Macco & Corey P.C.

New rule could be harmful to consumers

New rule could be harmful to consumers

Currently, debt collectors in New York and throughout the country are forbidden from contacting debtors by email or through text messages. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, issued a rule that will allow them to do so starting sometime in 2021. The rule would allow debt collectors to send an unlimited number of text and email messages to individuals who owe them money.

Individuals are wary about answering phone calls

These days, it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore calls from numbers that they don’t recognize. Therefore, it can be difficult for debt collection agencies to make contact with those who they are trying to obtain payments from. According to a CFPB study, 15% of respondents said that they preferred that creditors and others contacted them by email. It is worth noting that only 1% of respondents said that they wanted to be reached by text message or through social media.

Consumers can decline to receive communication by text or email

The CFPB will allow individuals to opt out of receiving debt collection notices by email or text message. Furthermore, debt collection companies can still be held accountable for sending too many messages. It is important to note that debtors could receive up to seven phone calls per week regarding each individual balance that is past due.

How to protect yourself from scams

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there is a chance that you will be sent unsolicited messages by scammers posing as debt collection agencies. You can protect yourself by asking for loan documents or other evidence that verifies the existence of a valid debt. It can also be a good idea to learn more about the party sending the messages to ensure that it’s a valid debt collection agency.

Filing for bankruptcy will likely put a temporary stop to debt collection calls or notices. It may also allow you to discharge some or all of your debts in a matter of weeks. An attorney may provide more information about the potential benefits of bankruptcy.