Debt Collectors Use Social Media to Find Debtors

Debt collectors are pretty good about tracking people down and now they are turning to social media to find people that have escaped their grasp. What information have you posted about yourself online?

Do you have a Facebook account?

If you have created a Facebook account, it may not be difficult to track you down. Depending on your security settings, your profile might be public. If you have elected to put your phone number, address, etc., on your profile page that means the public can view that information.

If you are in debt, and just posted pictures of your brand new car, that is another piece of information debt collectors may try and use against you.

Can debt collectors try and “friend” you?

Debt collectors are governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which regulates what they can, and cannot do.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which enforces the FDCPA, was asked if “friending” someone without mentioning the debt is legal. According to the FTC:

“FDCPA mandates that collectors must disclose that they are attempting to collect on a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose. It also requires that collectors state in subsequent communications with the debtor that they are a debt collector. A collector’s failure to make these disclosures would violate Section 807(11).”

Collection attorneys, on the other hand, seem to think this is a grey area and ” . . .a wonderful thing.”