In 1991, Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because consumers were concerned about the number of unsoliticed telephone marketing calls they were receiving. Because of this law, the Federal Trade Commission established the Do-Not-Call Registery which is nationwide in scope and applies to all telemarketers. Telemarketers are not allowed to call a phone number if it is listed in the registry. Real estate "cold calls" are considered telemarketing and therefore cold calls are not permitted to registered phone numbers.
According to the law, telemarketers are required to transmit caller ID and may not block their information. Additionally, telemarketers must provide his or her name, the name of the company for which they are calling, and a telephone number at which the company can be contacted. Telemarketers are required to search the registry every 31 days to be sure none of the numbers they are calling is on the Registry.
But, are warm calls permitted? In other words, if a homeowner has expressed interest in selling their home, i.e. an expired listing or a FSBO, are they still protected by this law? Calls are not prohibited if the telemarketer has an established business relationship with the homeowner - does a homeowner posting their phone number as a FSBO consitute a business relationship with real estate professionals? Does listing a home in the MLS constitute a business relationship?
I've heard mixed opinions on this matter and I'm curious about your take - is it unlawful for real estate professionals to call active FSBOs or expired listings if they are registered with the Do-Not-Call registry?