Facebook Harassment is a New Low for Debt Collectors

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Watch out who you add as a friend on Facebook – they might just be a bill collector trying to harass you.  Melanie Beacham owed $362 in car payments; MarkOne Financial LLC was the debt collection agency trying to get her to pay.  The company used Facebook to contact Beacham’s friends and family. "I was shocked when I found out these collectors used Facebook to contact my family because they knew exactly where I was," Beacham, 34, told The Associated Press in an e-mail on Thursday. "I'm angry they caused me so much embarrassment with my family."

Beacham is now suing MarkOne for sending her messages on Facebook and for telling friends and family on the social networking site to have her call the agency.  Her case will not be heard until January, but it shows how seemingly private information becomes public on the internet.  Amy Webb, CEO of Webbmedia Group, an international digital media consulting firm, noted “the reality is that debt collectors, law firms, private investigators – you can come up with a long list of people – are using Facebook as well as geo location networks such as Gowalla and Foursquare to track people down.”

These methods of contacting third parties for payment of a debt owed by a friend could be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which states that collection agencies are only allowed to contact third parties to confirm someone’s location. No matter what, the safest thing to do is to watch who your friend and who you interact with on the internet.

If you find yourself in need of help with a bankruptcy in Dayton, Ohio or anywhere in the Miami Valley, contact Zachary Bushatz at the law firm of Brown, Rowland, Babb & Campbell.  He is able to help you fight ugly tactics and get your life back!  You can reach Zachary Bushatz at www.DaytonBankruptcyAttorney.com or (937) 879-9542.

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