Millions of Americans are dealing with debt, especially after an incredibly stressful year of lost jobs and economic challenges. And for roughly 25 percent of adults who have bills in collections, overcoming debt in the coming months may not get easier.
This is due to changing rules that make it easier for debt collectors to contact consumers.
Limits on telephone calls
The new rule comes from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and goes into effect later this year. At that point, collectors can contact individuals by phone no more than seven times in seven consecutive days.
If you discuss your debt with a collector, they cannot contact you for the next seven consecutive days.
Debt collectors who break these rules are violating federal law and the rights of borrowers.
More than phone calls
The new rule also expands how debt collectors can start contacting individuals. Rather than just calling them, collectors can use:
- Text messages
- Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Email messages
These changes mean that instead of bristling every time the phone rings, consumers can start feeling apprehensive every time they check email, get a text or sign on to social media. By expanding the mediums through which debt collectors may contact borrowers, the CFPB can be putting individuals in a more frustrating and stressful position.
That said, the new rule does require that consumers have a way to opt-out of communications through email, text or social media. What precisely that process will look like remains to be seen.
Preparing for the road ahead
Paying off debt is stressful enough without having to dodge the aggressive, annoying efforts of debt collectors. And knowing that these changes will go into effect later this year can give you the opportunity to deal with your debt sooner rather than later.
The attorneys at the Quinn Law Firm have helped people across Pennsylvania address their debt struggles. To discuss your options for protecting yourself from creditors, protecting your assets and resolving unpaid debts, you can call 814-833-2222 for a free consultation.