Facebook foreclosures on the rise

By Kase Wickman
Sunday, July 17, 2011 19:55 EDT
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In the age of the online over-share, combined with the current slew of foreclosures and mortgage drama, it may not come as too much of a shock to hear that social networking and banking have merged in a very serious way. Attorneys and mortgage lenders in Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom were all recently allowed to serve foreclosure notices on Facebook, Time’s Moneyland blog reported.

Australia was the first country to authorize the delivery of foreclosure notices alongside the social networking site’s usual pokes and tagged photos, in 2008.

The notices were sent to Facebook only when the owners couldn’t be contacted by other means, such as at their home address.

Because foreclosures are public record in the U.S., it wouldn’t be a privacy violation to serve notice online, but instead a legal one: prior consent must be obtained for banks and lenders to send official communication electronically.

However, Moneyland notes, 81 percent of divorce lawyers said that they have used information found online in court, so the trend could continue to move in favor of the internet. Newser noted that debt collectors in the U.S. also pursue people online.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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