On November 30, 2021, new rules took effect that change the way debt collectors can attempt to collect payment. Not only will these changes provide criminals an avenue to scam people out of money, but they also provide collection agencies additional ways to contact (or more likely, harass) people that owe them money. Our Omaha bankruptcy attorney can help!
2 New Ways Debt Collectors Can Harass You for Late Payments
- Collection agencies can now contact you through social media. They are limited to private messages and private notes on your Facebook wall (they can’t make a public post). They also have to identify themselves as a debt collector when they send a friend request.
- Debt collectors can now contact you by email or text messages. They are required to give you an option to “opt-out” from receiving additional messages (always look at the bottom of the email or reply “STOP” to a text).
Scammers are Aware of These Changes and are Using it to Con People Out of Money!
- Just because you receive a notice from someone saying you owe them money doesn’t mean you do.
- Make sure you are aware of who you owe money to - get a free credit report (annualcreditreport.com), and keep track of your creditors by putting the bills in a file or even putting the information in a spreadsheet.
- If you think you’re dealing with a con artist, send the following reply: “I dispute owing this bill, and request that you “validate” the debt before making further attempts to collect it.”
4 Useful Ways to ProtectYyourself
- “Lawyer up.” Collection agencies can’t contact people that have an attorney. If you plan to file bankruptcy, retain a Omaha Bankruptcy attorney and tell the debt collector to contact your lawyer, not you. Don’t worry if you don’t have the full fee to file. Our Omaha bankruptcy attorney can be retained with a down payment.
- Set your social media settings to private.
- Limit Facebook “friends” to someone you know personally or that you want to keep in touch with! The more friends and followers you have, the more susceptible you are to scammers and the easier it is for collection agencies to locate you.
- Have a separate email for retail store promotions. Anytime a business or online retailer asks for your email address, that information is likely to be distributed to the world. Obtain an email account just for those situations, so you know who you can, and can’t, trust!
Contact Our Omaha Bankruptcy Attorney for Help Dealing With Collection Agencies
Collections are a miserable thing to have to deal with. If you are being harassed by creditors with no way to pay, our Omaha bankruptcy attorney can help. Contact Steffens Law Office at (308) 872-8327 or fill out this contact form to find out how we can help you!