Debt collectors are known to call you to try and collect any debt you owe.
Now, they can contact you with texts, emails, and social media direct messages.
The rules changed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and went into effect on Nov. 30.
There are two new rules in place.
First, there is a rule that clarifies what counts as “harassment and abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices.”
The CFPB explains that federal law is violated when a debt collector calls someone in connection with a specific debt over 7 times within 7 days, or within 7 days of having a conversation about that debt.
This means the collector can call 7 times about 7 different accounts.
They are not legally allowed to threaten to sue you.
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An opt out option needs to be provided with texts and emails.
The second rules states that debt collectors need to provide information about the debt from the beginning of communications.
They also need to offer information on how the consumer can respond to the debt.
These steps are all necessary before the debt can be reported to the consumer reporting agency.
What happens if they contact me through social media?
When a debt collector chooses to message you through text, email, or a direct message on social media, they must identify themselves.
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They are not allowed to comment publicly on things others can see.
They must provide an opt out option through whatever way they contact you.
Keep in mind this change is also an opportunity for scammers to try and trick people into paying off debt.