Debt Collectors Can Now Text, Email and DM You On Social Media

An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: New rules approved by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that took effect on Tuesday dictate how collection agencies can email and text people as well as message them on social media to seek repayment for unpaid debts. Kathleen L. Kraninger, the former CFPB director who oversaw the rule changes, said last year that they were a necessary update to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which is more than four decades old. "We are finally leaving 1977 behind and developing a debt collection system that works for consumers and industry in the modern world," Kraninger said in a blog post. Under the new rules, debt collectors who contact you on social media have to identify themselves as debt collectors but can attempt to join your network by sending you a friend request. Collectors must give you the option to opt out of being contacted online, and any messages they send have to be private -- collectors can't post on your page if it can be seen by your contacts or the public. Collection agencies can also email and text message debtors, but must still offer the ability to opt out. Industry officials praised the move as a welcome change to the outdated methods currently used by the collections industry. The new rules were devised during the Trump administration, when the bureau became more business-friendly than it had been in the past. The new rules also set a limit for the first time on how often debt collectors can call you. Agencies will be restricted to seven calls per week per account in collection.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.