Many people who wonder: “how do debt collectors find you? would be fascinated to discover all of the super tricky ways debt collectors go about finding anyone. In fact, since the internet's inception, company's who collect on people's defaulted loans and other agreements have a way easier time doing so than in the years prior to the internet housing all of people's personal data including social network identities. You may be happy to know that there are certain lines debt collectors can't cross. The FCRA, Federal Collection Reporting Act, outlines certain provisions and rules regarding how a debt collector can go about locating you. Here are just a few ways debt collectors can find you both on and offline:

  1. Using Skip Tracers:debt collection companies will often hire skip tracers or perform their own skip tracing practices to locate you. Skip tracing involves using a service to locate your whereabouts. Skip tracers can also be private investigators etc. They may make phone or in person inquries to locate your current contact information.

  2. Doing Basic Internet Searches: Yes, you would be surprised how easy it is to find people and debt collectors can find you, by simply goggling your name. Some times white page information is also apart of the simple search practice. Try doing a search on your own name to mimic what a debt collector might find. You might be surprised.

  3. Social Networks: Debt collectors can often use Facebook, Myspace and Twitter to locate you, especially if they have identifying things like your email, first and last name or even user name and id you've used to log in to your accounts which have gone into default or collections.

  4. Credit Report Information: If a debt collector can substantiate that you in fact owe a debt to a credit reporting agency, a debt collector may pull what is called a “soft inquiry”. Soft inquiries are typically done by debt collectors when they are seeking more information about you. They could be looking for updated phone numbers, employers, home addresses and even other recently acquired assets.

  5. Court House: Since a lot of court house information is now online, many debt collectors only have to go as far as your state or county courthouse online to pull information about you. Court house information that debt collectors are looking for can consist of property tax information, which is typically up to date information on your billing address as well as assets titled or recorded in your local jurisdiction.

  6. Your Current or Previous Employer: Here is where we potentially get a little gray and whereby you may have grounds to sue your debt collector and that is when they call your current or previous employer and ask of your whereabouts. If they divulge personal debt information to your current or previous employer you may have grounds for a law suit against your debt collector.

  7. Your Parents and Other Relatives: Often times a debt collector can and will do internet searches on you AND they can also extract information regarding the home phone number of your parents and other relatives, particularly if you have an uncommon name in a small town. Again, your debt collector IS NOT allowed to disclose personal information regarding your debt to your parents or other relatives. They can however call your parents and ask for a return call.

As you can see the answer to the question: "how do debt collectors find you?" is a relatively simple one and often doesn't go farther than a debt collection agency using the internet.