It is almost as if they are watching you. Debt collectors seem to appear out of nowhere anytime something positive happens. While you may believe you are just unlucky and that you can’t seem to shake that grey cloud hanging over your head – the truth of matter is, it is not a coincidence that an old creditor is now hounding you ever since you took that new job.
In a sense, your creditors are watching you – monitoring you. And while they may not be standing out side your house, they are likely monitoring you albeit electronically. Here are a couple of ways in which debt collectors monitor consumers and make the decision whether or not to pounce:
#1 – Trigger Reports
The big three credit bureaus, Experian, Transunion, and Equifax all offer information to debt collectors in the form of a “trigger report”. Trigger reports notify a debt collector when certain information changes on your credit report. For instance, a debt collector that has purchased a trigger report can be notified when any of the following happen:
- Employment Change
- Installment Loan is Paid Off
- Total Credit Balance Change
- Address Change
- New Phone Number
- Change in Credit Score
- Newly Opened Credit Card
- Charge-off on an Account
- Posting of Judgment
Let’s say you have you been unemployed for a while and then get a job. Many times your employment information appears on your credit report. If a creditor was to see this change in job they may assume you are in a better position to pay the debt or if they already have a judgment against you they now have wages to garnish.
In fact, you may unwittingly be helping out the debt collectors by updating your personal information on your credit report. Many people regularly update their credit report with information like their address, employer, and telephone number. If you think about it, who is likely to use that information? Advertisers and debt collectors – people you don’t really need in your life.
#2 – Social Media
So much of our lives are on display when it comes to social media. What may seem like a personal post to a family member is often on the web for everyone to see – including debt collectors.
Many debt collectors will use social media pages like Facebook to help locate a consumer or determine if there are assets to be had. If your Facebook page is one picture after the other of your sweet new boat, the debt collector may come to the conclusion that you are worth the time and effort to try and collect from.
I have even seen debt collectors pose as fake friends or share information about a debt publicly. Note – if this has happened to you it is against the law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from sharing your personal financial information with third-parties or to misrepresent who they are in trying to collect on the debt.
In today’s world it is almost impossible to remain anonymous online. But it is helpful to know that if you are dealing with serious debt problems there are debt collectors out there mining the information that you have about yourself on the internet. And further, this article should reinforce the idea that the credit reporting bureaus are not your friends – they are companies trying to make a buck off of your personal information.
If you are dealing with overwhelming debt problems or are facing abusive debt collectors I would be happy to see how I can help. Click HERE and we can set up a time to discuss a solution to your debt problem.
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John Skiba, Esq.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your debt problem and help you put together a game plan to eliminate your debt once and for all. Give us a call at (480) 420-4028