Creditors (And Trolls Impersonating Them) Can Now Contact You On Social Media
Until last month, what was the worst kind of message you could have received on social media? Any message that begins “hey, hun” is pretty bad; although there is probably someone somewhere who talks that way in real life, anyone who begins a Facebook message is probably trying to recruit you into a multi-level marketing business scheme that is certain to make your already dismal financial situation even worse. The messages that advertise nutritional supplements that will make you ageless and irresistible are annoying, but it is easy enough to delete those. An even worse kind of message may be sliding into your DMs soon, namely debt collection messages. The long-awaited new debt collection guidelines issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last year went into effect this month, and now creditors can contact you on social media, as well as by email or text message. Before you send any money to purported creditors who contact you on social media, contact a Boca Raton creditor harassment lawyer.
Don’t Let Debt Collection Messages on Social Media Ruin Your Day
The debt collection tactics of creditors and collection agencies are much more effective at making people feel angry and demoralized than at getting them to pay. When you get a letter in the mail from a creditor, your instinct is either not to open it at all or to read it and decide that, even if you could manage to find ten dollars per month to settle a years-old debt, there are much more important things you would rather do with those ten dollars. Sometimes you read the letters carefully enough that you discover that you recognize neither the debt amount nor the name of the creditor, if it is even specified. The most reasonable response to phone calls from creditors is to reject the call.
Now that creditors can contact you by email, text message, and social media, their communications are likely to elicit a similar response to postal and phone communications. The new CFPB guidelines indicate rules that creditors must follow so that their messages do not constitute harassment. For example, the messages must be private so that only the recipient can see them, and they must include instructions on how to opt out of further debt collection communications. The guidelines are less clear, however, about how often creditors communicate electronically with borrowers.
If you receive communication from creditors on social media or other forms of electronic communication, you should be as strategic and as skeptical as with debt collection communications you receive by post. Research the creditor’s name or ask questions about where the creditor bought the debt, if they are not the original creditor. As with other debt-related problems, you should discuss your overall strategy with a debt lawyer before you make any big payments.
Communication Technology Evolves, but Your Rights as a Borrower Remain
A creditor harassment lawyer if creditors and collection agencies are harassing you online or offline. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida to discuss your case.