Debt Collectors Can Now Text, Email, and Send Direct Messages to Borrowers on Social Media

Debt collectors can now text, email, and send direct messages to borrowers on social media after new rules approved by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took effect on Tuesday.

The new rules clarify how debt collectors can use email, text messages, social media, and other contemporary methods to communicate with consumers. It also enables borrowers to limit the ability of debt collectors to contact them through such communication methods.

While debt collectors are able to contact borrowers via an array of communication methods, the 1977 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits harassing, abusive, and unfair debt collection practices as well as false and misleading representations by debt collectors.

Under the new rules, debt collectors who contact borrowers on social media have to identify themselves as such and give consumers the option to opt of out being contacted online.

That option needs to be “a reasonable and simple method to opt-out of such communications at a specific email address or telephone number.”

Any messages they send must be done so privately, meaning they cannot post on the borrower’s public page, however, debt collectors are able to send a friend request or follow the consumer, as long as they provide identifying information.

A debt collector is presumed to violate federal law if they “place telephone calls to a particular person in connection with the collection of a particular debt more than seven times within seven consecutive days or within seven consecutive days of having had a telephone conversation about the debt,” as per the new rules.

Debt collectors are also prohibited from using or threatening to sue consumers on time-barred debt and are required to take “specific steps” to disclose the existence of a debt to consumers before reporting information about the debt to a consumer reporting agency.

Specifically, debt collectors must speak with the consumer in person or wait at least 14 days after sending a letter or virtual communication before reporting them to a credit rating agency.

If a consumer believes that the collector is breaking the rules, they can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

However, the CFPB rules do not explicitly state how often a debt collector can contact a consumer via text, email, or private messages.

“The rule is the result of a deliberative, thoughtful process spanning more than seven years and reflects engagement with consumer advocates, debt collectors, and other stakeholders,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said.

The CFPB has proposed extending the planned start date of the new rules to Jan. 29, 2022, but later determined that the extension was “unnecessary” and set the planned start date of Nov. 30, 2021.

CFPB praised the move as a welcome change to the outdated methods currently used by debt collectors to reach out to consumers.

“With the vast changes in communications since the FDCPA was passed more than four decades ago, it is important to provide clear rules of the road,” said CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger. “Our debt collection rulemaking provides limits on debt collectors and provides clear rights for consumers. With this modernized debt collection rule, consumers will have greater control when communicating with debt collectors.”

However, some critics have expressed concerns that the new rules will negatively impact consumers who don’t have access to regular internet or don’t check social media regularly, resulting in them missing any communications from debt collectors.

April Kraninger, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, told NPR, that the new rules “are really disappointing and concerning in a number of ways.”

Kraninger said that the new rules may also give rise to more criminals taking advantage of the newer methods of communication and attempting to unlawfully contact consumers by posing as legitimate debt collectors.

“I have actually already gotten my first spam debt collection email even before the new rules took effect,” she said. “So certainly we should anticipate more bad actors who are trying to scam people into paying them money on alleged debts.” 

By Katabella Roberts

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Free Webinar: Growing Employee Engagement During the Great Resignation

Every business today—whether yours is a small business or a large enterprise—is dealing with the organizational change of the “Great Resignation.” The effects of the persistent global pandemic have empowered ... Read more »

Take Advantage of This Easy and Effective Way to Improve Employee Experience

In the past year or two, there has been a notable move to employee experience (EX) as a new yardstick for organizational excellence. Although the concept has floated around since ... Read more »

Part of a SpaceX Rocket Is Going to Collide With the Moon

A SpaceX rocket is predicted to land on the moon — or at least a part of it. Constantinos Hinis | Getty Images Since 2015, a booster from a SpaceX Falcon 9 ... Read more »

Your Energy Is Like Currency. Invest It Wisely to See the Greatest Rewards.

A common problem company owners encounter is how and when to remove themselves from its daily processes. After all, heroic efforts have been made by these individuals to build a ... Read more »

Gary Vaynerchuk to Open World's First NFT Restaurant in NYC

NFTs have been exciting (and baffling) the world since they went mainstream in 2021; artist Beeple sold one of his pieces for $69 million at Christie’s, and household names like ... Read more »

How NFTs Have Changed Digital Art Forever

“Artists only get rich after they’re dead” is an old axiom that could be about to change. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) provide artists, musicians, photographers and other content creators with digital protection ... Read more »

The 1 Question -- and 3 Answers -- That Speak Volumes about Your Company's Culture

When I am initially engaged by an organization to help it address deficiencies related to leadership competency and skills, I begin every engagement with a diagnostic, much like in medicine — a ... Read more »

Chinese teen ‘abandoned twice' by birth parents dies by suicide: reports

Liu Xuezhou, 17, died of an overdose of anti-depressants. Weibo A Chinese teen sold as an infant has died by suicide after a social media search reunited him with his ... Read more »

Neo-Nazi Russian Attack Unit Hints It's Going Back Into Ukraine Undercover

Instagram One of the most feared and radical Russian paramilitary groups may have slipped up on social media and revealed its plans to return undercover to Ukraine, where it was ... Read more »

US-China tech war: Shenzhen to establish international sourcing platform for semiconductors as global chip shortage persists

China will develop an international sourcing platform for semiconductors and other electronic components in Shenzhen – known as the country’s Silicon Valley and the richest city in southern Guangdong province ... Read more »

Digital trends 2022: Every stat digital marketers need to know about the internet

12½ trillion hours spent online, a new milestone in internet adoption, and new records for social media use… If you expected digital to return to “business as usual” in 2022, ... Read more »

Maxim Gorin Explains How to Create a Social Media Policy for Your Business

Social media has become the front-facing communication source for many businesses, but with great responsibility. You need to ensure that your company employs the correct etiquette to avoid potential lawsuits. ... Read more »

Davina McCall claims cancel culture means 'forgiveness isn't on the agenda anymore'

Davina McCall has spoken about cancel culture. (Samir Hussein/WireImage) Davina McCall has revealed her misgivings about cancel culture, claiming it has created a “lack of forgiveness” in society. Speaking during ... Read more »

Master a Foreign Language and Save Up to 60 Percent with Babbel Language Learning

If you want a serious advantage over almost everybody you know and work with, there’s an easy step to take to set yourself apart: learning another language. For years, foreign ... Read more »

The COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to make a healthy shift in body ideals

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyday life for many people in both trivial and profound ways. Embracing pants without a waistband, trying out creative baking – and perhaps spending a ... Read more »

How Success Happened for Kaylin Marcotte, Founder and CEO of JIGGY Puzzles

When Kaylin Marcotte set out to modernize the humble jigsaw puzzle, she had no idea what the journey would have in store. She launched Jiggy in November 2019 and has ... Read more »

The omicron variant is deepening severe staffing shortages in medical laboratories across the US

Medical laboratory professionals form the backbone of health care and the public health system. They conduct some 13 billion laboratory medicine tests annually in the U.S. As of January 2022, ... Read more »

Moving While Working Remotely

The Great Resignation provides many employees the opportunity to achieve higher titles and pay, and gives some of the power back to the everyday worker. We often hear about people ... Read more »

Restaurant Chain Slammed For Viral Photo of Policy Claiming Employees Must Earn Five-Star Reviews or Be Terminated

Chances are you’ve probably been at a restaurant or in a store and had employees mention to you that they would be appreciative if you could leave a review for ... Read more »

Google To Replace Third-Party Cookies With Topics API Browser Approach

Google  – Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is testing a new approach called Topics API, aiming to replace the FLoC – Federated Learnings of Cohorts – announced last year. With the move, ... Read more »

Every Entrepreneur Should Back Up Their Email

From internal communications to email marketing, email remains king of the business world in 2022. Sure, instant messaging apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams have made headways, but in the ... Read more »

3 Entrepreneur Lessons From the Movie Free Guy

If you were locked down or sheltering in place when the movie Free Guy hit the box office, then you missed out on tons for business lessons. Of course, even if you watched the movie then you might ... Read more »

How you can get free N95 masks from the US government

© Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images President Joe Biden holds a mask on January 13 as he highlights his administration’s plan to distribute free Covid-19 tests and masks to the American public. ... Read more »

6 Tips to Consider When Searching for a Franchise for the First Time

With over 3,000 different franchise concepts to choose from, the intense search to find the perfect match for your goals, income potential and lifestyle can leave you wanting to get ... Read more »

Fill Your Talent Gap by Sourcing Candidates From the Veteran Community

Since April 2016, I’ve had the privilege of serving as an executive coach for The Honor Foundation and supporting the career transition of Navy SEALs, Green Berets, special forces operators and ... Read more »

Start 2022 With a SWOT Analysis

One of the components that typically goes in a business plan is a SWOT analysis. Whether or not you’re in the process of creating a business plan, a SWOT analysis ... Read more »

5 Dirty Secrets About Online Business Today

Most of my students aren’t complete online business newbies. Many of them have tried at least some kind of online business at some point. Some of them are trying to juggle ... Read more »

Market Selling Resumes; GE, J&J Miss on Revenues

Tuesday, January 25, 2022Yesterday afternoon’s respite from a weeks-long sullen, bearish attitude in the market indexes came as a breath of fresh air. We hope everyone got to enjoy it, ... Read more »

Play IBM Strength With These ETFs

After the closing bell on Jan 24, International Business Machines IBM cheered investors as it reported solid fourth-quarter 2021 results, beating earnings estimates. Though the software giant lagged on revenues, ... Read more »

Zacks.com featured highlights include: Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., KB Home, Group 1 Automotive and Signet Jewelers Ltd

For Immediate Release Chicago, IL – January 25, 2022 – Stocks in this week’s article are Ford Motor Co. F, General Motors Co. GM, KB Home KBH, Group 1 Automotive ... Read more »

When is it Right to Fire Your Marketing Agency?

Businesses typically hire a marketing agency when they need help. Their internal marketing efforts aren’t working, or they don’t have the resources or capacity to handle marketing by themselves. In ... Read more »

3 Gaming Stocks to Buy Despite Industry Challenges

The Zacks Gaming industry is gradually recovering from the pandemic blues. Although Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore are showing signs of resurgence, revenues and traffic from the regions are still ... Read more »

Take Your Excel and Data Analytics Skills to the Next Level

Each year, the business world relies even more on data. As an entrepreneur, you gather tons of data on processes, customers, marketing, and so much more. If you’re not doing ... Read more »

Ericsson (ERIC) Beats Earnings & Revenue Estimates in Q4

Ericsson ERIC reported impressive fourth-quarter 2021 results, wherein both the bottom and the top lines beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate.The Sweden-based telecom gear maker continues to expand its footprint, despite ... Read more »

Etsy (ETSY) Moves 3.5% Higher: Will This Strength Last?

Etsy (ETSY) shares ended the last trading session 3.5% higher at $154.06. The jump came on an impressive volume with a higher-than-average number of shares changing hands in the session. ... Read more »

Catalent (CTLT) to Report Q2 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Catalent, Inc. CTLT is scheduled to report second-quarter fiscal 2022 results on Feb 1, before market open. – Zacks In the last-reported quarter, the company’s earnings of 71 cents per ... Read more »

These Are The Ten Stocks With Worst Start To 2022

The stock market didn’t have the best start in 2022. Worries over rising coronavirus cases and inflation have made investors less confident in equities. Investors, however, could use the current ... Read more »

Is Jack Henry & Associates a Smart Stock to Buy Now?

The shares of S&P 500 fintech company Jack Henry & Associates (JKHY) have been declining in price this year due to the broader market weakness. So, as the Fed prepares ... Read more »

4 Buy the Dip Semiconductor Stocks That Offer Growth and Value

The global semiconductor industry achieved unprecedented growth last year thanks to hefty private capital investments and government funding. Because this trend is expected to continue in 2022, we think it ... Read more »

5 Big Cap Earnings All Stars to Watch This Week

Earnings season picks up steam this week as over 400 companies are expected to report, many of them being large cap companies. – Zacks The large caps have outperformed over ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic