Social media websites are a great tool for entertainment and to keep in touch with family and friends, but always be on alert when you are using them. Increasingly, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are becoming a tools of harassment by debt collectors. Social media information has also been used in other legal proceedings, such as divorce, personal injury and criminal cases.
Recently, a Florida woman sued a debt collector alleging they used information collected from her social media profiles in order to manipulate her into paying the debt. The debt collector had located her on social media websites and was familiar with her personal life, including her children and her vacation habits. The debt collector then called a third-party in an attempt to collect the debt. The debt collector called the woman’s boyfriend, asking him if he knew her and told him that she owed over $8,000. The collector also called the woman’s mother, advising her about the debt and threatening to sue the woman. Following those phone calls, the collector called the plaintiff again and threatened to take money out of her account and to attempt to take her business license.
The debt collector’s actions are a violation of federal law. Debt collectors aren’t allowed to threaten, harass, or intimidate. They can’t let anyone else know of the existence of the debt, other than the creditor. They are allowed to call a third-party, but only for the purpose of obtaining contact information for the creditor. They are no allowed to disclose your debt amount.
If you have been harassed by a debt collector, in violation of the FDCPA, you may be entitled to compensation. Please give my office a call today, The Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman at (877) 449-8898.