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That text, email or DM message may be from a debt collector

That text, email or DM message may be from a debt collector

New rules approved by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that took effect on November 30, 2021 allows collection agencies to email and text people as well as message them on social media to seek repayment for unpaid debts.

This raises the possibility that borrowers will miss key information about their debts if they don’t pay attention to email.

It also creates a new opportunity for criminals seeking to send malware or obtain personal information. Do not click on or open links in messages that you do not recognize to be legitimate.

Under the new rules:

1. Debt collectors who contact you on social media have to identify themselves as debt collectors but can attempt to join your network by sending you a friend request.

2. Collectors must give you the option to opt out of being contacted online.

3. Any messages they send have to be private — collectors can't post messages that can be seen by your contacts or the public.

Collection agencies can also email and text message debtors, but must still offer the ability to opt out.

The new rules also set a limit for the first time on how often debt collectors can call you. Agencies will be restricted to seven calls per week per account in collection. In some cases, multiple student loans may be treated as one account.

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