Is It Legal for Creditors to Find Me Using a Person Locator Search?

Being in debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself. Very few people are fortunate enough to make their major purchases in life always using cash. Many people go into debt to fund their education, buy a car, or mortgage their home. And as long as your debt is manageable and you pay your bills on time each month, your credit will keep improving and lenders will be happy to keep lending you money as you need it.


But sometimes, bad things happen that affect a person’s ability to pay their debts. People lose their jobs, get divorced, or may suffer a loss in the family–all of which can lead to a major change in income. When these things happen, creditors will often try to find a way to work with the debtor to adjust payments or the terms of the loan so they are still able make payments. If these negotiations fail, or if months and months pass without a payment, the loan is written off as bad debt. From here, creditors will use collection agencies to try to recover the debt.


As you might imagine, people who ignore their past debts are sometimes difficult to track down. But moving across town or even across the country isn’t exactly a viable way to erase past debts. The collection agencies make their money when they recover debt, so they are highly motivated to find people trying to avoid them. One tool they use is a searchable database that uses public records to find personal information about people they are looking for. Because this information is available to the public, the practice is completely legal.


But just because the information is publicly available doesn’t make it easy to find someone without some help. This is why other companies specialize in the compilation of public records to help creditors as well as investigative agencies and other parties find the people who have skipped out on their debts. These databases compile information from things like phone records, property records, as well as survey data. Such databases are able to search over 130 million Australian records to see if they can find a match.


So if the person being searched for has ever bought or rented a home, signed up for mobile phone service, or forwarded their mail to a new address, they can be easily and legally tracked down using a Person Locator service. Many different data points can be used to search different databases.


Things like year of birth along with past addresses and even former names can be combined to find out the debtor’s current location. One reason is that these databases are such a powerful tool for finding individuals is that the many sources of public records they are pulling information from are updated frequently. So even if one source of information is out of date, chances are that several other sources are properly updated and will lead to a correct address and phone number for the individual.