Should Collections Use Social Media to Contact Debtors?

March 29, 2012 — 1,003 views  
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Social media has created a whirlwind of new possibilities to connect with consumers in a variety of industries. However, should a collections agency consider using this medium to contact debtors? According to US News, more than a handful of lawsuits have been filed by consumers who were allegedly contacted by collectors through social media.

The Fair Debt Collections Practice Act (FDCPA) protects consumers from abusive practices from a collections agency, but when this act took effect in 1978 or amended in 2006, social media was not the driving force it is today.

While a collections agency is not forbidden from contacting consumers via social media, they may wish to take care about how and what they post.

"A debt collector that posts about your debt on social media would be violating this statute very clearly because that privacy is compromised," Craig Thor Kimmel, a consumer attorney who handles collections issues, told the news source.

For now, a collections agency may wish to use social media to track the address or whereabouts of an individual by using the information they post or compiling a list of those who may know where they are.