When struggling financially, frequently being contacted by debt collectors can make an already stressful situation unbearable. Thankfully, Michigan consumers do have rights when it comes to fair debt collection practices. However, rule changes are coming, and some believe they benefit the collection industry and hurt consumers. Even with the coming rule revisions, bankruptcy law can still help those in debt fight back against collectors and seek financial relief.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just recently announced that an update to collection practices is coming soon. This will be the first big change made to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in 40-plus years. Some, particularly those in the collection industry, believe it is long overdue, while consumer advocates believe the new rules are too lenient.

Current laws allow collectors to contact consumers via phone only so many times in a given week. They may also send letters in an effort to collect. The new rules will allow collection agencies to contact consumers by way of email, voicemail, text message and social media. This is a digital world, so it makes sense, but at what point will contacting a debtor in any of these ways be deemed excessive or harassment? Right now, it is unclear.

The debt collection industry nets $11 billion a year in profit. It is big business, and these rule changes seem to help the industry more than they will help the average consumer. The good news is, Michigan residents can still put an end to collector harassment by utilizing the services of a bankruptcy law attorney. Some may actually benefit from filing for bankruptcy, while others may not need to go that far. Every case is different.