Your debt collectors can now message you on social media…Yes! It is happening. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has put out new rules regarding debt collectors getting in touch with their debtors. They can now text, email or private message people on social media. Although it has been made clear and an important rule that these debt collectors must announce their identity and their purpose of contact, as they are prohibited from simply befriending their debtors on Social Media.
Michael Lawton, a representative with Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions explained to TMJ news yesterday, that the traditional methods of communication are simply no longer utilized by folks. This includes phone calls and emails- this phenomenon has made it harder for debt collectors to get in touch with their clients in a timely manner. He also explained that this is the first change to ever have been made to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act since 1977. Though it may seem far fetched at first, the process of getting in touch is lawfully required to be very private, and as previously mentioned, debt collectors are required to identify themselves, and finally, recipients are granted an opt-out option at any time after receiving the messages. It is important to note that even with these changes, consumers still have rights to cease further contact, should the exchange of messages become excessive. This article is very important because it is a clear representation of our current definition of privacy, and superbly exemplifies the rising importance of social media in our lives.