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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Is Your Newest Facebook Friend a Sleazeball Debt Collector?

When Michigan resident Paula Newland fell behind in her car payments, she found herself battling some typical -- and not so typical -- tactics used by debt collectors. In addition to repeated, harassing phone calls from three companies -- including 15 calls on one Saturday and claims that phone calls were "concerning a 'family emergency' " -- Newland was told that if she did not pay up, her car would be reported stolen, and she would be arrested. The company also threatened to deploy what they called a "shame automobile" and "camp out all weekend" in front of her house.

And then came a novel approach: As if all this weren’t enough, the fact there were overdue payments for her 2005 Chevy Impala were broadcast on her MySpace account.

Outraged and humiliated, Newland filed a civil suit earlier this year claiming "damage to her business and community reputation, extreme mental distress, aggravation, humiliation and embarrassment."


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