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With the widespread availability of cell phones and wireless plans, across the country individuals are abandoning their landline telephones. There are a variety of reasons for this. Some people are trying to save money. Others deem it to be unnecessary. Whatever the reason, the demise of landlines and the rise in the use of mobile phones necessitates changes to certain federal statutes.

Many Florida residents who are dealing with harassment by collection agents are contacted by phone. There is a national law that regulates this practice titled Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This law sets forth such things as the hours a solicitor can make a call. Earlier this week a bill was introduced to the House of Representatives designed to update the current statute. The authors of the bill are John Shimkus (R-IL), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Matheson (D-UT) and Lee Terry (R-NE).

Titled the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011, the bill seeks to do three things. First, provide additional information on the requirement of “prior express consent.” Next, provide an exception for informational calls to wireless phones from restrictions pertaining to auto-dialers. Last, maintain the current rules against using assistive technologies for telemarketing calls to wireless numbers

An association for professionals in the credit and collection business, ACA International, supports the bill. The association’s International Director of Federal Government Affairs commended the bill’s protection of wireless users from receiving undesired telemarketing calls while bringing restrictions that are no longer relevant up-to-date. Earlier in the year ACA International had presented a plan that addressed certain issues relevant to the collection agency and the TCPA.

Source: Collections & Credit Risk, “House Bill Seeks To Update Telephone Consumer Protection Act,” Sept. 22, 2011