Debt collectors do everything they possibly can to try to collect a debt. A Federal Law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices ACT (FDCPA) details what a debt collector can and cannot do. Changes are made to the FDCPA from time to time as a result of changes in the way people communicate. Unfortunately, the rights of consumers to not be harassed are not a part of the updated laws. In fact, it appears that the new rules make it easier for creditor harassment.
In 2021, changes will be made specifically allowing debt collectors to try to collect from a person by sending unwanted texts and communicating via a private message on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media. This means that you can be viewing photos of your friend’s vacation and at the same time get a message demanding payment on a past-due debt. Viewing your social media pages should not be a time to see harassing collection efforts, but our government disagrees. The new rules pretend to give consumers the right to stop the harassment, but in doing so the government is extending the type of communication that can happen unless a consumer follows a specific method to request the communication stop. It gets even worse – the new rules limit phone calls to one call per day, but no limits are put on the number of texts and messages that can be sent. This may open the door for a depth of harassment that we have never seen before.
You can read the full notice here: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-issues-final-rule-implement-fair-debt-collection-practices-act/. If you are being harassed by debt collectors, call our office at 1-855-GET-HELP (855-438-4957) to set a free consultation with an experienced attorney.