The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) implemented new rules regarding illegal debt collection practices on October 30, 2020. The new rules concern the FDCPA, which protects consumers against abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices for consumer debts (e.g., past due credit cards, medical bills, student loans).
The new debt collection rules permit emails and text messages with consumers to collect a debt. However, if a debt collector chooses to email or text, they must follow strict guidelines. For example, a debt collector must provide a clear “opt-out notice” describing a reasonable and simple method for opting out of future emails or texts.
Regarding voicemails, the new rules allow the debt collector to leave a message without violating the law so long as it includes only the business name, a request that the consumer reply, the name(s) of a debt collection representative, and a phone number.
Regarding harassing phone calls, the new rules presume that a debt collector is compliant if it makes no more than seven calls within seven consecutive days. If the consumer answers the call and speaks to a debt collector, the collector is presumed compliant if it ceases future calls for another seven days. These limitations do not apply to texts or emails, however.
Even with these new rules in place, debt collectors will continue to abuse consumers to collect debts. If you are a victim of illegal debt collection efforts, including harassment, threats, or deception, you may have claims under the FDCPA. These claims can be brought at no out-of-pocket cost to you because the debt collector must pay your attorney’s fees and costs if you win. You may also recover up to $1,000 for a successful FDCPA claim. Contact a Las Vegas debt collection defense lawyer to discuss your legal rights.