The traditional days of debt collectors simply calling you and sending letters are long gone. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced their newest rule, allowing debt collectors to contact people via social media. Collectors are still limited in the number of times they can call you however this rule doesn’t extend to email, texts, and social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
The Bureau emphasizes that it’s still illegal for debt collectors to continuously harass those with debt payments. How this will be managed still isn’t clear.
The CFPB’s only requirement is to identify themselves as debt collectors. This identification will give citizens the power to opt-out of all communication from the CFPB on their social media platforms. The details on how this will work are nonexistent.
The good news is collectors can only contact you between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm local time. The CFPB is also not permitted to call you within 7 days of having a phone conversation with a collector.
This makes me uneasy. Social media is a place of personal peace for me and others. Now that debt collectors can contact people via social media it will no longer be a safe space for people to escape the reality of life. This will just increase the stress levels of those in debt. The lack of clarity in the opt-out option is problematic. I’m afraid this option will remain unclear so people are forced to continue receiving messages.
I’m curious to know how compliant social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook were in this new decision. To me, this seems to be a breach of their user’s privacy.