LIMITS ON DEBT COLLECTOR ACTIONS: Collectors must be truthful, including about details of the debt. They cannot use abusive language, call repeatedly in a harassing manner or threaten violence.

Collectors can’t ask for a post-dated check for the purpose of threatening or instituting criminal prosecution. They also cannot collect more than the amount owed or threaten to take property when that’s not allowed.”

INFORMATION DISCLOSURES: Debt collectors must send consumers a “debt validation letter” outlining important details, including the amount owed, the collection agency’s name and how consumers can dispute the debt.

CONSUMER RIGHTS: People can limit how and when a collector contacts them, including telling them to stop communicating altogether. In all but limited circumstances, the collector must honor that request.

If consumers doubt the details of a debt, they can send the collector a debt verification letter seeking more information beyond the validation letter.


Here are some of the changes, which are set to take effect in fall 2021:

NEW COMMUNICATION OPTIONS: Debt collectors will be able to contact consumers by email, text message and social media messages. The messages must explain how the consumer can restrict contact by these methods or request no communication. Notably, debt collectors don’t need consumers’ permission before contacting them on these new channels.

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