Illinois residents who are in debt have enough to think about without facing aggressive debt collectors and various forms of harassment. In the past, contact was generally limited to phone calls and notices in the mail. However, as people communicate in different ways, those trying to collect on debts have sought different methods to try and get what is owed. Recently, a new rule went into effect to allow contact to expand to emails, text messages and even via social media. Since this behavior can be stressful financially, emotionally and personally, it is important to be aware of the available solutions.
Rule allowing expanded contact went into effect at the end of November
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made the changes in 2020 amid the assertion that the ways in which debt collectors could contact debtors was antiquated. Since the rules were more than 40 years old, modern methods of communication were added to their repertoire. In addition, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) had certain requirements as to how debt collectors could make contact. Those too have been adjusted. To provide a layer of protection to the recipients, the sender must clearly identify who they are; the messages must be private; and there must be an opt-out of receiving messages on these outlets.
When the debt collectors contact a debtor by phone, they can only make seven calls per week. If the call goes to voicemail, it is now counted as a call. Even with these rules designed to protect consumers, many might not be aware of them or could be confronted with unscrupulous debt collectors who find loopholes or outright flout these requirements. This adds to the worry debtors feel when they are struggling to keep up with their payments. Often, people do not owe a single creditor – they owe several. When calculating the number of debtors and the number of ways in which they can make contact, it can be overwhelming and non-stop.
Having experienced help can address creditor harassment
The FDCPA is meant to protect creditors. However, since a debt collector’s goal is to get what is owed, they will push the envelope as far as they can and even beyond the boundaries to try and convince the debtor to pay. This complicates matters and should be understood when trying to forge viable solutions to put a stop to creditor harassment and get into a better financial situation. Whether it is through bankruptcy or other ideas to deal with debt, having experienced guidance can be critical to put a stop to harassing contact and clear debt once and for all.