Posts Tagged ‘debt collection’

Judge in Debt Collection Case on Solid Ground

March 11, 2011

Yesterday I posted about a judge who prohibited a debt collector from contacting friends and family regarding money owed.  This article explains that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and many state laws prohibit collectors from disclosing to a third party that a debt is owed.  Furthermore, they can’t misrepresent or use deceptive means to connect with the debtor.

Given that, its hard to see how a collector can use social networking proactively to make contact with a debtor.  They could use the public information available on these websites to located the person through other legal means but not through the tools provided by Facebook etc.

Debt Collection & Social Media Snooping

October 30, 2010

posted over the summer about how debt collectors are increasingly using Facebook and other social networking sites to find debtors. This article goes into greater detail about how collectors are using Facebook, the limitations of this approach and why debtors and potential debtors should proceed with caution in what they post on Facebook etc.

Bottom line

Consumers need to think hard about whether they want to be “found” on the Internet.  If they have any qualms, they should use aliases, post a random photos as an avatar and not provide specific physical address information.  Finally they need to recognize that restricting access through privacy settings, might not be enough to protect their online information from being discovered.

35 law firms sued for illegal debt collection practices

July 27, 2009

“Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo [Wednesday] announced his office has sued 35 law firms and two debt collectors(1) in New York State in order to throw out an estimated 100,000 default judgments improperly obtained against New York consumers. This is the latest action in Cuomo’s ongoing investigation into unlawful debt collection practices.”


Collection agency sued for cyberbully tactics

May 1, 2009

“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 “” The site’s content is identical to that of AFN’s website ( 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.”

Debt collector sued for hounding sick child

February 25, 2009

The plaintiffs gave their sick child a cell phone so the child could contact them as necessary.  The defendant, Santander Consumer USA, is a debt collecting agency that has called the child’s cell phone more than 150 times since September 2008.  

In October, the plaintiff called the defendant company to explain to them that their child is not the person who owes the debt.  A couple weeks later the plaintiffs’ attorney followed up with a letter sent to the defendants but despite that, the defendants continue to call the child’s cell phone up to fifty times a month.  The lawsuit was filed in Oregon Federal Court.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

Debt collector sued for jacking up mortgage fees

February 21, 2009

The plaintiff owes on a mortgage obtained from a company now defunct.  She doesn’t know who actually holds her mortgage anymore.  However, according  to her complaint, that doesn’t stop Litton Loan Service from trying to collect payments on the mortgage and assessing her late fees beyond the terms set out in the original loan.  The plaintiff filed her class action complaint in New York Federa Court.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews