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Creditor harassment easier in the digital age

You can run, but you can't hide -- from debt collectors, that is. With the advent of high-tech computer systems, creditors are more likely than ever to have almost instant access to information about Washington borrowers. Used correctly, this information can help establish a positive working relationship between borrower and lender. However, some companies abuse the information and cross into the realm of creditor harassment. Borrowers who are facing financial challenges may not realize that creditors have access to such a vast amount of information. Much of that data is provided by the consumers themselves.

Experts say that debtor information is often contained within credit applications, e-mails and other types of agreements. Debt collectors can often use information from the original creditor's system to track down borrowers with overdue payments. This information often contains addresses and phone numbers of relatives, as well as other contact information that you might not expect.

If debt collectors do not find your information in the creditor's files, they may turn to databases and even social media. That's right; if you are dodging your debts, your Facebook page and other social media accounts may make you an easy target. Debt collectors say they use social media such as LinkedIn to determine where debtors work so that wage garnishment can occur. Further, information about new assets -- a car or piece of jewelry, for example -- can be used to find out more about income and spending patterns.

Washington residents who are seeking debt relief from creditor harassment may benefit by filing for consumer bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney may provide additional information to help you get your financial affairs in order and prepare for a fresh start. You do not have to continue to endure creditor harassment because of financial challenges.

Source: Credit.com, "Why You Can’t Hide From Debt Collectors" Gerri Detweiler, Mar. 21, 2014

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