New FCC rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act will mean big changes for businesses, particularly comparison shopping websites, lead generators, and other companies that regularly contact consumers via phone or text message.  On February 20, 2024, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET, Ballard Spahr will hold a webinar in which members of the firm’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act Industry Group will discuss:

  • The so-called “lead generator loophole” and the FCC’s efforts to close it.
Continue Reading

Yesterday, by a vote of 4-1, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) adopted a new rule amending its regulations implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to close what it refers to as the “lead generator loophole.”  The new rule represents a major change for the online lead generation industry, including comparison shopping websites, by requiring lead generators to obtain consumer consent to receive robocalls and robotexts from one seller at a time, rather than having a single consent apply to multiple sellers at once.  … Continue Reading

On November 3, 2022, Pennsylvania Attorney General (and Governor-Elect) Josh Shapiro announced that his office had filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against New York-based Fluent, Inc.—a lead generator that connects companies to potential new customers through the consumers’ harvested personal data—and its subsidiaries for their role in allegedly assisting and facilitating the making of hundreds of thousands of unwanted telemarketing calls to Pennsylvania consumers. … Continue Reading

We discuss how lead generation works, the roles of the various players in the lead generation marketplace, the key regulatory risks arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and Telemarketing Sales Rule, FTC enforcement cases, and CFPB supervisory concerns.  We also discuss the impact of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act’s referral fee prohibition and fair lending/fair housing laws on lead generation involving mortgage-related services and state licensing issues triggered by lead generation.… Continue Reading

The FTC announced last week that it has entered into a settlement with ITMedia Solutions LLC, a lead generation company, and a group of affiliated companies (collectively, ITMedia), and several individuals who served as officers of ITMedia, to resolve a complaint filed by the FTC in a California federal district court alleging that the defendants’ conduct violated the FTC Act and FCRA. … Continue Reading

A Minnesota federal district court recently ruled that lead generators for a payday lender could be liable for punitive damages in a class action filed on behalf of all Minnesota residents who used the lender’s website to obtain a payday loan during a specified time period.  An important takeaway from the decision is that a company receiving a letter from a regulator or state attorney general that asserts the company’s conduct violates or may violate state law should consult with outside counsel as to the applicability of such law and whether a response is required or would be beneficial.… Continue Reading

It appears that Acting Director Mulvaney’s BCFP is about to settle a case that former Director Cordray’s CFPB filed in 2015 against D&D Marketing, which allegedly engages in lead generation for payday, tribal, and offshore lenders under the name T3 Leads.  Based on the docket, the case appears to have been in active, heated litigation from the time it was filed until just recently. … Continue Reading

On September 5, 2017, the CFPB entered into a consent order with Zero Parallel, LLC (“Zero Parallel”), an online lead aggregator based in Glendale, California. At the same time, it submitted a proposed order in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, where it is litigating with Zero Parallel’s CEO, Davit Gasparyan.… Continue Reading

Almost a year ago, on October 30, 2015, the FTC conducted a workshop on lead generation entitled to “Follow the Lead.” We published a three-part series on the workshop highlighting the key takeaways. On September 15, 2016, the FTC published its own staff paper discussing the workshop and providing its own analysis.… Continue Reading

The CFPB announced last week that it has entered into a consent order with an individual who had operated a defunct business that resold consumer leads to settle charges that the business sold leads to debt collectors who used the information to deceive and threaten consumers into paying debts they did not owe. … Continue Reading