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Debt website uses power of social media to obtain payment

Apr 13, 2012 Philip Burgess

Debtors may now have notice of their debt circulated on social media pages and made searchable on the web thanks to The Debtor List, a free public database for users to submit claims for debt collection. Although the site does not partake in any debt collection activities itself, it offers a forum for companies or individuals to take action against non-payers of debt that generally isn't worth a trip to court over. "Most of my clients are also small businesses and the amounts at issue are generally small, less than $300, so it would cost too much to sue them and I don't have the volume of bad debt or large enough debts to justify working with a collections firm," said founder Jonathan Broder. The service is free, and once a claim has been submitted users can use social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ to share information about the debt. Broder hopes this public "shaming" will motivate debtors to pay up. Otherwise, their debt will remain searchable on the website for five years. Social media and debt collection have been controversially linked since social platforms began increasing in popularity, and some debt collectors may attempt to friend debtors on sites like Facebook to determine if they're able to pay or not, explains CreditShout.