On November 30, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued 2 new rules under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The new debt collection rules cover modern communication strategies like email, text messages, and social media.
Now, debt collectors cannot only call you and contact you via post, but they can also send you emails, text messages, and even friend requests.
Can Debt Collectors Contact Me on Social Media?
Yes, debt collectors can contact you on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, but there are limits. For example, debt collectors may only send you private messages. They cannot post to your Facebook wall or Twitter feed nor use social media to publicize your debt.
Additionally, debt collectors must identify themselves and give you the chance to opt-out of communications.
Under no circumstances can debt collectors harass or threaten you when trying to collect on a debt.
How Often Can Debt Collectors Contact Me?
Debt collectors can only call you 7 times within a 7-day period, and they cannot call within 7 days of a phone conversation. Unfortunately, these restrictions do not apply to emails, texts, and messages on social media.
Remember that other restrictions apply to social media, and debt collectors must give you a simple way to opt-out of receiving communications from them on each social media platform.
How Do These New Rules Affect Me?
The new debt collection rules mean you must be extra vigilant about protecting your rights and avoiding debt collection scams. If you have social media accounts, check them regularly, so you do not miss critical information about a debt.
Always verify the legitimacy of a debt collector before sharing any personal information – ask for the name, phone number, and physical address of the debt collection agency and do not communicate with any debt collectors who do not provide this information upfront or within 5 days of contacting you.
Before claiming a debt, you can make a written request for more information. Once you make this request, the debt collector must send you a debt collection validation notice, which includes a “tear-off” form that you can use to dispute the debt or ask the collector to stop contacting you.
If you are ever suspicious of a debt collector or collection agency, you can also speak to the original lender to discuss the details of your account.
What If a Debt Collector Breaks the Rules?
If a debt collector breaks the rules, you can file a complaint against them by calling the CFPB at (855) 411-CFPB (2372) or submitting a complaint online.
Collectors who break the law can face consequences from the Federal Trade Commission, and local authorities can hold them accountable for violating state law, as well.
You may also be able to sue your debt collector, and Robert H. Solomon, PC can help. We have been helping people like you find solutions to their debt for more than 3 decades, and we offer a free initial consultation to help you get started.
If you’re tired of fielding phone calls and messages from debt collectors, call us at (516) 407-8199 or contact us online to speak directly to an attorney and put 35+ years of experience on your side.