Debt Collectors Will Soon Be Able to Contact You on Social Media
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a new rule today that will let debt collectors contact consumers not just by phone, as presently permitted, but also by email, text message, and even using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The new rule goes into effect a year from today. Besides being able to contact you through social media like a crazy ex boyfriend/girlfriends, collection agencies will also be allowed to contact you more frequently. They’ll be able to place up to seven debt-collection phone calls per week, as well as send an unlimited number of text and email messages and social media private posts. Under certain circumstances they can go even crazier and call you more often.
The CFPB says that consumers will have the option to opt out of all electronic communications with debt collectors. But it is not clear yet how that will work. Debt collectors who use electronic messaging are required to provide at least an opt out option for that specific service.
“The rule clarifies how debt collectors can use email, text messages, social media, and other contemporary methods to communicate with consumers. And our rule will allow consumers, if they prefer, to limit the ability of debt collectors to communicate with them through these newer communication methods.” the bureau’s director, Kathleen L. Kraninger, wrote in the announcement.
In a move opposed by consumer advocates, debt collectors won’t be required to confirm that they have accurate details of the debt, such as the identity of the debtor and the amount owed, before attempting to collect it.