There is no doubt that unpaid invoices and overdue bills are problematic for both society and individuals. Collection agencies exist to collect unpaid bills from those who are unwilling to pay their bill. To be fair, most individuals realize they have overlooked a bill and take care of promptly. On the other hand, there is a portion of the population that attempts to evade the collection agency in hope the bill miraculously goes away. The latter strategy is becoming more and more difficult with advancements in modern technology.
Data from the Customer
It should come as no surprise that debtors themselves are often a fertile ground to gather information. The information contained on loan applications, credit applications, and purchase orders often provide collection agencies with a wealth of information to locate debtors. To be sure, the source of information is often the most valuable information a collection agency can use in locating and errant debtor. For example, credit applicants are often asked to include a close relative on their application. Of course, the collector will contact this relative to ascertain the debtor’s whereabouts.
It would not be accurate to state that all collection agencies pull a credit report on debtors they are seeking. The reason is quite simple; credit reports are costly. Further, collection agencies need to be careful in pulling credit reports because credit inquiries can often lower debtor credit scores. The last thing a collection agency wants to do is harm the debtor; so care must be taken to avoid harming a potential debtor.
On the other hand, a wealth of information can be found on a credit report and an experienced collection agent can use this information to find the whereabouts of a debtor.
Some Collection Agencies Use Public and Private Databases
Like it or not, much of the information you provide third parties is gathered, organize and sold to third parties. These databases are often surprisingly complete in scope and information from these lists is sold to third parties for a variety of reasons. Examples of database companies are LexisNexis and SearchAmerica. The amount of data collected on you is surprising and can be a valuable tool in pinpointing your whereabouts.
Pan Am collections does not use social media to locate clients, but that does not mean that a host of other collection agencies to not use social media like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. I suppose if you elect to post pictures of your self… loaded with a neck full of gold bling and a brand-new Porsche you might well draw the attention of the collection agency that is in hot pursuit of you. In short, social media accounts can be valuable sources of information for those collection agencies that choose to utilize them.
These are just a few of the tools of the modern collection agency. Running away from sizable overdue bills has become more difficult in the age of big data and social media.