Under rules approved by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau debt collectors can now chase debtors through their social media accounts. This means that you can now be dunned via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. In addition, debt collectors can contact you using e-mail and text messages.
Consumers do have some protections, however. Without the debtor’s authorization the debt collector may not use social media to make contact. Regardless, debt collectors can not post messages that can be seen by the public. Also, consumers may opt out of all electronic communications with debt collectors.
Consumers retain other protections as well. If you are contacted by a debt collector always demand verification of the debt. Request a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com to confirm that you in fact owe the debt. Debts that are older than 7 years should not be listed on your credit report. In Florida, most consumer debts (e.g. credit card balances) are barred by the statute of limitations after 4 years, and you are no longer liable to the creditor. Do not make any payment on a debt barred by the statute of limitations, as you may have revived the expired debt, and again become liable.
The Law Offices Of Todd S. Frankenthal assists consumers throughout South Florida. We have offices in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach.