Los Angeles, CA (Vocus) December 6, 2010
Debt Collectors throughout history has used various intimidating tactics to obtain money. In 2010 it seems they have turned to social network sites in the hope of embarrassing consumers into paying their debts.
Melanie Beacham is a Florida resident who like many Americans is struggling through high unemployment and a slow economy. After taking leave due to medical reasons she fell behind on her car payments. After lengthy discussions with the creditor for the car lease, Beacham gave them permission to repossess her car.
However, that did not happen instead the creditors sent a message to her Facebook page. They also sent a message to a family member she connects with on Facebook. Beacham was appalled and decided to take action against MarkOne Financial.
According to Beacham’s attorney this behavior is not uncommon. “Right now, what we're seeing is the use of Facebook to harass people and abuse people in mass. It's modern day thuggery. It's a way to harass people into paying money by utilizing one of the most powerful tools in our history," said Johnson
The creditor in question was MarkOne Financial. They disagree and claim that they are operating within the law.
Vincent Howard is an attorney based in California he works with consumers struggling with high levels of debt. “These debt collectors state that they only use Facebook to locate customers who have not responded through conventional means. That apparently is not the only reason they use Facebook,” say Vincent.
As an attorney supporting consumers with high levels of debt Vince adds, “After a creditor is made aware that a consumer is represented by an attorney they must send communications through the attorney and not contact the debtor directly.” In his opinion this is the benefit of working with an attorney based debt resolution program. The Howard Nassiri Law Firm is supported by the automation of Morgan Drexen. This allows them the ability to track and trace all creditor notifications and documents.
Eric Rosen also uses the innovative technology of Morgan Drexen to track creditors and debtors information. Eric says, “This shows just how far creditors will go to attempt to collect debt. Facebook was clearly designed to be a social networking site. While it has expanded to business networking, there is no reasonable interpretation of its purpose to the effect that it was designed to allow creditors to violate a person’s privacy. The potential negative psychological implications of this type of behavior are staggering.”
Sharon Overfelt is a Kentucky resident who engaged with the Rosen & Winig Law Firm. She lost her husband of 28 years to melanoma and the debt was mounting. She said of the attorney based program “I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t been for you.” Relieving the financial stress became one less problem for her to think about. “They were great. They were patient, kind, and understanding and you know its like talking to an old friend, talking to them. It gave me great peace of mind.,” says Sharon.
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