Collection agency sued for cyberbully tactics

“Plaintiffs in three states have recently filed privacy lawsuits over what may be a new form of cyber-bullying -– using the Internet to harass debtors, in one case even creating a website in the debtor’s name…

Jennifer Dicks’s troubles began when she missed payments on a Chevrolet Cavalier she had bought from AFN. According to a complaint filed April 24, the lender used a hidden GPS device to locate the car and repossess it in January.

Dicks then made a payment to regain possession but after she again missed a payment, AFN allegedly created a website with the domain name “jenniferdicks.com.” The site’s content is identical to that of AFN’s website (goafn.com) except for the heading, which states, “Jennifer Dicks isn’t paying for her Cavalier!””

“In one of the MySpace cases, a Michigan auto lender hired Assets Recovered to collect overdue payments on a 2005 Chevrolet Impala from Paula Newland of Edwardsburg, Mich. The collection agency’s methods allegedly included “Posting information regarding Plaintiff’s indebtedness on Plaintiff’s ‘MySpace’ page” and “Using or threatening to use a ‘shame automobile’ and ‘camp out all weekend’ in front of Plaintiff’s house.”
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