Jump To Navigation

Facebook Friend or Foe? Debt Collectors Explore Online Information

Anyone who has ever carried an overdue debt knows how important it can be to stop creditor harassment. But times once were that the perpetual nuisance came in the form of rude phone calls at odd hours or a blizzard of intimidating letters. In our Web 2.0 world, consumers who are facing debt problems must also be wary of the availability of information about them on the Internet, particularly via such popular sites as Facebook and MySpace.

As the economy has worsened and financial problems have escalated, collection agencies have increasingly brought a bounty hunter’s mentality to their henchman’s task. Motivated by the promise of big profits for collecting debts often purchased for pennies on the dollar, debt collection companies have found that much can be learned about individuals by looking at their profiles, or snooping after information posted by friends and family on blogs and other public sites.

Debt collectors generally use interactive online resources in three distinct ways:

  • Determining a person’s whereabouts, or confirming suspicions about a person’s specific location, particularly when trying to contact someone with a common name
  • Obtaining clues about an individual’s actual financial situation by looking for evidence of travel, major purchases or other spending habits
  • Posting directly in a public forum to humiliate and harass a person in front of peers and family

For the most part, the first two strategies are legal. But publicizing a debt to shame a debtor implicates Arizona consumer protection laws as well as the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). When things get this bad, it’s time to take control.

Seizing Control When Debt Haunts Your Every Move

Protecting one’s own privacy is very important regardless of whether or not you expect to be tracked down by a collection agency for unpaid debts. Everyone with a Facebook account or other interactive online profile should be completely familiar with their personal privacy settings, and individuals who anticipate legal action should be especially careful. Always remember the best advice you got in childhood: don’t talk to strangers.

That’s step one. If you are facing serious debt troubles, you should explore strategies for taking control of your financial future. A consultation with an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer can help you get a handle on your options for achieving debt relief and peace of mind.



Read more about our bankruptcy services…

Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Office Locations

Phoenix Office
Wright Law Offices
668 N. 44th St., Ste 320
Phoenix AZ 85008

Telephone: 602-456-6085 / 866-703-3287
Phoenix Law Office

Scottsdale Office
Wright Law Offices
7135 East Camelback Road, Ste 230
Scottsdale AZ 85251

Telephone: 480-845-0145 / 866-703-3287
Scottsdale Law Office

Tempe Office
Wright Law Offices
2238 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe AZ 85258

Telephone: 480-845-0145 / 866-703-3287
Tempe Law Office

Avondale Office
Wright Law Offices
12725 W Indian School Rd, Suite E-101
Avondale AZ 85392

Telephone: 623-258-4480 / 866-703-3287
Avondale Law Office

Prescott Office
Wright Law Offices
1129 Iron Springs Rd
Prescott AZ 86305

Telephone: 623-258-4480 / 866-703-3287
Prescott Law Office

Mesa Office
Wright Law Offices

1731 W. Baseline Rd.
Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Telephone: 480-845-0145 / 866-703-3287
Mesa Law Office

Glendale Office
Wright Law Offices
20325 N. 51st Ave., Suite 134
Glendale, AZ 85308
Telephone: 623-258-4480 / 866-703-3287
Glendale Law OFfice

Facebook IconTwitter IconVisit Us On Google+Visit Us On Google+