Since the beginning of the pandemic, the amount of debt held per average American citizen has increased exponentially. With more debtors comes more collectors looking for new ways to track down those who owe them money.
With the implementation of new collection rules, debt collectors have new means of chasing down debtors outside of mail and phone calls. Now debt collectors have the ability to reach you through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram in an attempt to collect.
The new changes to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which is designed to reduce and eliminate abusive debt collection practices, saw their first integration during the Trump administration when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) looked to provide assistance to the business community.
Kathy Kraninger, The CFPB director at the time, said these new rules were meant to “modernize the legal regime for debt collection.”
With this new rule, the fear is that this expanded access to consumers through social media platforms could contribute to new ways to harass struggling consumers.
TransUnion reported that this year, 77.6 million consumers had at least one debt in collections leading to a total of 118 billion dollars of outstanding debt.
The collection industry praised the update, arguing that text and email are now the preferred methods for communication for many people.
“The CFPB’s debt collection rule is a small step forward in modernizing communications with consumers,” Mark Neeb, chief executive of ACA International, the association of credit and collection professionals, said in a statement.