As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) considers new rules for the debt collection industry, it may train its scrutiny on text messages and social media used to pursue delinquent borrowers. Before proposing any rules, the agency wants to learn more about how collectors verify borrowers' information and contact consumers.The CFPB is questioning whether there could be privacy concerns or other harm done from communicating with debt collectors through Internet-based tools such as social media or text messaging.
Regulators already have warned debt collectors against misleading borrowers. “Now it is time to look closely at how we can improve and modernize existing measures that were written before the Internet, before social media and before many other new communication technologies,” said CFPB director Richard Cordray. Debt collectors are not allowed to disclose debts except to a borrower's spouse or attorney, but it can be difficult to confirm who has heard a voicemail or viewed an email or Facebook message