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New debt collection rules stoke worry about creditor harassment
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New debt collection rules stoke worry about creditor harassment

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2021 | Firm News

Floridians who are facing onerous debt have a lot on their minds. Often, they will be worried about retaining their property and making the minimum payments on what they owe to keep debt collectors at bay for the time being. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is in place to help debtors and shield them from creditor harassment. However, the rules as to when debt collectors can call and use other methods to contact debtors sometimes change. Understanding these changes can add to the urgency to find ways to get out of debt and start over.

Debt collectors can now use social media and email to contact debtors

A recently changed rule in the FDCPA will let debt collectors use methods other than phone calls and letters to contact debtors. Now, email and social media can be added to the ways in which contact can be initiated to try and get paid. That means people can get messages on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. There are guidelines that must be adhered to for this type of contact.

The messages must be private and not on the public part of the platform. For example, a person’s Twitter feed will not have a message from a debt collector for all to see. Also, the debt collector must inform the person who is contacting them. These platforms generally require that a person accept a request for a private message. In that request, the debtor must be told it is a debt collector who is asking for permission to send that private message. The recipient must have an opt-out to deny these messages in the future.

Bankruptcy can help with stopping creditor contact and harassment

Debtors are often embarrassed about the situation they are in. This can be made worse with nonstop contact and creditor harassment. While these new rules, this contact can now expand to a person’s social media and email. Although safeguards are in place to try and stop harassment, there are unfortunately unscrupulous debt collectors who actively search for ways around the rules to try and get what is owed. This will only add to the already suffocating worry of debt. Whether a person lost his or her job, has huge medical expenses or owes a massive sum on their credit cards, bankruptcy is a viable option not just to clear this debt or formulate a reasonable payment plan, but to address aggressive collection tactics. Consulting with those experienced in these issues can be helpful.