In July we wrote about the exemption for robocalls made by the federal government (or its contractors) from the restrictions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) added another caveat to the TCPA, advising that while federally backed debt collection calls to consumers at risk of delinquency are exempt from the TCPA, these debt collectors cannot call or text consumers using automated dialing technology more than three times per month, and must limit the calls to 60 seconds or less. Debt collectors are also prohibited from robocalling or texting the debtor’s family or friends.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, said, “The commission is establishing strong, pro-consumer limits on robocalls to collect federal debt. These protections are particularly important following a January Supreme Court ruling that federal government entities conducting official business are not subject to robocall limits unless Congress says otherwise. Our decision implements Congress’ directive and responds to thousands of comments from consumers expressing frustration with robocalls and urging clear, strong limits on debt-collection calls.”

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