We recently discovered that bill collectors are using popular social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace to dig up very personal information on people in debt.
Recently a bill collector from a collection agency purportedly discovered new employment information published on a Facebook profile they didn’t originally have. Soon enough collection calls and threats of garnishing wages followed at this individual’s place of employment.
It’s probably a good idea to set your social networking profile to “private” in all areas, if a bill collector learns something about you through a social networking site you have no one to blame but yourself for publishing it.
Anyone with a Facebook profile is familiar with status updates; we had a bill collector contact us as we were in the midst of negotiating a massive reduction in an unsecured debt for our client. The bill collector discovered our client was boasting in their status update that they were “thrilled to have a new home”. The bill collector interpreted this as a home purchase; our client was actually intending to tell their friends that they rented a new apartment.
Their argument then became: Why should we take a settlement on our debt if the debtor has money to buy a home? Needless to say it had a crippling effect on our negotiations with that particular creditor and stalled our progress in finalizing a settlement.
Be careful with the internet. If you are using social networking sites, make sure your profile is kept private and keep those nosey bill collectors out of your personal life.