FCC Announces Beta Test Period for Reassigned Number Database

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday announced that its reassigned numbers database will be undergoing a beta test from July 1 through September 30 during which callers and caller agents may use the database without charge.

The FCC has been working on the database — which is intended to be used by callers to determine if a cell phone number has been reassigned to someone other than the individual seeking to be contacted — for more than three years. Knowing that a phone number has been reassigned can tell a company not to contact that number.

For collectors, the reassigned number database is going to be a central component of their text messaging process once Regulation F — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Debt Collection Rule — goes into effect. If a collector sends a text message to a consumer that does not respond to within 60 days, collectors will have to check the reassigned number database to ensure the number has not been given to someone else before sending another text message.

Participating in the beta test will allow callers and caller agents to determine how much they actually use the database prior to subscribing to it and to test the system and provide feedback to the database’s administrator, according to the FCC. Callers and caller agents interested in participating in the beta test can go to
https://www.reassigned.us/ or email support@reassigned.us for more information.

The utility of the database for the accounts receivable management industry has been called into question, because it is not keeping track of the date a number was reassigned. New placements made to a collection agency do not always include the date that the last right-party contact was made, meaning the agency may not have any confidence in establishing a date in which the consumer was likely associated with that number.

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