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Gingersnap
11-17-2010, 12:25 PM
Debt collectors utilize Facebook to embarrass those who owe

Beau Zimmer 1 hr ago

Tampa, Florida -- Debt collectors can be relentless and downright rude on the phone, but now a St. Petersburg woman is filing suit alleging the company that financed her car loan began harassing family members over the social networking website Facebook.

Melanie Beacham says she fell behind on her car payment after getting sick and taking a medical leave from work. She contacted MarkOne Financial to explain the situation but says the harassing phone calls, as many as 20 per day, kept coming. Then one day she got a call from her sister saying the company contacted her in Georgia.

"I was telling her, 'No way, because you're not even a reference,'" said Beacham, who later found out MarkOne contacted her sister and other relatives via Facebook.

Beacham says the company claimed they were doing nothing wrong but, upset over what happened, she contacted Tampa based consumer attorney Billy Howard of Morgan & Morgan.

"Now Facebook does a debt collectors work for them. Now it's not only family members, it's all of your associates. It's a very powerful tool for debt collectors to use," says Howard.

He believes Facebook will soon become a regular method for contact if nothing is done.

"It's getting the desired result, and that is to start a domino effect of panic and embarrassment among family and friends, and people will do anything to stop that."

Howard has now filed a first of its kind lawsuit against MarkOne asking a judge to ban the company from using Facebook and other social networking websites to contact friends and family members over a debt.

WTSP (http://www.wtsp.com/news/mostpop/story.aspx?storyid=156762)

PoliCon
11-17-2010, 01:14 PM
You want privacy - don't make things public. simple as that.

Mind you - I'm not sure of the ethics of this . . . this will make a great discussion topic for class though. Thanks Ginger :)

Gingersnap
11-17-2010, 08:19 PM
I'm not sure how this works myself. I've had a few calls from collectors who were trying to find relatives but not about relatives we'd actually had a financial relationship with - I think they were fishing. Is that legal? I dunno.

If it is, then Facebook trolling would seem to be just as legal.

PoliCon
11-17-2010, 10:06 PM
I'm not sure how this works myself. I've had a few calls from collectors who were trying to find relatives but not about relatives we'd actually had a financial relationship with - I think they were fishing. Is that legal? I dunno.

If it is, then Facebook trolling would seem to be just as legal.

I don't believe that it is legal - but you'd have to ask someone like philly.

Gingersnap
11-17-2010, 10:13 PM
I don't believe that it is legal - but you'd have to ask someone like philly.

I would think that could use any public information to track down debtors. How they got us, I have no idea unless it was foaf-type information from other calls.

PoliCon
11-17-2010, 10:29 PM
I would think that could use any public information to track down debtors. How they got us, I have no idea unless it was foaf-type information from other calls.

I like how when the calls come and you ask any questions it's always a confidential matter - but they want you to give out someone's unlisted phone number. :rolleyes: When I was in college one of my roommates got himself into some financial trouble and we'd get calls all the time about it and they would always want us to take a message. I got fed up and told them no. The lady was shocked and asked - why not? I told her that when they started paying me for my time then I'd start doing their correspondence for them. Until then, they need to contact him by mail.

Gingersnap
11-17-2010, 10:34 PM
I like how when the calls come and you ask any questions it's always a confidential matter - but they want you to give out someone's unlisted phone number. :rolleyes: When I was in college one of my roommates got himself into some financial trouble and we'd get calls all the time about it and they would always want us to take a message. I got fed up and told them no. The lady was shocked and asked - why not? I told her that when they started paying me for my time then I'd start doing their correspondence for them. Until then, they need to contact him by mail.

We never cooperated with them and the calls dropped off. How is Facebook different from a telephone directory, yearbook, or local paper source?

PoliCon
11-17-2010, 10:59 PM
We never cooperated with them and the calls dropped off. How is Facebook different from a telephone directory, yearbook, or local paper source?

If they use it to contact the person directly - I have no problem with that. Using it to harass others trying to get info for the person in question - I have a problem with that.

I've discovered that if you tell flat out not to call, they have to abide by that request.

NJCardFan
11-17-2010, 11:36 PM
Collection agencies are the lowest of the low. And this is just another shitty tactic used by them.