Creditors can be overzealous in their debt collection practices. Fortunately for consumers, state and federal laws, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, regulate many of these creditors’ aggressive tactics. Yet, creditors often overstep their bounds, leading to harassment. Unfortunately, the debt collection industry is looking to increase its access to consumers by pushing for laws that allow for text and email communications.
As it reads now, the law is unclear about whether creditors can utilize these forms of communication to collect debt. After all, the law was first passed in the 1970s and hasn’t seen many changes over time. Therefore, the law as it stands now didn’t really contemplate the extensive use of the Internet and cellphones. Professionals in the debt collection industry claim that these communications are the best way to reach consumers, particularly Millennials who are less likely to answer and return phone calls. These professionals believe that texting and emailing may lead to more efficient and less confrontational collections.
Of course, there are concerns about creditor harassment via these forms of communications. While an industry spokesman claims that these messages would simply be used to “nudge” debtors to pay their debts, the reality of the situation is yet to be seen. What is important for Texans to remember is that if they are unable to repay a debt and are being harassed by a creditor, they may be able to stop it by seeking debt relief options.
One of the best ways to stop harassment related to consumer debt this is to seek protection through a bankruptcy proceeding. By pursuing this route, individuals can immediately halt collection practices and lawsuits levied against them by creditors. They can also prevent repossession and bank account seizures. To learn more about creditors’ rights and how various debt relief options affect them, though, Texans should consider discussing the matter with a legal professional they trust.