CFPB to allow debt collectors to contact debtors via texts, emails and social media

Terrible idea, IMO, because it’s impossible to distinguish legit messages from spam/phising without authenticated messaging. Also I don’t know if the legal system has caught up with technology – in any legal dispute, I’d think it’s easier and cheaper to provide a paper letter to/from the debt collector than to authenticate electronic messages.

4 Likes

This is an automatically-generated Wiki post for this new topic. Any member can edit this post and use it as a summary of the topic’s highlights.

Well, there’s another reason why I’m glad I got rid of my social media accounts. I am not a deadbeat, but mistakes happen and I have a pretty common name that often gets me in trouble when background checks are run for things like judgments in public records, etc. I have to spend time proving I’m not the person they claim I am; it’s annoying to say the least.

Having to deal with erroneous texts would be a hassle.

4 Likes

Last I checked you weren’t required to provide your real name when creating a social media account, so you could have one under a pseudonym if you really wanted to.

The ruling requires any texts to contain opt-out instructions. Though I’m not sure if it also requires the debt collectors to honor them :slight_smile:. As far as social media, at least on FB if you set your privacy settings correctly, they’d have to add you as a friend before sending you a message.

1 Like

How is this any worse than the spam emails and texts you get already. And how would they even get your text number or email address? I didn’t think it’s posted on most SM.

1 Like

Pay your bills, deadbeat.

3 Likes

I havent read the rules at all, so I’m just guessing. But I could see it being worse in that these valid email and text notices do get lumped in with the spam, and then you suddenly find a judgement against you because they were able to “prove” they sent the required notices and you ignored them. Potentially even for fake debts, because you didnt dispute them.

3 Likes

This doesn’t mean an email or text is an option for a legal notice, just a alternate form of communication. You would still need a certified letter to establish notification or summons.

2 Likes

If it’s a credit card debt, they’d get it from your credit card issuer. The phone number may also appear on credit reports if you don’t ask for it to be removed.

Delivery of email is not guaranteed. So even if they can prove they sent it, they can’t prove that you received it. I’m pretty sure SMS delivery is also not guaranteed.

1 Like

That’s assuming you gave a cell phone on the application. I only use my home number for that so if they tried to text anything to that number, I would never get it.

1 Like

Right, but almost everyone has a cell phone, and ditching the land line is a growing trend. Also last I checked, landline numbers were all public info (yellow pages) unless you pay an extra “privacy fee” to the greedy old bell monopoly. Just because you don’t provide it, doesn’t mean they can’t find it.

3 Likes

Do these changes not contradict the FDCPA? Can the CFPB unilaterally change this without a proper change in the law?

Plus how does it fit with the TCPA preventing unwanted calls for commercial purposes? Just having an opt-out process they may or may not offer readily gets them out of paying you statutory damages for harassing you on your cell phone?

I guess it’s mitigated by the ability on your cell phone to block callers or block people on social media. But they could change their apparent phone number like a lot of spammers do to keep harassing you. But I guess that’s more juicy statutory damages potential there as they could rake in quite a few messages at $500 a pop before you sue them.

2 Likes

That seems to be the expectation these days…

It’s really just bait :slight_smile: . Think of all the defamation lawsuits that could come from a collection agency posting public comments about past due debts on someone’s social media. Especially when they’re just making kinda-educated guesses as to if a social media moniker is the debtholder they’re chasing.

2 Likes