Debt Collection & Social Media | The New Rule You Need to Know

Posted By: Jennifer McCoy Blog ,

Debt Collection and Social Media: The New Rule You Need to Know

As we are all painfully aware, since the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the practice of debt collecting has become a not-so-fine art of jumping through various consumer-friendly hoops that, if you ask most debt collectors, are specifically designed to make life miserable for those attempting to collect a debt.

However, one new rule recently established by the CFPB might just give debt collectors everywhere cause to celebrate – even if it is just a tiny victory.

Your Debt Collector is Facebook Friendly Now

What was off-limits before is off-limits no more!  Effective November 30, 2021 debt collectors now have the ability to contact consumers via social media.  Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like are now fair game, so consumers should expect to start seeing debt collectors slide into their DMs.  What’s more, unlike with phone calls, in which debt collectors have a set limit on the number of times they can call a consumer, the CFPB has not placed a limit on the number of times an individual can be contacted via these platforms.   

This “is a significant step forward in updating outdated collection practices that [especially] hurt small businesses,” the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, the largest group representing collection agencies in the United States, said in a statement.  “Collection professionals are uniquely trained to provide flexible payment schedules and emergency hardship assistance, and consumers will now reap these benefits more efficiently.”    

What to Keep in Mind

While this new rule is certainly good news for debt collectors, keep in mind that previously established CFPB rules still apply.  This means that no matter the method of contact, consumers still have the right to dispute a debt, request debt validation, or opt-out of receiving social media messages.  Furthermore, contact via social media is relegated to private messages only.  Posting a message on a consumer’s Facebook page is a big no-no and could leave a collection agency open to lawsuits.

For more information, visit the CFPB’s website: https://www.consumerfinance.gov

Jennifer McCoy

The Law Office Jennifer McCoy