The debt collection restrictions and requirements in the FDCPA, which was enacted in 1977, have failed to keep up with or even contemplate modern technologies. In particular, as methods and forms of communication have evolved, the industry has had little guidance on how it can utilize newer communication channels such as emails, text messages, or social media. In many cases, the industry has had to grapple with different and often conflicting court interpretations. One of the primary goals of the CFPB in drafting the final rule seems to have been to establish a regulatory framework that provides both rules of the road and guardrails for entities that wish to communicate with debtors electronically. Join us on Thursday to learn more about provisions in the final rule related to electronic communications.
- The CFPB created an “opt-out” framework, so debt collectors can contact a consumer electronically unless the consumer has opted out of receiving electronic communications.
- Emails to the consumer’s work email are generally banned unless the consumer falls into an exception.
- Private social media communications are allowed, as long as the debt collector follows certain procedures.
- Social media communications that are viewable by the public or by the consumer’s social media network are not allowed.
- Debt collectors, provided they comply with Regulation F’s detailed requirements, may rely on the bona fide error defense to limit risks associated with accidental third party disclosures regarding a debt.