This one is likely to send shivers down the spines of anyone who has student loan debts. A group of student loan collectors has filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission asking them to cut back on some of the restrictions placed on them.
Under the current laws, they are not allowed to call a debtor’s mobile phone more than three times per month and are barred from calling relatives and friends in an attempt to harass the debtor into paying. They must also stop communications immediately when they’re asked to do so. The collectors groups argue that the rules are unfairly restrictive and that they only want to help debtors find the right repayment plan. They also claim that the FCC has no authority to stop them from calling friends and family.
Several consumers groups, including the National Consumer Law Center, are opposed to the petition and will help fight to keep the laws the way they are now. They point to several cases like a Georgia man who received 3,500 calls in two years and a Florida man whose cell phone got 150 automated calls. On top of that, the Federal Trade Commission fielded over 3.4 million robocall complaints in 2016 alone.
Time will tell how the FCC chooses to rule. In the meantime, if you’re facing debt that’s beyond your control, or you feel you’re experiencing harassment from creditors, you may want to sit down with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to see how they can help.
Source: washingtonpost.com, “Consumer groups urge new FCC chairman not to reverse robo-call limits for student debt collectors,” Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, February 1, 2017