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Debt Collectors Using Facebook to Find You

Adam J Krohn / Posted: 2012-11-08 12:00 am
Despite protections from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debts collectors are increasingly becoming more aggressive in their collection methods, particularly against consumers who are facing debt for the first time. This is because the number of consumers being pursued by debt collectors is growing. While there continues to be the small percentage of consumers who routinely neglect to pay their bills, there is now,due to the rough economy, a new group of consumers who is not used to being pursued by debt collectors.

These debt collectors are using this to their advantage and exploit this fact to their favor. But know your rightson what debt collectors can and cannot do, and how you can further protect yourself. 

These consumers are not used to the pressure and harassment of debt collectors, and many could be facing financial hardship for the first time in their lives. Some will want to get their debt discharged as quickly as possible, while others may prolong the repayment period. Those who want the debt discharged quickly are more likely to settle the debt quickly, making it easier for debt collectors. However, in order to collect debt collectors need to need to find debtors who may have relocated.

Social media is an excellent place for debt collectors to track down the people they are looking for who have not paid their bills. When consumers have moved, debt collectors investigate the whereabouts of consumers through a variety of means, including using social media sites such as Facebook

Prior to the widespread use of the internet, debt collectors used tools such as phone books. The internet has given debt collectors greater ability to find debtors, especially when people announce their information in such a public way on social media sites. The internet makes finding the information that debt collectors need to locate consumers much easier.

Online information can be used to do more than just track down people. On sites such as LinkedIn, debt collectors can easily gain information on whether a person is working and where. With such information collection agencies can attempt to garnish the wages of the consumer. Debt collectors can use public information on social media sites to find people provided they simply read the information and go no further. However, debt collectors cannot use the social media site to contact the consumer.

There are many important aspects of the FDCPA you should be aware of. Pertinent here, the strict rules under FDCPA sections 805 and 806 apply as to how and when debt collectors can contact consumers; neither permits debt collectors to contact debtors through social media sites. There is a difference between gathering information about the consumer through the use of social media sites and to use that information to contact the consumer through means allowed by the FDCPA and contacting the consumer through social media sites. 

For example, if a debt collector were to friend a consumer on a social media site in the hopes that the debtor would accept the request, allowing the debt collector to access even more information than would be available publically, is deceptive. Such types of deceptive practices are prohibited under the FDCPA. Consumers should be aware of this and be careful of the personal information that is made public on the internet.

We understand the frustration you may have when dealing with an aggressive debt collector, particularly if this is your first time being pursued. We have been successfully representing those abused and taken advantage of by debt collectors for years, and have a long list of successful stories to share with you. We offer a FREE CASE REVIEW for you to assess whether we can assist you with your matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-800-875-3666 if you prefer to talk to a trained professional over the phone instead, or of course, visit our website at
Tags : Debt Collection, Debt Collection Harassment, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fdcpa

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