Some of us use social media when we want to forget our hustles and bustles for a moment. It’s a platform where you’re able to laugh your heart out at memes, follow some interesting news and get to connect with fellow social media users. However, this might be disrupted by some messages. Your debtors are now allowed to DM you some reminders.

The financial regulations took effect on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and have allowed debt collectors to reach out to their debtors through their social media accounts.

That means you might receive notifications on Twitter and/or Facebook Messenger accounts if you still have a pending bill to clear.

The 1977 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was changed in October 2020 viz-a-viz the growth of social media usage. The changes were then announced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

“We are finally leaving 1977 behind and developing a debt collection system that works for consumers and industry in the modern world,” the then CFPB director Kathleen Kraninger said in a statement.

After more than a year, the changes are taking effect. There are a set of guidelines on how debt collectors will go about reaching out to their debtors through email, text, and their social media accounts.

While this may sound like good news to debt collectors, they will be required to strictly abide by the set regulations.

The collectors must send you a direct message in a manner that upholds privacy. For Facebook users, the collectors will have to send you a message through Facebook Messenger and not by posting the message on your wall. Twitter and Facebook users will also receive direct messages.

Secondly, the debt collectors will be required to identify themselves right from the time of sending their creditors a friend request. The reason for getting in touch with the creditor must also remain clear. Moreover, debtors should be free to choose whether they want to continue receiving messages from debt collectors or not.

The changes are likely going to affect a significant part of the American adult population after the New York Federal Reserve announced that the US household debt passed the $15 trillion mark by this year’s Q3.