ABA Supports Creation of Database of Reassigned Phone Numbers

In a comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission yesterday, the American Bankers Association expressed support for the creation of a centrally administered database of phone numbers that have been relinquished by one individual and reassigned to another individual. Under the FCC’s existing Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulations, a bank or other company is liable for a call made in good faith to a party who has consented to receive the call but whose telephone number has been reassigned to another consumer unbeknownst to the caller.

ABA also urged the FCC to provide a safe harbor for banks and other callers that use the database. “A safe harbor will ensure that banks are not discouraged from placing important calls to consumers, and that callers do not face enormous liability and litigation costs for inadvertently calling a reassigned number notwithstanding their attempt to identify such numbers through use of the [database],” noted ABA.

ABA also urged the FCC to revisit its interpretations of the TCPA, particularly the FCC’s expansive definition of an autodialer, which has extended the TCPA’s reach to phone calls made by banks that were never intended to be regulated under the TCPA. For more information, contact ABA’s Jonathan Thessin.