The U.S. Consumer Financial Security Bureau (CFPB) proposed a new set of guidelines on Tuesday that would change how financial obligation collectors can pester debtors. The good news for the money-owers out there is the rules would limit how frequently collection firms can call you. The problem is the companies would have the ability to send out unrestricted texts or e-mails to consumers.
The brand-new rules were provided as modifications to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which was passed in 1977, long prior to cellular phone and emails were commonplace. The proposed policies would prevent debt collectors from calling their targets more than seven times in a week. And if a debtor responds to one of those calls, the company would need to wait a week to recall.
However, the proposed rules likewise “clarify” how debt collectors can use email and texts, placing no hard limits on the number of electronic messages they can send to debtors, a CFPB authorities told Bloomberg. But such messages would have to give debtors the option to choose out of getting more messages.
As Quick Company explains, the guidelines would likewise permit collection firms to call debtors by means of social networks so long as it was through a personal channel that isn’t “viewable by a potentially broad array of the consumer’s social or expert colleagues.” So essentially, they can slide into your DMs, however they can’t @ you.
According to journalism CFPB release, these new rules are expected to “supply consumers with clear defenses versus harassment by debt collectors,” and there are suggested guidelines that safeguard customers from debt collector harassment. For example, under the proposed rules, financial obligation collectors can’t contact debtors through their work email, and debtors can ask for collection companies do not get in touch with specific social media accounts, email addresses, or contact number. The regulations would likewise avoid debt collector from informing credit companies about financial obligations without also notifying the debtors they are doing so.
The modification does offer some clearness and defense for consumers, but it also reads as a 538- page guide for all the ways that debt collection agency might legally harass debtors in the modern-day age.
Angie Ronson is Editor-in-Chief at THRS. She covers the transformative impact of new technology on all sectors.