Does the Do Not Call List have any teeth?

Real Estate Agent with Datamar, Inc. / Homestead Data

While calling distressed homeowners on the Do Not Call List is a slippery slope that has the potential hefty fines, a lot of agents feel that they are exempt from the do not call regulations. The sentiment is they are not really "selling anything", but rather, providing advice on the borrower's alternatives to foreclosure. In fact, one short sale agent memorably likened her work in advising distressed homeowners to "social work". A mortgage broker told me, "I don't care about the do not call list because if it wasn't for me, they would have their belongings hauled out to the curb". A little insensative perhaps, but it begs the question whether it's ok - or not ok - for real estate professionals to be impervious to the do not call list.

Obviously, land lines are becoming obsolete as more people - particularily younger people - use cell phones, and so the availability of phone numbers have dwindled. Enter the Do Not Call Registry and the already low numbers of phone numbers plummet dramatically with any marketing list.

This has forced agents that like calling distressed homeowners to find other vehicles to deliver their message of hope and solutions, or in many cases that I've seen, plainly ignore the do not call list and look up the homeowner up. Certainly, no responsible data provider would advocate doing that but it seems to be the overwelming law of the land. 

Comments (5)

Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA
Liz Harris Realty - Chandler, AZ

I don't call the Do Not Call list period... distressed or not.

Oct 05, 2011 02:01 PM
Jenifer Lower
Bozeman Montana Real Estate .net - Bozeman, MT
Your Dream. Our Passion.

I don't call them either, they very strongly and politely asked that we not contact them, why would you assume it is appropriate to do so?

Oct 05, 2011 02:17 PM
Michael L. Brownstead
Brownstead Real Estate, LLC - Frisco, TX
ABR, GRI, MRP, SRS, 1SG US Army (Ret.)

Thank you so much for sharing the info, I hope you had a great day in real estate!

Oct 05, 2011 02:38 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


I think it is so convoluted here. I think it would be ideal if instead of all the do not call lists, that information would go to providers, and every time you call the number on that list, you hear the message that this number  is on do not call list.

This way thhose who still call would have no excuse. I am sure technically that could be done

Oct 05, 2011 03:39 PM
Melissa Ostrom & Melville Capps Newton MA - The Mel and Mel Team
(617) 388-3151 | Century 21 Commonwealth - Newton, MA

Brandon, the Do Not Call List does not have a private right of action. It is only enforceable by the government, but when they do enforce it will trouble.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is still in effect, and it does provide for a private right of action. In my law practice in California I sued many telemarketers who violated the TCPA mostly for using computerized automated dialers that left messages to thousands of people a day.

Melville Capps

Oct 05, 2011 04:24 PM