By Cryss Walker

(CBS DETROIT) – As if calls from debt collectors isn’t already a hassle, imagine them tracking you down on social media. Well a new rule will allow creditors to do just that, turning your DM into a bin for bills.

Next fall you may look down at your phone and see a notification from a debt collector.

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“So as we can imagine if somebody has more than one debt, if they have several debts, that can quickly add up,” said Yvette Garcia Missri, Center For Responsible Lending, Litigation Counsel.

The consumer financial protection bureau issued new guidelines on how collectors can reach consumers.

The federal agency is giving creditors the greenlight to send unlimited text messages, emails and direct messages on social media to delinquent customers.

Companies are also permitted up to seven calls per week.

“The debt collector can only send private messages that will not be publicly placed on their page or what not but does allow them to still make, send friend requests to consumers. When they do that they do have to identify themselves as a debt collector but there is nothing in the way to prevent a message going to the wrong person,” she said.

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Collection agency advocates are on-board with the new approaches to reach customers.

Debt collectors say the new rule cuts out old practices that hinders small businesses, looking to find customers with new contact information.

But consumer protection groups, like the center for responsible lending, are concerned about privacy violations and possible scams.

“So certainly, someone’s privacy can easily be violated if the debt collector sends a message, direct message to the wrong consumer,” she said.

Consumers will have the choice to opt-out of electronic messaging.

The new guidelines go in effect November 2021.

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