We have yet another reason to pay down your debts: Collection offices are about to get a lot more annoying. The reason? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently updated the guidelines in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and it gave collectors more leeway when contacting you.
According to CNBC, about a third of Americans currently have debt in collections. Prior to the CFPB’s update, that meant you were allowed to be contacted by debt collectors via phone calls and voicemail. Now, those collectors can call you, text you and even send you messages via social media. The updated rules for debt collectors says they can call you up to seven times per week per outstanding debt. Seems like a lot, right? Well, it gets worse. The new rules allow collection officers to send an unlimited amount of texts, emails and social media messages. Yes, you read that right there is no limit to how many times the collector can contact you using those methods. The new CFPB rule also won’t require debt collectors to verify the details of the debt before contacting you.
There is a silver lining in the updated rules. If you tell a debt collector to stop calling you, they are prohibited from using that method. Likewise, debt collectors who contact you via text, email and more must provide you a simple way to opt out of those communications. Despite the positive changes, these rule updates are just another reason to never let debt be sent to collectors in the first place.