The TCPA - A Summary Introduction

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The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (TCPA) is a federal statute that was enacted in 1991 to address concerns relating to telemarketing/solicitation practices. It amended the Communications Act of 1934, and has been characterized by Manuel H. Newberger, in FDCPA Updated On The TCPA, Time-Barred Debt and Voice Mail Messages, as “one of the new weapons of choice of those suing debt collectors.” But it has far broader application. For example, it has entangled not only debt collectors but also other businesses ranging from local businesses to national banks and credit card companies to some of the biggest companies in the world.

While the TCPA governs various activities, litigation most often centers on the provision of the Act:

(1)           Prohibiting sending unsolicited fax solicitations; and

(2)           Prohibiting use of “Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems,” and artificial or prerecorded voices to contact cell phones without “Prior Express Consent” of the called party.

The second prong of the prohibition governs not only calls but also text messages made to cell phones.

For more information on TCPA regulation and effects, contact Burr & Forman attorney, Joshua Threadcraft, here.