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  • Joshua Denbeaux

Debt Collection Rules Are Changing, Not for the Better

Under new rules that take effect later this year, debt collectors sending texts and emails must provide a way to opt-out. There must be an unmistakably simple way to opt-out of getting email and text messages.

Up until now, the debt collector had to write you a snail mail letter. No email, text, or anything else like that … it had to be a hard copy letter.

When a debt collector chooses to use text and email to message consumers, the consumer can also use text and email to respond. Placing either “a cease communication request” or notice that the consumer refuses to pay the debt.

This is a big problem:

The cost for sending letters was significant when dealing with a large number of potential targets/victims. Without that cost, it is more likely that debt collectors will try to collect on many more dubious ‘debts’ than previously.

Most people have multiple email accounts. I, myself, have five. Three of which are unused, meaning I do not ever check them. What that may mean is that a debt collector could email me and I would never know, never have an opportunity to dispute the debt or otherwise respond until I was sued.

The mailing of the letter established an address. An address for service of the summons and complaint in the debt collection lawsuit. Now, without that established, debt collectors will make more ‘mistakes’ in serving lawsuits. That means that a more significant number of defendants will never actually receive a copy of the lawsuit and won’t even know they were sued until a judgment shows up on their credit report, their bank accounts get raided or their employer receives a wage garnishment order.

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