Hot on HuffPost Tech:

See More Stories
AOL Tech

Collection Agency Gets Served Over Dubious Facebook Practices

melanie beachamCollection agencies have been snooping around on social networking sites for years. Despite the privacy issues involved, prying debt collectors have apparently managed to avoid any lawsuits -- until now. Florida resident Melanie Beacham recently filed suit against MarkOne because she feels the collection agency publicly harassed and embarrassed her on Facebook.

Beacham reportedly fell behind on her car payments (to a whopping total of $362!), so MarkOne sought her out on Facebook. The agency purportedly even contacted Beacham's sister and cousin on the site. According to ABC News, Beacham's attorney Billy Howard contends, "This is a huge invasion of privacy." MarkOne asserts its practices are acceptable, however, when dealing with a "fully public profile."

The FTC's Fair Debt Collection Practices Act doesn't address social networking, but it does forbid the use of open and obvious correspondences like -- oddly enough -- postcards. (So, it's probably time to update the ol' act.) Until that happens, though, the FTC's site does provide extensive information about dealing with intrusive debt collectors -- including how to make them stop, and how to sue them.

Tags: CollectionAgencies, collectionagency, DebtCollection, DebtCollectors, facebook, lawsuit, MarkoneFinancial, MelanieBeacham, money, privacy, SocialNetworking, top, web