In the most audacious move yet, collections firms are now using MySpace and other social media sites as a way to track down debtors and even posting messages on MySpace asking the user in some instances to ‘contact our office immediately so we can discuss the peaceful recovery’ of the collateral. Consider one Michigan debtor who fell behind in her car payments and suffered repeated, harassing phone calls from three companies — including 15 calls on one Saturday and claims that phone calls were “concerning a ‘family emergency’ “. The debtor was told that if she did not pay up, her car would be reported stolen, and she would be arrested and the collector threatened the debtor that they would even camp out in front of her house. As if all this weren’t enough, the fact there were overdue payments for her 2005 Chevy Impala was broadcast on her MySpace account. The key word here is “broadcast”. Messages posted on MySpace, Facebook and other social networks are not private and any information posted by debt collectors on a public forum is obviously intended to embarras and humilate a person rather than recover the debt. Be careful who you “friend”
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