No Call – No Fax Resources
National Do Not Call Registry
The rules for the use of the National Do Not Call Registry come from both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. The FTC rules apply to interstate (between states) calls while the FCC regulations apply to both interstate and intrastate (within the state) calls, and include cell phones — not just residential telephone numbers. Calls to a consumer's residence or cell phone that encourage the purchase of, rental of or investment in property, goods or services are regulated. For REALTORS®, this generally includes cold calling, calls to owners with cancelled or expired listings, calls to FSBOs and calls to consumers referred by others. REALTORS® placing these calls should check whether the phone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry if an exception does not apply.
FCC fax regulations
Under the Junk Fax Prevention Act, businesses and individuals must use a cover sheet with opt-out language on all faxes and must have permission or an established business relationship (EBR) before sending an unsolicited fax.
What impact do the federal rules have on Wisconsin REALTORS®?
Wisconsin's No Call List and regulations remain in effect, and little will change in the daily practice of Wisconsin licensees placing telephone solicitation calls.
- Wisconsin REALTORS® who are in compliance with Wisconsin law will almost certainly be in compliance with FCC regulations as well.
- Wisconsin REALTORS® who call consumers in other states should be aware of the FTC and FCC rules as well as the laws in those states.
- The FTC Do Not Call regulations apply to only interstate telephone calls; the FCC regulations apply to interstate calls as well as intrastate calls when the applicable state law is not more restrictive.
- The FCC rules require express permission or an EBR before any faxed advertisements can be transmitted.
Wisconsin no-call list
Wisconsin REALTORS® may risk penalties and possible litigation unless they register as telephone solicitors or adjust their business practices. A "telephone solicitation" is defined by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection as an unsolicited telephone call that encourages the consumer to purchase property, goods or services, or a call that is part of a plan or scheme to encourage the consumer to buy property, goods or services. "Telephone solicitation" calls include those calls involving traditional telemarketing activity and also may include the calls a REALTOR® makes to clients or customers to remind them to perform certain tasks related to the transaction, such as ordering the septic test required by the offer contingency or obtaining an insurance binder for closing.
No agent can legally make a "telephone solicitation" call to a Wisconsin residence unless the broker is registered with the DATCP or the purpose of the call is exempt.
WRA legal resources
Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine Articles
- Wisconsin will not share the numbers on its existing No Call List with the National Do Not Call Registry. As a result, Wisconsin consumers must register their number for the National Do Not Call Registry either online at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (toll-free), TTY 1-866-290-4236. Please note: if registering by phone, the call must be made from the telephone number the caller wants to register. Consumers may register cell phone numbers. Registration is free and is good for five years.