In a comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission today, the American Bankers Association supported a petition from the Federal Housing Finance Agency to clarify that phone calls made by mortgage servicers to borrowers during a disaster or other emergency fall under the “emergency purposes” exemption of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Under TCPA, mortgage servicers or other callers must have prior express consent of the called party before placing a phone call or sending a text message to a wireless number using an autodialer or prerecorded voice, unless the call is made for “emergency purposes,” or the FCC has designated that a category of calls are exempted. FHFA last month requested confirmation from the FCC that servicing calls made during a disaster situation fall under the exemption.
“Mortgage servicers seek to place important, pro-consumer calls and texts to mortgage borrowers during a disaster situation, including to advise that the borrower may temporarily forego making mortgage payments, to provide information on filing an insurance claim, and to warn of disaster-related fraudulent schemes,” ABA noted. These messages “serve borrowers’ interests and can be conveyed most efficiently and reliably by automated calls to borrowers’ telephones.” For more information, contact ABA’s Jonathan Thessin.