Debt collecting on Facebook (‘ware Facebook ‘Friends’)

fbfWhen Kathryn Haralson logged into her Facebook account, she was surprised by an unwelcome inbox message: a request to call “Mr. Rice” at, says a story in Bloomberg News.

Rice apparently wanted to  talk to her about her debt.

But, “Federal regulators could wind up agreeing with Haralson as the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission weigh new restrictions on how debt collectors may use social media websites like those run by Facebook and Twitter to contact potential debtors, savs the post adding:

“The rule is one of a series of actions contemplated by U.S. regulators in 2013 as they impose comprehensive federal oversight for the first time over the debt collection industry, which generated 180,000 consumer complaints to the FTC in 2011. In the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB gained new powers over debt collectors that no other federal agency ever had.

Regulations would affect credit card issuers  such as Capital One Financial Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co, who also face supervision over how they handle debtors. The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureaus   “sent a signal of its intent in October when it announced a $112.5 million settlement with American Express Co. (AXP) partly over claims of improper debt collection practices,”  says Bloomberg, adding,

“At the same time, debt buyers like Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc. (PRAA), Encore Capital Group Inc. (ECPG) and Asta Funding Inc. (ASFI) are also facing the first-ever federal oversight of their business. The CFPB approved a rule on supervision that took effect January 2.”

Moral?

Watch out for Facebook ‘Friends.’

Jon Newton — myblogdammit

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