Debt Collector Can't Harass Through Facebook Friends, Court Rules

In a precedent-setting case, a court has ruled that a debt collector can’t continue to contact a debtor’s friends and family on Facebook about her car payments, reports the Orlando Sentinel. The debt collector had already emailed, texted her, and called her at home and work, according tot he lawsuit, 23 times in one day.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a collector can only get in touch with another person if they don’t know where the debtor is. The law also bars the collector from telling the third person why they need the info or to talk about the person’s debt. While the FDCPA, enacted in 1978, does not specify the use of social media, the same rules as for calling and texting apply, Mark Schiffman, public affairs director for the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, told the Orlando Sentinel.

This would also preclude debt collectors from posting messages about the debt on Facebook walls or sending messages to their friends to tell the debtor to return the calls. Also, you can’t send someone a digital cupcake that when you open it it says, “Mmm, tasty! Now that you’ve had a second free lunch, how about paying what you owe? Thanks, Knuckles and Chain Debt Collectors.”

Debt collectors must tread lightly on social media [Orlando Sentinel] (Thanks to David!)