Texas Company Allegedly Used Social Networking Site Facebook and Text Messages to Collect Debt from Texas Consumer

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Weisberg & Meyers, LLC, Attorneys for Consumers files petition (No. C2011-1319A) in Comal County Texas District Court against Homeland Septic LLC and owners for alleged violations of Texas law. The Texas Company allegedly used Facebook and text messaging to contact and threaten plaintiff for non payment of disputed charges for home improvement services.

Social Networking websites and mobile technology have created new ways to communicate and connect with family, friends and businesses as well, however one Texas company allegedly went too far when attempting to collect payment for home improvement services. In addition to alleged contact via Facebook, Texas consumer and Plaintiff Lynn Kirkpatrick received numerous text messages, cell phone calls and voice mails that contained obscene and offensive language and threats according to a petition (No. C2011-1319A) filed in the Comal County Texas District Court by Weisberg & Meyers, LLC, Attorneys for Consumers. The complaint alleges defendants Homeland Septic, LLC and owners Justin Smock and Lawrence Brumbelow violated the Texas Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Texas Business Commerce Code.

According to court documents, Plaintiff Lynn Kirkpatrick contracted with Homeland Septic to perform work in his back yard on the septic system and allegedly did not accept or approve the work and disputed the final bill. Homeland Septic allegedly claimed the work was complete and payment for the services was due and despite Mr. Kirkpatrick's disputes, the defendants allegedly continued to hound Mr. Kirkpatrick for payment.

Collection efforts allegedly included voice mails and text messages containing abusive, vulgar language and threats regarding Mr. Kirkpatrick’s family and home. According to court documents, defendant Smock allegedly sent a communication to Kirkpatrick using social media site Facebook’s messaging system, claiming he had placed a lien on Plaintiff’s house for an amount that was 3 times the amount of the money owed when in fact court records showed no lien had been officially filed and placed on Mr. Kirkpatrick’s home.

According to recent news articles, the collection methodology used by debt collectors has changed due to the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and the easy access to user’s personal information these sites provide. Many social networking users are unaware of the privacy settings available in their account which could prevent unauthorized access by any “non-friends”, including debt collectors. These sites can provide a plethora of information to a debt collector including contact details, friends and employment, thus aiding in locating a debtor and facilitating debt collection efforts.

According to Mr. Kirkpatrick’s attorneys Weisberg & Meyers, LLC, Attorneys for Consumers and the petition, Homeland Septic allegedly committed multiple violations causing the plaintiff to suffer personal humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish, and emotional distress. The plaintiff seeks awards for actual, exemplary and emotional/mental anguish damages.

About Weisberg & Meyers, LLC, Attorneys for Consumers

Weisberg & Meyers LLC, Attorneys for Consumers, is a nationally recognized consumer law firm, has attorneys licensed to practice in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, and works with attorneys throughout the country to protect the rights of aggrieved consumers. The Firm’s diverse practice includes claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as well as violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Truth In Lending Act (TILA), the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Consumer Leasing Act, Credit Repair Organizations Act, (“CROA”) and State Unfair and Deceptive Practices Acts (UDAP’s). The Firm also offers Debt Settlement services, prosecutes Class Action Lawsuits, and handles Breach of Warranty, Lemon Law and Consumer Fraud Claims.

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Marshall Meyers
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