The Consumer Financial Protections Bureau issued regulations regarding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and here is what you, the consumer, need to know about it:
Beginning November 30th, 2021, if you receive an email or text message regarding a debt, DO NOT assume it is spam or clickbait. In the past, collection agencies were wary of sending texts and emails to consumers. This was because they wanted to avoid the risk of revealing your personal or private financial information to someone who isn't you. But starting at the end of November, collectors will be explicitly allowed to send you email and text messages to notify you of an outstanding debt or make attempts to collect. The goal of this change was to provide both consumers and collectors accesses to a more convenient method of communication.
You should care about this because:
-We all get a lot of scam texts and emails every day. It would be easy to push these legitimate and important notifications into a spam folder without a second glance. You should be aware that these messages are real and read them carefully.
-Switching to electronic communication is a more eco-friendly and sustainable way to conduct business.
-You have the power to opt-out. Collectors are required to have clear opt-out instructions on every electronic communication if you prefer to receive traditional paper mail.
– You still have rights as a consumer. Under the FDCPA, collectors are prohibited from sending harassing communications. If these messages are constant and overwhelming, you can hold the collectors responsible.
For more information about the updated regulation, visit the CFPB website.