Yikes! Now Facebook Can Buy Your Debt Before It Is Even Past Due
Opinions differ about the exact date that the Internet stopped being fun, but most people would pinpoint it as the first time Facebook reminded them that they were broke. Since the early 2000s, Facebook has launched an increasing number of features designed to rub it in people’s faces that they have less money than they wish they had. Although it gets creative with some historical details, The Social Network clearly shows how Facebook’s original purpose was a forum for rich kids to destroy each other’s self-esteem, and as it has become democratized, it has found plenty of new ways to erode the self-esteem of people who have never been wealthy by any definition. Now that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has updated its guidelines on using social media for debt collection communications, Facebook has started seeing dollar signs and plans to buy millions of dollars in debts owed to small businesses. If this sounds scary, a Boca Raton debt lawyer can help you put things into perspective.
Is Facebook Invoice Fast Track a Fast Track to Creditor Harassment?
This year, the CFPB updated its guidelines about debt collection practices for the first time in 40 years, so the new guidelines address contacting borrowers through email, text messages, social media, and other technologies that were not in wide use when the old guidelines were published. The new guidelines allow creditors to contact borrowers on social media and seek payment from them; the laws against harassment of borrowers prevent creditors and collection agencies from making their messages to borrowers publicly visible.
Seeing an opportunity to become the world’s biggest collection agency, Facebook announced plans to buy up consumer debt from small businesses and seek payment from the Facebook users that owe money to these businesses. It is called the Facebook Invoice Fast Track program, and Facebook buys invoices owed to participating businesses at 99 percent of the face value of the invoice, much more than third party collection agencies pay. In fact, the invoices don’t even have to be past due for Facebook to buy them. Facebook claims that its motivation for starting the program is to help small businesses, since collecting payment is a time-consuming hassle for businesses that only have a few employees. While the program could be good news for small businesses, it is bad news for consumers. The last thing that anyone needs is for Facebook to pester people about debts (that they were planning to pay on time, no less), as if logging on to find long-lost high school classmates asking you to join their multi-level marketing business were not already bad enough for your self-image and your finances.
Stop Harassment by Creditors and Collection Agencies Online and Offline
If you feel like creditors and collection agencies are following you around everywhere you go, it is time to do something about your debt problem, preferably with the help of a debt lawyer. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida to discuss your case.