Congress budget deal signed into law allows federal student loan debt collectors to robocall cell phones

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is urging Indiana members of Congress to work to restore a longstanding prohibition on student loan debt collectors from using robocalls to cell phones.

He said such calls pester people and run up consumers’ cell phone bills. Among the biggest categories of consumer complaints his office receives are complaints about incorrect or harassing debt collection calls.

Zoeller says an obscure provision of the budget deal signed into law Monday amends a 1991 law through which Congress and the Federal Communications Commission long have banned the use of auto-dialer machines to call consumers without their permission. The provision grants an exception to the auto-dialer ban for debt collectors for federal student loans, permitting them to robocall cellphone numbers and play messages.

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Joe Ulery/Indiana News Service