Individuals in debt should start preparing for a flood of unwanted texts, emails and social media messages from debt collectors.
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has revised “Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).” Unfortunately, the agency gave debt collectors exactly what they’ve been clamoring for for some time.
According to the new rule, debt collectors will be able to send an unlimited number of emails, text messages and instant messages to debtors. To make matters worse, collectors are not required to get consent before flooding a debtor with messages. The only silver lining is that each message must contain a clear way to opt out.
Needless to say, consumer advocacy groups are already denouncing the decision as falling short of protecting consumers, especially at a time when the pandemic has created economic strain on record a number of households.
“Even though there are some wins in here, the bureau has really fallen short of protecting consumers,” said Yvette Garcia, litigation counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, according to CBS News.
“This is a terrible time to create more burdens for people who have debts. This certainly does not make it easier for them to recover from the economic hit of the pandemic.”
The new rule is expected to go into effect in 2021.