When you have past due bills, debt collectors can be very persistent about trying to contact you. They use any tactics at their disposal including mail, email, text, and phone calls. When they try to reach you using multiple contact methods, you may wonder “Can debt collectors contact me on social media?”
Direct Messaging on Social Media
Social media is a place you probably go to interact with family and friends, and the last thing you want to worry about on social media is being harassed to make payments on debts in collections. Debt collectors can’t publicly try to contact you on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This means that a message sent to you on social media about a debt can’t be posted in a way that it’s viewable by your friends, contacts, or the general public.
That doesn’t mean you’re completely safe from debt collectors on social media. Debt collectors can reach out to you using direct messages on one of these platforms. They can send you a friend request on a social media platform, but they have to disclose to you that they are a debt collector. They also have to give you a way to opt-out of being contacted on that social media platform.
Debts in Collections
If you have debts in collections, you’re probably already frustrated and overwhelmed at not being able to pay the bills, and being reminded of the debt on social media only makes you feel worse. Debt collectors can be very persistent about trying to collect debts. If the debt is legitimate, don’t ignore them altogether. Talk to the debt collector and see if you can work out a payment plan or settle the debt for less than is owed.
If a debt collector is contacting you about a debt you’ve already paid or don’t believe you owe, you have the right to request verification of the debt. Don’t give personal information such as your address and social security number to someone just because they’re claiming to be a debt collector.
Debt Collections and Your Credit
Past due accounts damage your credit, and once an account goes into collections, it’s a negative mark that can remain on your credit report for seven years. The more recently you had a late payment, the more it affects your credit. As time passes, negative items won’t affect you as much, and you’ll be able to begin to rebuild a positive credit history starting with a secured credit card or a credit builder loan. Going forward, make sure you always pay on time and keep balances of credit lines low.
As you start to rebuild your credit, check your credit report to make sure the information on it is accurate. When debts are transferred from one bill collector to another, the same debt may appear twice. If that happens, one should be removed.
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