Using Facebook To Serve Lien Notices

I just ran across this article while doing some research, and it made me go, “Whoa!”…

Australia OKs Facebook for serving lien notices

“A court in Australia has approved the use of Facebook, a popular social networking Web site, to notify a couple that they lost their home after defaulting on a loan. The Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court last Friday approved lawyer Mark McCormack’s application to use Facebook to serve the legally binding documents after several failed attempts to contact the couple at the house and by e-mail.”

This is really a scary decision. A lot of assumptions are being made, a couple of which include…

  • That the Facebook account is for the actual couple. Anybody can create a Facebook account under someone else’s name fairly easily.
  • That, if the Facebook account is for the couple, they actually look at it on a regular basis. I know many people who have created a Facebook account and then visit it only sporadically.

Appears, though, that the couple caught wind of the plan to serve them in this way…

“McCormack, a lawyer for the lender the couple borrowed from, said that by the time he got the documents approved by the court late Tuesday for transmission, Facebook profiles for the couple had disappeared from public view. The page was apparently either closed or secured for privacy, following publicity about the court order.”

Making legal decisions to use such means as an online social networking site, which may or may not be legitimate, is a pretty scary concept.

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