Wednesday, May 04, 2011

You Can Run But You Can't Hide - They Will Find You

Technology has allowed creditors, debt collectors and some state taxing authorities the ability to search for consumers on the internet use social media networks such as Facebook, Myspace,Twitter, Linkedin and other sites to find consumers. This seems extreme but it is legal.

According to the Fair Debt Practices Collection Act, debt collectors can contact your family and friends to find your location or get other personal information such as your address, email address or phone number. If you posted your contact information including your current employer on your social media profile you may soon be getting emails, phone calls or visits from your debt collectors. What if a debt collector contacted someone who is listed as a friend on your social media profile? How embarrassing would that be? With the frequent consumer data breaches and lack of strong security protections on Facebook and other social media profiles it is not too hard to find anyone these days.

If you use social media networks and are in debt, you presence on them can increase your chances of your creditors and debt collectors finding you. The IRS has not confirmed whether they use social media networks to find taxpayers who owe back taxes but I assume they probably do. However, tax agents cannot friend a consumer who owes back taxes on a social media site but that probably doesn’t stop them from doing it. Here are some ways you can be found on the internet:

1. Internet search engines
2. Motor vehicle records
3. Chat rooms and forums
4. Social media networks
5. Employment records
6. Tax records
7. Bank records
8. Public inquiries at local businesses such as groceries stories, barbershops, church meetings, social and civic meetings, etc.
9. Posts you made about an article or video or post you made on a website

Contact your creditors and debt collectors before they contact you to setup a payment plan or request a financial hardship. Follow-up with a letter confirming the agreement and stick to the agreement. It is better to be safe than sorry.


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The first step needed to overcome a bad credit is to snatch a copy and take a look into your own credit report because incorrect information on your credit report will only make matters worse if you already have a bad credit rating.
According to the US Public Interest Research Group, one quarter of the credit reports ordered contained errors. You can order a copy of your credit from three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report per year, and each time you are refused credit, employment or insurance.
If you are sure that there are false Statements on your Report, write a letter to each of the Credit Reporting Agencies. Explain the questionable items in detail, and provide proof to back up your claims (Paid Receipts for example). Investigation takes 30 days, and decision will be made after that period.
If you are planning to get professional help, be aware of your rights as a consumer outline in the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). According to some of the provisions provided by this Act, the credit repair company cannot make false claims about their services, or charge you until they have completed the promised services, must have a detailed description of the services to be performed, duration, and guarantees if they can offer any.
One important step that can be really helpful in repairing bad credit is to negotiate with your creditors for a repayment plan keeping in mind how much you can afford and intend to pay. It may also be possible to get them to remove the charge off from your report and replace it with “paid as agreed” by offering to pay a certain amount per month. Many creditors agree to remove the negative from credits report in return for payment because they are sure that the will get their money back this way. You can also try to get them to drop the interest too in exchange for a lump sum as first payment.
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George E. Bourguignon, Jr. Attorney at Law said...

Keeping track and thinking through your social media postings is a smart idea.

Harry Seo said...

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Reliant Credit Repair said...

How embarrassing would that be? With the frequent consumer data breaches and lack of strong security protections on Facebook and other social media profiles it is not too hard to find anyone these days. Real Credit Repair Companies