Debt Recovery 2.0 as US debt firms use Facebook for debtor tracing

In looking through debt industry news and debt related articles this month from around the World and in the UK, we noticed an item from the US, in which it claims that apparently some US based debt collection agencies are now turning to social networks to track down on-the-run debtors?

Debtor tracing is a service that CCDR provides so it was with some interest, to note how our cousins across the Atlantic go about conducting their business.

The story claims that US debt investigators have turned to Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and even Twitter to not only seek out the location of past-due defaulters and gone away debtors to contact them, but to search through online profiles for proof of shopping trips, holidays, big purchases, phone numbers and employment info to gain a in-depth picture of the debtor and in some cases, building a pool of evidence that may prove debtors have money to spare to repay their debts that you have previously stated.

The pieced mentioned that debt collection and recovery agencies routinely scour specific social networking sites depending on the type of debt a person holds and the profile of that person. Most are said to be using Facebook for consumer debt but for obvious reasons, the likes of LinkedIn is used more for business to business debt and wayward or gone away debtors.

Whilst the UK law is somewhat different to the US, there are more similarities than there are differences and under current US regulations, a digital social profile is considered fair game, so long as the debt agency are only looking. A friend request or personal message on any social site from creditor to debtor would be a violation of the rules but if a friend of a debtor were to post/comment/tweet “your new speedboat is out of this world” it may ask questions of the debtors ability to pay up.

As for collectors, they’ve got their own place in cyberspace to swap war stories. Accountrecovery.net is “like Facebook for collectors,” and a place for professionals to trade tips and even debate ethics.

With the majority of Americans using these sites, i.e. some 72 percent of young adults and 40 percent of those over 30 in the US are thought have such profiles, it seems that debt collection 2.0 is mirroring web2.0 in the US at least

Corporate Credit Debt Recovery (CCDR) is a leading UK Debt Recovery specialist with international reach and a client base of SME’s and multinational organisations. Our services include:  Debt Recovery, Debt Mediation & Debt Dispute Resolution, Business Reports and Debtor Tracing, Outsourced Credit Control and Corporate Legal Services.

For more details, call our Liverpool head office or use the Contact Us section of the site.

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