New Trend: Facebook Foreclosures?

It's already happening across the pond
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2011 2:00 PM CDT
New Trend: Facebook Foreclosures?
In this April 4, 2010 file photo, a foreclosure sign sits atop a for sale sign in front of a single-family home tops the for sale sign in Denver on Sunday, April 4, 2010.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

In Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and England, mortgage lenders have been allowed to serve foreclosure notices via Facebook, in most cases when the defaulting borrowers couldn't be located elsewhere. In at least two such cases, the borrowers reacted right away, thus allowing the foreclosures to proceed. And Facebook seems happy about the trend, with a spokesperson stating after the first case, in 2008, that the court had validated the site "as a reliable, secure, and private medium for communication."

Could this trend be headed to America, wonders Tara-Nicholle Nelson in Time? "Privacy concerns are moot," since foreclosure notices are already public record in the US. Debt collectors and divorce attorneys are already using Facebook to track people down and gather evidence. But, though electronic service is usually permitted in the US, parties must have agreed to it in advance. So don't be surprised if "lenders begin to routinely request—and obtain—the borrowers’ permission to make service of foreclosure notices via email, Facebook and other electronic means at the time the original loan documents are signed." (More foreclosures stories.)

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