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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA recently issued a Regulatory Alert (04-RA-08) to all federally insured credit unions outlining the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission’s “Do Not Call rules and when they apply to credit unions. According to the alert, the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule does not apply to federal charters, but it does apply to state-chartered credit unions and vendors. Penalties for noncompliance can be stiff, amounting to as much as $11,000 per violation. The FTC’s rule creates the “Do Not Call” registry, allows calls only between 8 am and 9 pm, requires telemarketing calls to be transmitted with Caller ID information, requires certain disclosures about the product or service being sold, and sets standards for payment authorization verification. There are exceptions to the rule, such as for established business relationships if calls are made within three months of an inquiry or 18 months of a transaction. The FCC’s telemarketing rule does not generally apply to tax-exempt nonprofits, including credit unions, the Regulatory Alert read. Those that do apply are for all credit unions and are mainly related to the use of automatic telephone dialing systems, prerecorded voice message systems, messages sent to fax machines, and abandoned calls. NCUA encouraged credit unions to review both rules and contact the appropriate region or state authority with questions.

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