Can Debt Collectors Contact You on Social Media?

Individuals who face financial peril are no strangers to the collection efforts employed by various agencies. Creditors take significant steps to ensure repayment and often blur the lines between harassment and the regulations they must follow. A new tactic, however, is to rely on a debtor’s daily use of social media sites to bolster communications.

For years, debt collectors have relied on phone, postal or email communications to reach debtors. Recently, however, they have taken to various social networking sites as a way to remind individuals of their financial obligations. Fortunately for debtors, the debt collection agencies must still follow rules regarding their communications, including:

  • If they send a friend request to the debtor, they must identify themselves as a debt collector.
  • The debt collector can send a private message, direct message or email through the social media site.
  • The debt collector cannot send a message, such as a comment or status update, that is in any way viewable to the public or the debtor’s friends.

When an individual faces financial hardship, debt collection efforts generally only succeed in attaching more stress to the situation. People facing trouble understand they are in trouble. They are juggling funds back and forth to pay bills and sacrificing discretionary spending to cover necessary costs. While a debt collector can contact the debtor to attempt to work out a solution, they must follow numerous regulations. When communication crosses the line into harassment, the debt collector can face significant consequences. These restrictions on communication also apply to social networking sites.

If you are facing financial peril, it might be time to consider bankruptcy as an option. Through the Bankruptcy Code, individuals can find a fresh start toward a more stable future.