When your debts have spiraled out of your control and you can’t even make the minimum payments on all your bills, you quickly learn to dread the sound of your phone ringing. You aren’t so thrilled to see the mailman arrive, either. Every call and letter seems to bring another debt collector into your world.
Soon, those debt collectors will be able to hassle you in whole new ways. Thanks to updated rulings from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), it won’t be long before you’re fielding emails, text messages and direct messages on your social media accounts from bill collectors.
Debt collectors have gained new power
The CFPB has issued clarification on how debt collectors may use modern communication methods — and many consumers and consumer advocates say that the new rules allow bill collectors to be incredibly invasive.
Under the new rules:
- A bill collector can call you up to seven times in a week on any given debt.
- Bill collectors can send you an unlimited number of text messages (although those messages must contain information on how the consumer can “opt out” of further texts).
- Similar to text message, bill collectors will be allowed to email you an unlimited number of times (albeit with the opt-out information in the fine print).
- Debt collectors can also “friend” you on social media or send you unsolicited direct messages.
Essentially, bill collectors have won the battle to expand their reach — and consumers will have to struggle even harder to shut them out.
You can take steps to improve your situation
The new rules for debt collectors will go into effect this year, which means it’s time to start thinking seriously about your financial situation. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you take control of your wallet and eliminate the debt collectors from your life — for good.