Pennsylvania Gives Telephone Subscribers New Protections Against Telemarketers/Robocallers

Pennsylvania Gives Telephone Subscribers New Protections Against Telemarketers/Robocallers

Pennsylvania has enacted House Bill (HB) 318,1 which expands and extends the protections given to Pennsylvania residential and wireless telephone subscribers by the 1996 Telemarketer Registration Act (TRA) in connection with telephone solicitation calls.2 The bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Lori Mizgorski, described the legislation as “giving consumers the ability to sign up for the [Pennsylvania] telemarketing ‘do-not-call’ [DNC] list without requiring them to re-register every 5 years [and] prohibit[ing] telemarketing on legal holidays and calls initiated by computerized autodialers (robocalls).”3 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law on Oct. 4, 2019.

  • Pennsylvania has enacted House Bill 318, which expands and extends the protections given to Pennsylvania residential and wireless telephone subscribers by the 1996 Telemarketer Registration Act (TRA) in connection with telephone solicitation calls.
  • With specific respect to robocalls, the new law requires telemarketers to establish procedures to allow called persons to opt out of receiving future telephone solicitation calls and be immediately taken off the list.
  • The new law becomes effective on Dec. 3, 2019, providing only a short period of time for telemarketers to upgrade their systems to meet the new requirements.

The TRA, among other things, requires telemarketers to register with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, prohibits telemarketers from engaging in certain telemarketing acts and practices declared in the law to be unlawful, and imposes written contractual requirements on them with respect to any sale of goods or services made during a telemarketing call.4 Among the acts and practices that are specifically prohibited by the TRA are the following:

  • initiating “outbound telephone solicitation calls” (calls made for the purpose of soliciting the sale of consumer goods or services, or obtaining information that may or could be used for such solicitation or for obtaining credit for that purpose) to persons who previously stated they did not wish to receive such a call from or on behalf of the seller whose goods or services were being offered
  • blocking caller ID and other telemarketer screening products or services
  • initiating telephone solicitation calls to a residential or wireless telephone number that is on the Pennsylvania DNC list (individuals and businesses can enroll their telephone numbers on the DNC list by completing the enrollment form)
  • using the Pennsylvania DNC list for any purpose other than determining whether or not a telephone number is on the list
  • failing to provide the telephone subscriber with the name of the caller and the person on whose behalf he or she is calling and, upon request, a telephone number (other than a 900 number) or address at which the person or entity may be contacted5

Information about the new law, including frequently asked questions, how to enroll a telephone number on the do-not-call list and how to file a complaint, can be found on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website. Information concerning where and how to register as a telemarketer also is available.

The new law amends the TRA in a number of different ways.

  • It adds a prohibition against making telephone solicitation calls on a legal holidays.6
  • It extends all of the protections in the TRA to “business telephone subscribers,” which are individuals or entities that subscribe to telephone service at a business location within Pennsylvania where the service provider classifies the line as a business line.7
  • It removes the five-year renewal requirement for keeping a phone number on the Pennsylvania DNC list, thereby giving consumers and businesses the ability to register their phone number(s) on the list permanently.8 (Consumers who have previously registered their phone number on the list need not take any action to have their numbers appear on the list permanently; i.e., they are not required to re-register or renew.)
  • It defines “robocalls” (telephone solicitation calls made to a large number of people using a computerized autodialer to deliver a prerecorded telemarketing message) and places various obligations upon telemarketers that choose to make such calls.9

With specific respect to robocalls, the new law requires telemarketers to establish procedures to allow called persons to opt out of receiving future telephone solicitation calls and be immediately taken off the list. Telemarketers must also provide notice to any called number, at the beginning of the call, stating how the recipient of the call can opt out, as well as offer a mechanism by which the recipient can do so immediately or at any time during the call (the Immediate Opt-Out Mechanism). The Immediate Opt-Out Mechanism must be available to the recipient through “an automated, interactive voice-activated or key-press-activated opt-out mechanism … including brief explanatory instructions on how to use the opt-out mechanism, within two seconds of disclosing the name of the caller and the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made.”

The recipient’s written consent may not be required to opt-out, and the act of opting out cannot be considered as creating an “established business relationship.” (Calls made to a telephone subscriber with which the telemarketer has an established business relationship within the past 12 months preceding the call are excluded from the definition of a telephone solicitation call.)

Finally, when a robocall is left on an answering machine or a voicemail service, the message must provide a toll-free telephone number that enables the called person to call back at a later time and connect directly to the Immediate Opt-Out Mechanism and automatically record the called person’s number to the do-not-call list of the telemarketer or telemarketing business.10

The enforcement provisions in the TRA have not been changed.11 The TRA is enforced by the Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) in the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General, which is empowered to receive and investigate complaints from the public, as well as to bring actions to impose civil penalties upon violators and seek other relief, including injunctive relief, under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTP/CPL).12 Willful violations of the UTP/CPL carry a civil penalty of up to $1,000, or $3,000 if the person contacted is age 60 or older.13 Ten percent of any penalty the BCP collects, up to a maximum of $100, must be remitted to the complainant.14 In addition, failure to register as a telemarketer as required by the act constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree.15 The TRA does not appear to give consumers a private right of action for violations.

Although the telemarketing law applies on its face only to telemarketers and “telemarketing businesses” (business entities that are or have engaged in the business of telephone solicitations and employ at least one telemarketer), a financial institution looking to engage the services of such an individual or entity should conduct thorough due diligence to verify that the service provider understands and is capable of complying with the TRA’s provisions, and periodically monitor the service provider’s performance.16 The financial institution must also keep in mind that telemarketers acting on its behalf who fail to comply with the provisions of the TRA can subject the institution to serious reputational harm.

The new law provides only a short period of time for telemarketers to upgrade their systems to meet these new requirements. It becomes effective on Dec. 3, 2019.17

Terms & Conditions


The following terms and conditions (“Terms and Conditions”) govern your use of the World Wide Web Site located at (this “website”). By accessing, viewing, or using the content, material, or services available on or through this website, you indicate that you have read and understand these Terms and Conditions, and that you agree with them and you intend to be legally bound by them. If you do not agree to these Terms and Conditions, you are not granted permission to use this website and must exit immediately.

THIS WEBSITE IS OWNED BY COMMERCIAL ACCEPTANCE COMPANY (“CAC”), A DEBT COLLECTOR. CAC IS ATTEMPTING TO COLLECT A DEBT AND ANY INFORMATION CAC OBTAINS WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE. By using this website, you certify that the information you are providing is accurate and that CAC may rely on the information provided and further, you authorize CAC to utilize any provided information in CAC’s preparation of its response to any request that you make.

Contacting You:

By using our website you agree that CAC, in order for it to service your account or to collect any amounts you may owe, CAC may contact you by telephone at any telephone number that you provided to CAC or to parties under contract with CAC and/or is associated with your account, including wireless telephone numbers, which could result in charges to you. We may also contact you by sending text messages or emails, using any wireless telephone number or e-mail address you provided to CAC or to parties under contract with CAC and/or is associated with your account. Methods of contact may include using prerecorded/artificial voice messages and/or use of an automatic dialing device, as applicable. I/We have read this disclosure and agree that CAC may contact me/us as described above.

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This website, the website materials on and in and made available through this website, and the services, information, and products offered by CAC, in connection therewith are made available “as is” and “with all faults” and CAC make no representations or warranties, and disclaim all representations and warranties, with respect to this website, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Use of this website is entirely at your own risk.                                                                                                                                                                  

CAC shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential, exemplary, extra-contractual, or punitive damages of any kind whatever, including, without limitation, lost revenues or lost profits, which may or do result from the use of, access to, or inability to use this website, the website materials on and in and made available through this website, or the services, information, and products offered in connection therewith, regardless of legal theory, whether or not any party had been advised of the possibility or probability of such damages, and even if the remedies otherwise available fail of their essential purpose.

Privacy Statement: CAC has a Privacy Notice setting out CAC’s online information gathering and dissemination practices with respect to the website. The Privacy Notice is incorporated into these Terms and Conditions by reference, as if set forth fully herein.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction:

These Terms and Conditions, including, without limitation, the Privacy Notice, represent the entire agreement between you and CAC with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersede any and all prior and contemporaneous written and oral representations, understandings, and agreements, express and implied, and will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. By accessing, viewing, or using the works, content, or materials on this website, you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal and state courts presiding in Pennsylvania, the state of incorporation for CAC and agree to accept service of process by personal delivery or mail and hereby waive any and all jurisdictional and venue defenses otherwise available.

Termination of Rights:

CAC reserves the right to terminate your access to this website in the event that you violate

these Terms and Conditions or for any reason whatever or no reason, with or without notice, in addition to any and all other remedies available at law or in equity.

Changes to these Terms and Conditions:

These Terms and Conditions may be changed at any time. CAC reserves the right to add, modify or delete any information on this website at any time, with or without notice. Any change to these Terms and Conditions shall be effective as to any visitor who has visited the website before the change was made. Without limiting the generality of anything else, CAC makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update this website or any of the information obtained through this website, and it shall not be responsible for any errors or omissions in the website.


You agree to indemnify and hold harmless CAC, and its directors, officers, managers, employees, donors, agents, and licensors, from and against all losses, expenses, damages and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, resulting from your violation of these Terms and Conditions.

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Notice sets forth the information gathering, use, and dissemination practices of Commercial Acceptance Company (“CAC”) in connection with the World Wide Web site located at (“website”). This Privacy Notice addresses CAC’s practices regarding information collected only directly through or from its website – it does not address or govern any information gathering, use, or dissemination practices related to information collected other than directly through or from its website, including, without limitation, from or via telephone, facsimile, postal mail, personal delivery, or other or additional offline means or media. By using our website, you consent to our privacy policy.

CAC collects, uses, and stores information on the domain you use to access its website, the Internet address of the site from which you linked directly to its website, and the date and time of your visit to its website. This information may be used to measure the number of visitors to the various pages on the CAC website, to help make improvements to the information contained on the site, and to better serve site visitors through special marketing and service programs, among others. CAC also collects, uses, and stores the e-mail addresses of users that communicate with CAC via e-mail, information knowingly provided by website users, and information regarding which website pages users’ access.

Personal information contained in e-mail sent by individuals may be used by CAC to answer questions, follow-up on suggestions or complaints, process requests or transactions, or improve the level of service CAC provides.

CAC does not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, including parties under contract with CAC, servicing you and your account or with whom CAC has entered into a corporate transaction, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

Except as necessary for CAC to provide the services, information, or products requested by a website user, or except for the disclosures identified in the preceding paragraph, the user may opt out of having his or her personally identifiable information, which has been voluntarily provided to CAC through or from its website, prospectively retained by CAC, used by CAC for secondary purposes, or disclosed by CAC to third parties where permitted by law, by contacting CAC via postal mail at the address set out below, by phone at +1.800.690.3857 or fax at +717.901.5565.

While CAC may undertake efforts to see that another party to which CAC shares personal information is under a contractual obligation to use the personal information solely for the purposes for which the information was disclosed by CAC, CAC exercises no control over such parties and CAC is not responsible for their conduct, actions, omissions, or information handling or dissemination practices.

Although we believe that the website is secure, E-mail posted or sent through this website could be intercepted by unauthorized individuals. To protect against interception by such unauthorized individuals CAC has implemented physical, electronic, and procedural security safeguards to protect against the unauthorized release of or access to personal information. Additionally, to further safeguard this information, our employees are asked to agree to CAC’s Confidentiality Agreement, and are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment if they fail to follow signed agreements.

In your communications with CAC, whether by email or U.S. Postal Service, be sure to include your name, your mailing address, the CAC account number, creditor name, and creditor account number so that we may process your inquiry and respond promptly. Without complete information, we will be unable to respond to your request.

If you do not wish to communicate with CAC by email regarding a debt that has been placed for collection with CAC, non-email correspondence regarding that account should include the account information as described above and should be sent by U.S. Postal Service. The address for mailing inquiries is:

Commercial Acceptance Company
2300 Gettysburg Road
Camp Hill, PA 17011


CAC may change this Privacy Notice at any time. Notice of any new or revised Privacy Notice, as well as the location of the new or revised statement, will be posted on the website for at least 60 days after the change. It is the obligation of users visiting the website before the change to learn of changes to the Privacy Notice since their last visit. Any change to this Privacy Notice shall be effective as to any website user who has visited the website before the change was made.


State and Federal Disclosures

Commercial Acceptance Company is required under certain State and Local laws to notify consumers of those states or localities of their rights.  The following does not contain a complete list of the rights consumers have under Federal, State or Local laws:

California – The state Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act require that, except under unusual circumstances, collectors may not contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They may not harass you by using threats of violence or arrest or by using obscene language.  Collectors may not use false or misleading statements or call you at work if they know or have reason to know that you may not receive personal calls at work. For the most part, collectors may not tell another person, other than your attorney or spouse, about your debt. Collectors may contact another person to confirm your location or enforce a judgment. For more information about debt collection activities, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or

Colorado – A consumer has the right to request in writing that a debt collector or collection agency cease further communication with the consumer. A written request to cease communication will not prohibit the debt collector or collection agency from taking any other action authorized by law to collect the debt.


Local Colorado Office, Phone: (303) 920-4763, Address: Building B, 80 Garden Center Suite 3, Broomfield, CO 80020.

Massachusetts – NOTICE OF IMPORTANT RIGHTS:  You have the right to make a written or oral request that telephone calls regarding your debt not be made to you at your place of employment.  Any such oral request will be valid for only ten (10) days unless you provide written confirmation of the request postmarked or delivered within seven (7) days of such request.  You may terminate this request by writing to the debt collector.  You may contact our offices during the following times: Monday through Thursday 8:00AM to 9PM, and Friday 8:00AM to 5:00PM Eastern Standard Time.

New York City – New York City Department of Consumer Affairs License Number: 1323004-DCA  

New York State – Debt collectors, in accordance with the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., are prohibited from engaging in abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection efforts, including but not limited to:

(i) the use or threat of violence;

(ii) the use of obscene or profane language; and

(iii) repeated phone calls made with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass.

If a creditor or debt collector receives a money judgment against you in court, state and federal laws may prevent the following types of income from being taken to pay the debt:

  1. Supplemental security income;
  2. Social Security;
  3. Public Assistance;
  4. Spousal support, maintenance (alimony) or child support;
  5. Unemployment benefits;
  6. Disability benefits;
  7. Workers’ Compensation benefits;
  8. Public or private pensions;
  9. Veterans’ benefits;
  10. Federal student loans, federal student grants, and federal work study funds; and
  11. Ninety percent of your wages or salary earned in the last sixty days.

This communication is from a debt collector.  This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.