Louisiana Emergency Do Not Call Provisions Not in Effect at Present Time

ACA International provides additional clarity on state’s call guidance.

4/21/2020 4:00 PM

AdvocacyNewsStateCOVID-19
Louisiana Emergency Do Not Call Provisions Not in Effect at Present Time

After consultation with Brenda Headlee, program manager for the Do Not Call Program (DNC) at the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC), ACA International’s corporate counsel Colin Winkler has confirmed that despite Gov. John Bel Edwards’ declaration of a state emergency, debt collectors may continue to call in Louisiana as usual and as otherwise permitted under state law and the LPSC’s DNC General Order (Docket No. R_29617, decided Oct. 11, 2006) (the “Order.”)

Although the Order’s Section V.A.3. would typically subject—and has historically subjected—debt collectors (and all other telephonic solicitors) to an absolute calling moratorium upon the Louisiana governor’s declaration of a state emergency, that moratorium has not been imposed during the COVID-19 emergency. The moratorium is not imposed under the current state of emergency because the LPSC has not been required to report to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC or, as referenced in the Order, “EOC.”)

By way of explanation: The Order’s Section V.A.3. sets forth two prerequisites that trigger that Section’s calling moratorium:

1) A state of emergency must be declared by the governor and;

2) The SEOC must, as a result of the emergency declaration, have ordered the LPSC to report to the SEOC.

Historically, those two events have been correlated—every emergency has triggered SEOC reporting. (Note that the original purpose of the emergency provision was to preserve communications bandwidth for first responders during times of natural disaster, a condition that is not in play during the COVID-19 emergency.)

In summary, to the extent that the Order requires two conditions be met before imposing the emergency calling prohibitions of Section V.A.3., one of those conditions (mandatory SEOC reporting) has not been met during the current emergency.

When the calling moratorium has been implemented for a given emergency, the LPSC has a duty under the Order to notify telephonic solicitors that the provisions of Section V.A.3. have been triggered. Note, however, that notice is not a technical prerequisite for the calling moratorium.

For telephonic solicitors who must register with the LPSC’s DNC, Headlee simply sends notice via a mass email to the registrant’s email address of record.

For all other telephonic solicitors—including debt collectors—the only means by which Headlee can provide notice is via the LPSC DNC’s emergency status webpage, which she updates immediately after sending the email to registered telephonic solicitors.

According to Headlee, unless and until that webpage been updated in the course of a given emergency to reflect a “mandatory EOC presence,” the emergency calling prohibitions of the Order’s Section V.A.3. will not be enforced.

More pointedly, Headlee stated that even if Section V.A.3. were technically in effect, she would not enforce the calling prohibition against debt collectors and other non-registered telephonic solicitors unless and until she has updated the webpage, because they would otherwise have no way of knowing that the second prerequisite—mandatory EOC reporting—had been imposed and the moratorium triggered.

In short, ACA members can presume that if the DNC’s emergency status webpage has not been updated, the DNC emergency calling moratorium is not being enforced; accordingly, when an emergency has been declared in Louisiana, members would be well advised to check the emergency status webpage frequently in the hours and days following the emergency declaration.

Note that under the Order, debt collection calls are “considered telephonic solicitation” (Order at II.I), although the Order exempts collections calls from the broad DNC requirements. (Order at II.I.2.) Nevertheless, the Order subjects all telephonic solicitors—even those granted an exemption under II.I.2., like debt collectors—to the terms and conditions set forth in Section V.A., which includes the emergency calling moratorium. So, despite the exemption in Section II.I.2., the Order contains “terms and conditions” under Section V.A.1. with which debt collectors must comply even under non-emergency conditions.

Finally, some questions remain about the tension between the Order’s Section V.A.3. and Louisiana Revised Statute 45:844.31, although those questions do not affect the present analysis. Headlee acknowledged the tension there and the broader need for the LPSC DNC to revise the Order to clarify the requirements and interplay with relevant state statutes so that “mom and pop” businesses can more readily understand the Order.

Find more information for “solicitors” at http://www.lpsc.louisiana.gov/solicitors.aspx

To discuss your questions or concerns with Brenda Headlee, contact her via 1-877-676-0773 (Toll Free), 225-219-7521 (Baton Rouge), 1-225-342-2831 (Fax), or donotcall@lpsc.org (email).

For more information on how the ACA Licensing staff can assist with your licensing needs, please contact us at Licensing@acainternational.org or call (952) 926-6547.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Louisiana Emergency Do Not Call Provisions Not in Effect at Present Time

After consultation with Brenda Headlee, program manager for the Do Not Call Program (DNC) at the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC), ACA International’s corporate counsel Colin Winkler has confirmed that despite Gov. John Bel Edwards’ declaration of a state emergency, debt collectors may continue to call in Louisiana as usual and as otherwise permitted under state law and the LPSC’s DNC General Order (Docket No. R_29617, decided Oct. 11, 2006) (the “Order.”)

Although the Order’s Section V.A.3. would typically subject—and has historically subjected—debt collectors (and all other telephonic solicitors) to an absolute calling moratorium upon the Louisiana governor’s declaration of a state emergency, that moratorium has not been imposed during the COVID-19 emergency. The moratorium is not imposed under the current state of emergency because the LPSC has not been required to report to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC or, as referenced in the Order, “EOC.”)

By way of explanation: The Order’s Section V.A.3. sets forth two prerequisites that trigger that Section’s calling moratorium:

1) A state of emergency must be declared by the governor and;

2) The SEOC must, as a result of the emergency declaration, have ordered the LPSC to report to the SEOC.

Historically, those two events have been correlated—every emergency has triggered SEOC reporting. (Note that the original purpose of the emergency provision was to preserve communications bandwidth for first responders during times of natural disaster, a condition that is not in play during the COVID-19 emergency.)

In summary, to the extent that the Order requires two conditions be met before imposing the emergency calling prohibitions of Section V.A.3., one of those conditions (mandatory SEOC reporting) has not been met during the current emergency.

When the calling moratorium has been implemented for a given emergency, the LPSC has a duty under the Order to notify telephonic solicitors that the provisions of Section V.A.3. have been triggered. Note, however, that notice is not a technical prerequisite for the calling moratorium.

For telephonic solicitors who must register with the LPSC’s DNC, Headlee simply sends notice via a mass email to the registrant’s email address of record.

For all other telephonic solicitors—including debt collectors—the only means by which Headlee can provide notice is via the LPSC DNC’s emergency status webpage, which she updates immediately after sending the email to registered telephonic solicitors.

According to Headlee, unless and until that webpage been updated in the course of a given emergency to reflect a “mandatory EOC presence,” the emergency calling prohibitions of the Order’s Section V.A.3. will not be enforced.

More pointedly, Headlee stated that even if Section V.A.3. were technically in effect, she would not enforce the calling prohibition against debt collectors and other non-registered telephonic solicitors unless and until she has updated the webpage, because they would otherwise have no way of knowing that the second prerequisite—mandatory EOC reporting—had been imposed and the moratorium triggered.

In short, ACA members can presume that if the DNC’s emergency status webpage has not been updated, the DNC emergency calling moratorium is not being enforced; accordingly, when an emergency has been declared in Louisiana, members would be well advised to check the emergency status webpage frequently in the hours and days following the emergency declaration.

Note that under the Order, debt collection calls are “considered telephonic solicitation” (Order at II.I), although the Order exempts collections calls from the broad DNC requirements. (Order at II.I.2.) Nevertheless, the Order subjects all telephonic solicitors—even those granted an exemption under II.I.2., like debt collectors—to the terms and conditions set forth in Section V.A., which includes the emergency calling moratorium. So, despite the exemption in Section II.I.2., the Order contains “terms and conditions” under Section V.A.1. with which debt collectors must comply even under non-emergency conditions.

Finally, some questions remain about the tension between the Order’s Section V.A.3. and Louisiana Revised Statute 45:844.31, although those questions do not affect the present analysis. Headlee acknowledged the tension there and the broader need for the LPSC DNC to revise the Order to clarify the requirements and interplay with relevant state statutes so that “mom and pop” businesses can more readily understand the Order.

Find more information for “solicitors” at http://www.lpsc.louisiana.gov/solicitors.aspx

To discuss your questions or concerns with Brenda Headlee, contact her via 1-877-676-0773 (Toll Free), 225-219-7521 (Baton Rouge), 1-225-342-2831 (Fax), or donotcall@lpsc.org (email).

For more information on how the ACA Licensing staff can assist with your licensing needs, please contact us at Licensing@acainternational.org or call (952) 926-6547.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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