How the CFPB Debt Collection Rule Can Help You

Debt collectors have begun contacting you, and you’re already overwhelmed. But you don’t have to abide just any kind of conduct – even if yo...

Debt collectors have begun contacting you, and you’re already overwhelmed. But you don’t have to abide just any kind of conduct – even if you owe the debt. In fact, the new CFPB debt collection rule, which became effective late last year, clarifies how collectors can contact you and what they must provide you.

CFPB Debt Collection Rule

The Issue

If you have a debt in collection, you’re likely amid a stressful time. You may be dealing with financial woes, which is challenging as it is. Now comes a debt collector, whom you aren’t even sure is legit. You also may have concerns about whether the amount being sought is correct -- if the debt is even yours. Well, a new federal rule offers you more protection in debt collection.

What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Debt Collection Rule, which became effective last Nov. 30, follows, and expands upon, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which bars debt collectors from certain conduct, including threats and harassment.

The new rule sheds additional light on how collectors can get in touch with you as well as what information they must provide you.

What Should I Know About the New Rule?

The Collector Must Provide a Validation Notice

A debt collector is required to give you specific information about your debt. Such info, which should be presented when the collector first contacts you, or shortly afterward, is called a validation notice. This notice should generally include:

  • The debt collector’s name and contact info
  • The name of the original creditor
  • The associated account number, where applicable
  • A debt breakdown (payments, interest, fees, and any credits)
  • The current debt amount owed
  • Info about your debt collection rights

How Frequently Can I Be Contacted?

Remember that under the FDCPA, a collector may not phone you continuously or repeatedly with the aim of abusing or oppressing you. Well, the Debt Collection Rule adds specificity: collectors are restricted from calling you more than seven times within a week, or within seven days after a phone discussion with you about a certain debt.

By the way, if you have debts that you wish to consolidate, we recommend that you get help through Achieve personal loans.

When Can the Debt Be Reported?

Before a debt collector can report a debt to a credit reporting agency, it must first:

  • Discuss the debt with you in person or over the phone, or
  • Send a letter via regular mail or electronics about the obligation, then wait around two weeks in case the letter is returned as undeliverable

What About Contacting Me Via Social Media Platforms?

Debt collectors may, indeed, contact you through social media. However, they must hew to specific rules. To wit, collectors must:

  • Provide a manner for ceasing social media communications. Every message must include a way for you to opt out of such communications.
  • Announce themselves as a debt collector. A collector who is seeking to “PM” you by asking that you add them to your “friend” list must inform you of their business status.
  • Keep the messages private. Their messages to you may not be viewable by your followers, contacts, friends, or the public at large.

What Should Collectors Say in Voicemails?

A kind of voicemail called a “limited-content message” may be left for you that must include:

  • A business name that doesn’t signal that the caller collects debts
  • A phone number where the caller may be reached
  • A request that you respond to the message, as well as the name of the individual you should ask for

Now that you know how the CFPB’s Debt Collection Rule can help you, you needn’t put up with just any kind of collector behavior during what is likely an anxious time. Knowledge is power, and you shouldn’t hesitate to use yours.

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TechGlobeX: How the CFPB Debt Collection Rule Can Help You
How the CFPB Debt Collection Rule Can Help You
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