Financial trade groups, including the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, are renewing their push to convince the Federal Communications Commission to allow financial institutions to use automated telephone calls to reach consumers during the coronavirus crisis.
“A credit union reported that it is unable to send texts or place calls to its members regarding payment solutions because of the extensive and time-consuming due diligence required to mitigate potential litigation exposure,” the trade groups told the commission in a joint letter Thursday.
The trade groups filed a petition with the commission at the end of March asking it to consider under an emergency process a request to allow so-called robocalls to consumers. Instead, the commission considered the petition under a process that allowed 45 days for comments. CUNA officials said the comment period ended Thursday.
The financial trade groups said that the FCC prohibits many types of automated telephone calls without a recipient’s consent and that banks and credit unions that make the calls risk a lawsuit filed by the recipients.
“Financial institutions may wish to communicate with borrowers to advise them of the available relief,” the groups said. “If the institution is not able to initiate communication, it could lead to a potential foreclosure or other negative credit consequences.”
CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger has endorsed the trade groups’ request to allow the calls.