Client Inquiries: 769.447.3840 Accounts: 601.944.7922

Proposed Changes to Debt Collection Under Current Administration


Credit: Washington Post, Renee Merle

Christopher Fultz peered at his phone during a break at his job as a paramedic and saw an unusual text displaying his name in all caps.

Click on the link, said the message, which was from a number he didn’t recognize.

Fultz, 36, initially ignored the text but eventually followed the link leading to a website asking for his Social Security number. Fultz said he then realized a debt collector who repeatedly called and left what Fultz considered threatening voice mails had found a new way into his life.

“I was appalled. They can’t send text messages if it’s a debt collector,” said Fultz, of Ohio. “It was just shocking that they would do that. It felt like a scam.” Fultz filed suit and the debt collection company paid him $3,500 as part of a settlement.

For decades, debt collectors have relied on a limited set of communication tools: landlines and the U.S. mail. Now they are finding increasingly personal ways to reach the millions of Americans regulators say have been contacted by debt collectors. Some debt collectors worry that these contacts fall into a legal gray area because the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was written 40 years ago and doesn’t directly address digital communications.


(Image credit: Under Kathy Kraninger, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has focused on rolling back regulations on payday lenders and changing rules to allow debt collectors to send an unlimited number of texts and emails to consumers. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg))