Facebook Used by Debt Collectors

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Facebook is the perfect place for a debt collector to find you. Several collection agencies are now using the site to contact not only their target… they are “harassing” friends, family and business connections, as well. Many of these agencies even have a policy in place for how their employees should handle themselves when contacting debtors on Facebook.

Why is this such a perfect way to contact people? Let’s face it: most people who are late on payments and have their accounts turned over to collection agencies don’t bother to speak with those companies or work out arrangements. They simply ignore the calls and letters. Quite often, they have even moved without leaving a forwarding address. What better place to find them than on their social media account? No money is spent hiring a private detective to locate them. An employee can simply leave them a message on their Wall or send one through their Inbox.

Where does one draw the line, though? Is it morally acceptable for these places to leave a message on someone else’s Wall? Facebook told The Atlantic today that debt collectors using their service may be violating their rules. Facebook is clearly signaling that they are taking this novel debt-collecting methodology seriously by encouraging users to tighten up their security and reporting any instances of having their privacy violated by a company such as this.

What do you think? It is “right” for a debt collection agency to track someone down on Facebook or even Twitter? Is it okay for them to post to “friends” of these people, simply because they owe money to a company or person? What are your thoughts?