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Handout: All attendees will receive a modifiable Customer Consent form, which will ensure your consumers provide express consent to be contacted by your Institution.
Alert: In late 2019, two Circuit Courts of Appeal held that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was an unconstitutional restriction on speech; however, the Courts refused to strike down the statute. Now, Facebook is pursuing an appeal to the Supreme Court to determine whether the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) Omnibus Rule is legal.
The outcome of this case will have a tremendous impact on past and future TCPA cases. For example, if the Court decides that FCC's Rule is not - and never was! - constitutional, then this could trigger a flood of appeals.
During this webinar, we will discuss potential effects of this pending case, as well as other open TCPA questions that have emerged in 2019. For example, did you know that a majority of the courts have now decided that a device is not an "automatic telephone dialing system" (ATDS) unless it has the capacity to dial randomly or sequentially? Nonetheless, because of pending decisions in other courts and vague definitions of relevant terms, we begin 2020 with numerous uncertainties about ATDS functionalities. Likewise, a recent court held that a business's officer – such as your community bank's President or CEO -- could face personal liability for attempting to help the entity comply with the TCPA.
With these developments in mind, it's unsurprising to learn that - in addition to an increase in the number of consumer complaints – the FCC reports that TCPA litigation has surged by approximately 70% in recent years. Discover your community bank's potential legal risks (and how to mitigate them) and compliance requirements as related to your customer contact policies.
- Purpose of the Act: The TCPA prohibits unsolicited advertising by: fax; automated recorded voicemails ("robo-calls"); advertising calls to mobile phones; solicitation to a customer on a "Do Not Call" list; and, (according to judicial rulings and a 2015 FCC Order) unsolicited text messages.
The FCC is actively registering consumer complaints and taking action to bar financial institutions from making unsolicited contact with customers. Opportunistic plaintiffs' attorneys are actively taking advantage of customer contact restrictions – 3,034 TCPA lawsuits were filed in the first eleven (11) months of 2019! From small community institutions to banking behemoths like Bank of America and Wells Fargo, the financial industry has been rocked by multimillion-dollar lawsuits over the TCPA.
For many financial institutions, the TCPA is not outlined in policies and procedures, rather it is adhered to informally. Because of the legal risk associated with the TCPA - including having to pay damages up to $1,500 per call - your institution needs to adopt a formal TCPA-related policy. Regardless of your current approach to TCPA compliance, now is the time to review, revise, and update your customer contact policies.
In this webinar, we will review problematic areas of TCPA guidelines, as well as the FCC's recent interpretations of the TCPA. By examining recent litigation related to unsolicited customer communications, you will better understand your institution's potential legal risk. We will discuss recent developments in the FCC's complaint process, so you can prepare to meet this compliance burden in 2020 and beyond.
After you attend this webinar, you will be prepared to maintain better communications with customers, while simultaneously avoiding costly class actions and other TCPA-related litigation.
- Background – Why was the TCPA enacted?
Scope of TCPA
- What Types of Communications are Covered?
- How Does the FCC Handle Different Types of Telephone Communications? e.g., The Different Guidelines for Marketing Calls vs. Informational Calls
- How Does the Law Distinguish Communications to Residential vs. Mobile Numbers?
Communication & Consumer Consent
- What Qualifies as Consent?
- When is Prior Consent Required?
- How Can Consumers Revoke Consent?
- How Should You Manage Revocations of Consent?
- Prohibitions - What Constitutes a TCPA Violation?
- Damages - What Monetary Damages are Available to Litigants?
- FCC Role – How Does the FCC Serve as Both an Interpreter and Enforcer of the Statute?
- Recent Litigation & Regulatory Trends
FCC Rulings- How Do Such Rulings Impact Financial Institutions?
- FCC Public Notice (Oct. 2018) – Definition of Automatic Telephone Dialing System
Pending Lawsuits- What Cases Could Affect Your Customer Communications in 2019?
- Florida - $5M Class Action re: Automatic Dialing System Used to Send Spam Text Messages Advertising Services
- Expected Regulations – What TCPA-Related Administrative or Legislative Actions Should You Expect in the Near Future?
- Best Practices for:
- Obtaining and Verifying Consent
- Protecting Your Institution Against Calling a Reassigned Number
- Maintaining Better Communications with Customers
- Adopting a Formal TCPA-Related Policy
- Tracking Pending TCPA Litigation
- Expedient Revision of Customer Contact Policies Following New Rulings or Regulations
After attending this webinar, you will be able to discuss the following areas with respect to customer communications:
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act guidelines and major compliance obligations
- Penalties for noncompliance
- Litigation risks related to unsolicited customer contact
- Recent FCC interpretations
- Practical tips for avoiding TCPA claims - Reduce your institution's risk!
Questions and Answers