Navy Federal Credit Union (Nov. 3, 2017); The Wisconsin Credit Union League (Nov. 3, 2017); American Airlines Credit Union (Nov. 6, 2017); Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (Nov. 6, 2017); CUNA Mutual Group (Nov. 6, 2017); Eastman Credit Union (Nov. 6, 2017); National Association f Federally-Insured Credit Unions (Nov. 6, 2017); New York Credit Union Association (Nov. 6, 2017); PSCU (Nov. 6, 2017); SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union (Nov. 6, 2017); Truliant Federal Credit Union (Nov. 6, 2017); Minnesota Credit Union Network (Nov. 6, 2017); TTCU Federal Credit Union (Nov. 6, 2017); Vibrant Credit Union (Nov. 10, 2017).

The Reply Comments also note that credit union concerns were also reiterated by certain third parties such as Digital Library, which stated that it recognizes that the TCPA’s rules regarding wireless communications are outdated and that fear of litigation is having a chilling effect on credit unions’ ability to communicate important information to their members. And, the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research (ACI) which noted that, “Because consumers require better information to make proper decisions, this rule puts consumers at a disadvantage. Consumers require market and service information necessary to make judgments and market decisions.” ACI additionally highlights the fact that because credit unions are member-owned (consumer-owned), a lawsuit that sends money to one consumer is entirely paid for by its other consumers. Along with the added legal expenses, including the potential for trial attorney abuses, collectively, these customers will pay more than they get in return. Essentially, these rules make consumers worse off, not better off, and this represents yet another consumer welfare loss.

The minimal opposition to the Petition largely consisted of overheated rhetoric, which was addressed in CUNA’s Reply Comments.

CUNA plans to continue to engage with the FCC in support of their Petition. The next step in the process will be for the FCC to consider the dozens of supporting comments and the Reply Comments.