Debt collectors aren’t just calling anymore, they can now contact you through text message, email and on social media sites.
It’s the result of a new rule approved by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The updated standards come with detailed restrictions on what debt collectors can and can not do.
Though debt collectors can contact you on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, they must clearly identify themselves.
They can only send private messages and as a part of the message, they must offer an opt-out option for receiving further messages when reaching out through social media, email or texts.
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“This was a necessary protection for the consumer,” Certified Public Accountant Howard Dvorkin said.
Dvorkin is the Chairman of Debt.com. He said the new restrictions offer needed protections to people in debt.
The rule also specifies that before a collector can report a defaulted debt to a credit agency, they must speak to the borrower in person, by telephone, or wait 14 days after sending the correspondence.
But, with phishing scams and other schemes coming straight to our phone and email, you should do what you can to verify the sender of any message is legitimate.
If a debt collector is contacting you about an outstanding debt, they must provide you with the following information.
- -The name of the creditor
- -The amount owed
- -The name of the original creditor, if it is different from the current creditor
If a collector does not follow these guidelines, Dvorkin says you should report it.
“The best is to complain to who regulates them which is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Dvorkin said.
Along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you can also submit complaints about collector harassment or violations to the Federal Trade Commission or Florida’s Office of Attorney General.