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How creditors in Ohio might use social media to harass you

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2024 | Personal Bankruptcy |

In Ohio, like in many other states, some creditors use social media as a tool to collect debts.

This practice can sometimes cross the line into harassment. It can cause great emotional and mental strain for people in debt.

Social media tactics used by creditors

Creditors use various tactics on social media to contact debtors. One common method is sending private messages. These messages often start as friendly reminders but can quickly turn into frequent and persistent demands for payment. Creditors may send direct messages or even post on a debtor’s public page to pressure them into paying.

Another tactic involves searching for and contacting a debtor’s friends and family. By doing so, creditors hope to embarrass the debtor or create additional pressure through social connections. This method can be particularly invasive and distressing, as it brings personal financial matters into the public eye.

Creditors might also use social media to gather information about debtors. They can look at a person’s profile to find their current employer, recent activities or financial status. They may use this information to tailor their collection efforts more effectively.

Is this behavior legal?

The question of whether this behavior is legal depends on the tactics used and the laws governing debt collection practices. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) sets clear guidelines for how creditors and debt collectors can interact with debtors. According to the FDCPA, debt collectors cannot engage in behavior that is abusive, deceptive or unfair. This includes making threats, using profane language or repeatedly contacting a debtor in a way that could be harassment.

In Ohio, as in other states, these protections apply to communications through social media as well. If a creditor’s messages or posts are frequent, threatening or designed to embarrass the debtor publicly, they are likely violating the FDCPA.

While creditors in Ohio may use social media to contact and pressure debtors, there are clear limits to what is acceptable. Social media does not give creditors free rein to engage in harassment.


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