If you’re like most people, you’re probably saying to yourself, “I wish my mortgage bank would robo-call me more often with great offers to purchase their products.” What? No? But Ballard Spahr says so.
The TCPA requires a business to obtain the prior express consent of the called party before making an autodialed, artificial voice, or prerecorded call to a wireless telephone number, unless the call is for emergency purposes or solely for the purpose of collecting a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States.
In June, the MBA filed a petition for exemption with the FCC, seeking an exemption from the “prior express consent” requirement for all autodialed or pre-recorded residential “mortgage servicing” calls made to cellular phone numbers that are not charged to the called party and do not contain an advertisement or constitute telemarketing.
Just to be clear, what a bank views as an “advertisement or constitute(s) telemarketing” may not align with what any rational human being would think. But I digress.
In a public notice released on August 3, 2016, the FCC invited interested parties to file comments with respect to the MBA’s petition.
Significantly, comments submitted to the FCC during the past two months point to a growing consensus in favor of relaxing TCPA requirements governing “mortgage servicing” calls.
See? You want robo calls. There’s a “growing consensus” based on the comments. But wait, you didn’t comment, did you? So who did?
For example, on September 2, 2016, the American Financial Services Association sent a letter to the FCC supporting the MBA’s petition. Also on September 2, the American Bankers Association submitted comments in support of the request to exempt residential mortgage-related calls from the TCPA’s “prior express consent” requirements. On September 19, HOPE NOW Alliance, a nonprofit housing counselor, filed a letter in support of the MBA petition, stating that “HOPE NOW has seen firsthand the importance of having access to telephonic communications in a mortgage crisis.” Even the CFPB, in comments filed on May 6, 2016, agreed that the TCPA should be updated to allow latitude for servicing calls: “the Bureau agrees that servicing calls can be beneficial to consumers, so long as those calls are otherwise in compliance with applicable consumer protection laws.”
After all, if there is a “mortgage crisis,” wouldn’t you want a robo call from the bank letting you know you didn’t pay your mortgage, because you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of the fact that you didn’t pay your mortgage?
And as long as they’ve got you on the phone, on hold since you have to call them and enter your account number and whip out your genitals to prove who you are, why not listen to their other amazing products while on hold, not to mention have their highly trained customer service rep in Mumbai tell you about their other amazing offers!!!
If you wonder why your phone is tied up with robo calls from businesses who are making your world even more super-de-duper special, this is why. And paying your mortgage isn’t the way out, as these calls won’t be limited to only the deadbeats, but to everyone, absolutely everyone, whenever there is a mortgage crisis to be had anywhere. After all, isn’t the reason you have a phone so your bank can offer you their amazing products?