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10 Industry Experts Weigh in on Impact of ACA v. FCC, One Year Later

I’m a little late to the party, but better late than never. The ruling from the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in ACA International v. FCC turned one earlier this month, and in honor of its first birthday, reached out to a number of industry luminaries and asked for their perspective on the impact of the ruling on the credit and collection industry. Those who responded could choose to offer their own insights, or answer one (or more) of a series of questions that were posed to them to give them some idea of what to talk about. 


Scott Wortman, Partner, Blank Rome

In view of the vast library of exhaustive point-by-point resources interpreting this case, I’ll forgo the legal jargon and instead plainly state my own subjective views beyond the four corners of the decision.

The FCC’s 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order was not a reasonable reading of the TCPA, and the regulations did not actually protect anyone from real harm. Instead it was a grotesque impersonation of those things. Whether based on ideological confidence, hubris or just unbridled ambition, the FCC rulemaking was simultaneously the apogee of that approach and the nadir of its role as a regulator. Prior to this case, it was my opinion that we would only be successful in reducing politically advantageous demonization and false narratives through education and working to find common ground. While I still strongly believe in that approach, ACA’s lawsuit against the FCC reminded all of us that a regulator cannot usurp the role of the court as the fundamental arbiter of justice, and that not every perceived ailment afflicting society may be redressed by regulators posing as legislators. Indeed, notwithstanding the pathological stigmatization of this industry, courts will listen when we pool resources and ideas, standing together as one. In conclusion, the next time a regulator develops a solution in search of a problem, let us reflect on what ACA accomplished and consider the power of determination and unity.

"10 Industry Experts Weigh in on Impact of ACA v. FCC, One Year Later," was published in on March 29, 2019.