New regulations are now in place for how U.S. debt collectors can contact debtors and it includes the use of social media, according to BusinessInsider.com.
The 1977 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the legislation that governs how debt collectors can contact debtors, but it was drawn up prior to the evolution of the internet and social media.
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In October 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced changes to the act which just went into effect Nov. 30, according to Business Insider.
While there are some limitations with the new rules, debt collectors can contact debtors using social media, specifically direct messages.
The rules state that messages have to be private and not be posted publicly to a debtor’s wall, page, comments, newsfeed, etc.
The collector also much identify itself immediately when reaching out on social media. If they send a friend request, the debt collector has to tell the debtor who they are and why they are reaching out with that request.
The rules also state that debtors also must have a simple way to opt-out of the messages on that social media platform.