Debt Collectors Stalking Facebook

Fla. woman sues creditor who hounded her online

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 19, 2010 4:28 AM CST

(Newser) – A Florida woman who says debt collectors used Facebook to harass her and her family over an unpaid car loan is taking the collection agency to court. She is seeking damages and an injunction preventing the agency from using social media to contact her, ABC News reports. Her attorney says that while the lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind, the practice is widespread and laws need to be updated to deal with it.

"It's an invasion of privacy on steroids," the attorney tells AP. "Normally, it takes a while for collection agencies to contact family members, or friends, or co-workers, but on Facebook you have a very powerful harassment tool at your fingertips." Other lawyers say they are receiving a growing number of similar complaints. One Chicago lawyer says his client accepted a friend request from a young woman in a bikini, only to realize it was a debt collector when the "friend" posted a message on his wall: "Pay your debts, you deadbeat!"

Lawyers say a growing number of debt collectors are using Facebook to harass people.
Lawyers say a growing number of debt collectors are using Facebook to harass people.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick, File)
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It's important to send a message to other debt collectors that this type of invasion of privacy will not be tolerated by America. - Attorney Billy Howard

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