Keeping Your Information Private from Debt Collectors

If you have defaulted on your debts and the accounts have been assigned to debt collectors then it is important to keep your personal information as private as possible.  Creditors and debt collectors will use your information to collect from you in anyway possible including filing lawsuits, filing liens against your property and garnishing your wages.  

In Colorado, if a creditor files a lawsuit and obtains a judgment against you, the law authorizes them to take certain collection actions including garnishing your wages and filing liens against your real property.  If a creditor knows that you own a home in Colorado and where you are employed, they are much more likely to sue you as they have all the information they need to collect.  Although it is nearly impossible to protect all of your information, you can limit many of the things that appear through social media and public records.  For instance, if you have a Linkedin or similar online business profile, it should be set to private so debt collectors don't easily find your employment status. 

Information found in public records can be more difficult to limit.  Many counties in Colorado offer an online search of their real property records.  If you own a home in one of these counties, creditors may be able to find that you own a home through a simple online search.  Many individuals choose to transfer property out of their name, however, this should be done cautiously and with the help of an experienced Colorado attorney.  

Your address is also valuable information to a creditor.  In Colorado, when a creditor files a lawsuit, they must personally serve the defendant.  If a creditor does not have your address it makes this task very difficult and can give you leverage in defending a lawsuit or settling your debt.  If you have recently moved and creditors do not have your address then you must be careful when you provide your new address to third parties.  For instance, if you apply for a new loan and provide your updated address to the lender, that information will be provided to the credit bureaus for others to find.  

Ultimately, it may not be possible or practical to limit the information available to your creditors but it should be considered.  At the very least, talk to an experienced Colorado consumer attorney before providing any of your personal information directly to creditors.