• 18
  • November

A Florida woman is suing a debt collection agency after they sent messages to her family members through the social networking site, Facebook. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the woman was shocked and embarrassed when she found out that the debt collector sent messages to her family asking them to have her call the agency. The agency was trying to collect $362 that the woman owed on a car loan.

Debt collectors are not allowed to harass people under Florida consumer protection law. Besides finding her on Facebook and writing to her family, the woman's lawsuit claims that the agency called her on the phone six to ten times a day, sent a letter to her workplace and contacted a co-worker.

The easy availability of private information on the Internet and social networking sites has made it easy for debt collectors to track people down. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the woman's attorney called Facebook a "powerful harassment tool at your fingertips." 

Just because it is easy to contact people, however, does not mean it is legal. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from contacting any third party (family members, coworkers or friends) for any reason besides confirming a person's location. In other words, the debt collector who wrote to the woman's family members asking them to have her call the agency may have been in violation of the law.


Woman sues debt collector over Facebook messages (Orlando Sentinel)