Fraudulent emails and texts abound, especially these days. It seems that fraudsters have taken the time during stay-at-home and quarantine orders to up their game. As a result, those who receive an email or text from an alleged debt collector may be leery — as they should. Although it is possible that these messages are fraudulent, an update to an old rule has made it possible for these contacts to be legit.
Debt collectors are bound by strict rules. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) currently oversees many of these rules. The agency recently updated a decades old rule that addresses how debt collectors can communicate with consumers.
How will this affect consumers?
The law states that debt collectors cannot call more than 7 times per week to check on the status of a single debt. This could lead to an onslaught of calls for those who owe different creditors. The feds also failed to put a cap on the number of times debt collectors could reach out using other methods, like texts and emails. As a result, you could find yourself facing a surge in emails and texts about outstanding bills.
How will I know if the call, text or email is legit?
The CFPB notes that any attempt by a contact to pressure you to pay with a money transfer or prepaid card is a red flag. It is also likely a scam if the contact threatens to tell your family, employer or to have you arrested.
Request the contact’s name, address, company name and callback number. You can then use this to verify that the contact is who they say they are.
Can I stop debt collectors from all these calls, texts and emails?
Those who are struggling to make ends meet are not alone, especially right now. Americans are facing unprecedented times. The current coronavirus pandemic has resulted in job loss and stressed finances for Americans in all walks of life. One option that can help those with these financial struggles is bankruptcy.
Determining if bankruptcy is the right option is not an easy choice. As such, it is often wise to reach out to those who are experienced in this area of the law to help discuss this and other options, better ensuring you make the choice that is best for your future financial success.