CBS News: Debt firms used social media to “smear” and harass people, feds say

CBS News: Debt firms used social media to “smear” and harass people, feds say. “A group of debt collectors in upstate New York went after their targets by calling friends, family and employers and orchestrating ‘smear campaigns’ against people they claimed owed money, federal regulators said. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the New York Attorney General on Monday said they shut down a ring of debt collection firms who were going after debtors using illegal techniques.”

The WSJ Guide to Student Loans: Navigating the Myths and Misunderstandings About College Debt (Wall Street Journal)

Wall Street Journal: The WSJ Guide to Student Loans: Navigating the Myths and Misunderstandings About College Debt. “Which college majors pay off? Is graduate school a golden goose or a money pit? Are Ivy League degrees usually worth it? The Wall Street Journal answers these questions—and many more—in a first-of-its kind guide to student debt. Readers can download The WSJ Guide to Student Loans: Navigating the Myths and Misunderstandings About College Debt, free by following this link.” I cynically expected that link to go to some kind of required registration before download, but nope – it goes straight to a 148-page PDF file. Good on you, WSJ.

USA Today: Debt collectors can now DM you on social media

USA Today: Debt collectors can now DM you on social media. “Debt collectors have a variety of ways to contact you, and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau added a new way for them to reach you: social media. Don’t worry, debt collectors won’t be able to comment on your posts or write up something for the public to see. But according to a release from the CFPB Tuesday, they now can privately message you on social media.”

HuffPost: The New Stimulus Payments Aren’t Protected From Debt Collectors

HuffPost: The New Stimulus Payments Aren’t Protected From Debt Collectors. “Debt collectors can take away some of the $1,400 coronavirus relief payments Congress approved last week as part of the American Rescue Plan. The $600 payments that Congress approved in December were protected from garnishment ― but the special rules that Democrats used to pass the latest bill did not allow them to include the protections this time, according to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Consumer Reports: Debt Collectors Will Be Able to Contact You on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Consumer Reports: Debt Collectors Will Be Able to Contact You on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. “A new rule finalized today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will let debt collectors contact consumers not just by phone, as presently permitted, but also by email, text message, and even using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.”

ProPublica: Debt Collectors Have Made a Fortune This Year. Now They’re Coming for More.

ProPublica: Debt Collectors Have Made a Fortune This Year. Now They’re Coming for More.. “Earlier this year, the pandemic swept across the country, killing 100,000 Americans by the spring, shuttering businesses and schools, and forcing people into their homes. It was a great time to be a debt collector. In August, Encore Capital, the largest debt buyer in the country, announced that it had doubled its previous record for earnings in a quarter. It primarily had the CARES Act to thank: The bill delivered hundreds of billions of dollars worth of stimulus checks and bulked-up unemployment benefits to Americans, while easing pressures on them by halting foreclosures, evictions and student loan payments. There was no ban on collections of old credit card bills, Encore’s specialty.”

Moms: The Pressure For Perfection On Instagram Is Putting People Into Debt

Moms: The Pressure For Perfection On Instagram Is Putting People Into Debt. “It can be easy to look at your Instagram feed and suddenly feel like your life is lacking in some way. Staring at the perfectly curated and filtered feeds of the young and gorgeous enjoying amazing trips while wearing gorgeous clothes and dining at incredibly hip restaurants can leave some feeling like they’re missing out in some way, and that is resulting in many people going into debt.”

China Court Uses Social Media to Shame Debtors: China Daily (US News & World Report)

US News & World Report: China Court Uses Social Media to Shame Debtors: China Daily. “A local court in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou is using social media to shame people into repaying their debts, the China Daily reported on Tuesday. Citizens who ignore court repayment orders have been subjected to targeted advertisements on the popular Chinese social media app WeChat, notifying their contacts about the amount of money they owe, the paper said.”