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The FCC Wants Debt Collectors to Stop Bothering You

Hand holding out moneyHand holding out money

The Federal Communications Commission wants debt collectors to stop calling you so much.

The agency approved a proposal that would reduce the number of debt collector calls you get, The Hill reports. A budget deal was approved last year that provided government exemptions from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which blocks solicitors from sending automated calls to cellphones under certain conditions. Congress then called on the FCC to limit those exemptions.

The proposal limits government debt collectors to three calls per month, which can only be made if an individual is late on making a payment. It also allows calls informing people about payment plans, though borrowers can request to opt out.

“In taking this first step toward implementing these requirements, as Congress instructed, we recognize and seek to balance the importance of collecting debt owed to the United States and the consumer protections inherent in the [Telephone Consumer Protection Act],” the proposal states. It’s still subject to two rounds of comments. The first is due on June 6, and the second on June 21.

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Some believe the proposal is too limiting. Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, for one, referred to the Housing and Urban Development Department, which recommends a minimum of two calls per week until the debt collector has successfully contacted the borrower. Additionally, the Treasury Department suggests at least four calls per month.