FCC Releases Draft Order to Establish Reassigned Number Database

The Federal Communications Commission today released a draft order that would create a database of phone numbers that have been relinquished by one individual and reassigned to another individual, something that the American Bankers Association has long called for. The FCC will vote on — and is expected to approve — the order at its upcoming Dec. 12 meeting.

By approving the order, the FCC would “establish a single, comprehensive database of reassigned number information” provided by all telephone companies that assign telephone numbers to subscribers. The FCC explained that the “database will enable any caller,” such a bank, “to verify whether a telephone number has been reassigned before calling that number.”

Under existing case law and the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulations — prior to being struck down by a federal appellate court last March — 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.