iPhone with social media apps

New rule allows debt collectors to contact you on social media

April Kuehnhoff, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, was quoted in a December 2 NBC Boston article about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new Debt Collection Rule, which gives debt collectors more ways to contact borrowers about unpaid debts.

The Debt Collection Rule allows third-party debt collectors to message people on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in an attempt to collect a debt.

Consumer advocacy groups argue the guidelines may not be enough to protect vulnerable families from harassing debt collection practices.

For one, the call limits are “per account,” meaning collectors could call a person with eight delinquent accounts up to 56 times per week. Debt collectors also don’t need a consumer’s permission to reach out via social media, and the rule doesn’t limit the number of messages they can send unless they opt out.

“The CFPB indicated that it can still revisit the rules in the future, and we urge them to do so,” said April Kuehnhoff, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “In the meantime, we call on states to enact additional protections to prevent vulnerable families still recovering from the pandemic from harassing and abusive debt collection practices.”  

Read more at NBC Boston.