Donner Applewhite, Attorneys at Law
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Changes proposed for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Missouri debtors who are having trouble making their payments are shielded from various tactics debt collectors and creditors might use to try and collect what they are owed. Various protections include a limit to the number of times that a debt collector and creditors can contact the debtor, the times at which they can make contact, and where they can legally call. Now, with the new proposed rule changes in the form of an update to FDCPA, it will open the door for debtors to receive unlimited text messages, emails and private messages. Those who are confronted with this should think about contacting a legal professional to address their debt before this change is made.

FDCPA was passed in 1977 and consumers and their advocates are concerned about the proposed updates. The fear is that debt collectors and creditors will send an avalanche of messages to try and collect on the debt. They will also be able to send messages on social media outlets like Twitter. According to debt collectors, the relatively new ways in which people communicate makes these changes necessary since many people are altering how they use phones and contact has become more difficult.

Consumer advocates also say that this new rule will allow harassment. While there will be a limit of seven calls each week, this is still a significant number. Those who owe to several creditors might get seven per week from each adding up to a substantial amount of calls. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a system where consumers can make comments regarding proposed rules before they are put into action. Advocates are suggesting that consumers make their feelings known on this issue.

Although harassment will still be a violation of the FDCPA, this remains worrisome. There will be alternatives for debtors to opt out of receiving these messages at certain numbers and email addresses. Still, people should be cognizant of this rule and take steps to prevent it impacting them. To do that, it is wise to contact a law firm that has helped many people with their debt issues and in getting back on stronger financial footing. Calling for advice immediately before these new rules go into effect is important to use the current Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for protection.

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