Debt collectors are OK to use social media to reach out to consumers

There are strict guidelines on how a collector can access forums such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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source: https://ibb.co/6vYk3zy

Debt collectors can now use the social media platform to send direct messages to their creditors, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has decided.

The institute says the revised law, proposed last year and enacted this week, will clarify part of the Debt Collection Act, which governs how agents can reach out to debtors to collect.

"FDCPA's communications definition includes new communication sources, such as email, messages and social media," wrote the CFPB in October 2020.

However, the final rule includes strict guidelines on how a debt collector can access forums such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

First of all, their message should be private - none of your Facebook or Instagram friends should be able to see it, the organization said.

Second, they should tell you who they are: "If a debt collector tries to send you a confidential message asking to add you as a friend or contact, the debt collector must identify himself or herself as a debt collector," the CFPB said.

The debt collector's message should include a way out of receiving additional messages on electronic media, such as email, text or direct communication from a social media site, the bureau said.

The law stipulates that before a debtor can report an outstanding debt to a debt rating company, he or she must speak to the borrower in person, by telephone or wait at least 14 days after sending the letter or electronic communication - including a social media message - before proceeding to report.

The CFPB wrote that the change "determines how debt collectors can contact you, including what information they need to provide at the beginning of the credit collection process, your credit rights and how to exercise those rights."

However, the final rule includes strict guidelines on how a debt collector can access forums such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

First of all, their message should be private - none of your Facebook or Instagram friends should be able to see it, the organization said.

Second, they should tell you who they are: "If a debt collector tries to send you a confidential message asking to add you as a friend or contact, the debt collector must identify himself or herself as a debt collector," the CFPB said.