TCPA Reform Key Issue in Congressional Hearing

On June 13, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing entitled Lawsuit Abuse and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The hearing focused on a growth in litigation related to communications from the businesses to consumers without their consent. The TCPA as currently written results in a very ambiguous compliance environment for businesses and allows trial lawyers to pursue class action lawsuits against companies.

AFSA has long pushed for TCPA reform, noting that the law as currently in place, makes it difficult for businesses to communicate legitimate messages to their consumers. Full Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) echoed AFSA’s argument and spoke strongly in favor of TCPA reform, saying that it “disturbs me that this law should be used to stop people trying to communicate for legitimate purpose.”

AFSA submitted a letter to the committee in support of TCPA reform. The letter notes that the TCPA serves an important purpose, protecting consumers’ privacy. However, the law is 26 years old, does not consider modern technology and has been used to benefit plaintiff’s attorneys, not consumers.  As of 2014, the average TCPA plaintiff was awarded $4.12, while the average attorney payout was $2.4 million.