When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its proposed debt collection rule back in May 2019, there were a rash of headlines in the mainstream media warning consumers that debt collectors were going to start messaging them on Facebook and other social media platforms. The government wants to let collectors be able to slide into your DMs, the warnings went.
After a few days, those articles disappeared and things went back to normal. Until this week, when Regulation F went into effect and now there is another rash of headlines:
Many debt collectors have been training their collectors to be on the lookout for red flags related to questions or inquiries that consumers might make about Regulation F. Perhaps in an attempt to bait a collector into making a mistake. But it’s clear that there are consumers who are going to see these articles and either get upset because they think they might be contacted on Facebook by a collector or be concerned that it might happen and bring it up during a conversation with a collector.
It is important for collectors to be aware of the types of questions that they might receive when on the phone with consumers, and to prepare accordingly. While it is perfectly acceptable for a collector to say, “I don’t know” when asked a question by a consumer, having an answer is likely a better option, as long as that answer is the truth. Collectors may also want to be ready in case they receive a call from a local newspaper or TV station with questions about the debt collection rule and what collectors can and can’t and will and won’t do.