The Debtor List, New Miami-Based Website, Tries To Shame Scofflaws Into Paying Up

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photo by Psychonaught via Wikimedia Commons
Jon Broder was sick of getting stiffed. As an attorney and small-business owner, he was tired of clients walking out on small debts -- $500 here, $2,000 there -- knowing full well they wouldn't be worth going to court or hiring a collection agency. But what could he do? Then, one day last year, Broder went to a business lunch at the Tower Club, an exclusive Fort Lauderdale retreat that charges membership fees. On his way out, a message board caught his eye. Displayed prominently by the front door was a list of members who hadn't paid their dues.

"The manager told me: 'When we put it up, people pay,'" Broder says. "I hate to use the word shame, but I suddenly realized that it really does motivate people to pay."

Armed with that insight, Broder has started a website from his Brickell headquarters called the Debtor List, with the aim of shaming Miami's myriad scofflaws into ponying up. The idea is simple: Anyone owed a debt can make it public on the site, including the amount owed and the debtor's name. Then they can share the claims on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

People who owe money, Broder hopes, will be red-faced enough to fork over the cash. "If people know that even their smallest debts could end up on the web for everyone they know to see, that's an incentive to pay up," he says.

Take Deborah Rozniewski, a Miami realtor. She took to the site last week to expose $5,000 she says she's owed by one Lyle Wexler over an unpaid cell phone charge a few years ago.

"The idea appealed to me because I want this guy's name out there," she says. "I want other people to know they shouldn't trust him." (We tried to reach Wexler for his side of the story, but he didn't call back.)

But what if someone lies about a debt? Broder says there are safeguards; the accused can dispute listings, and administrators will mediate disagreements.

Even after they pay up, though, debtors shouldn't expect their names to disappear off the site. Broder plans to update the listing to show they've paid. But getting their names removed? That'll cost extra.

"Along with advertising, that's the heart of our business model," he says.

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16 comments
lylewexler
lylewexler

Amazing!! After supporting Debbie Rozniewski for a decade,giving her money,cars,jewelery,furs and an engagement ring she posts this??? LMFAO!! Another bitter,angry 50 year old woman. Here's to you kiddo, hoping all your "little girl dreams" come true

Zach
Zach

Just pay your fucking bills.

Gerd7484
Gerd7484

pepe delgado  noth miami beach  7200X 4 years makes28.800dan   ectmike  ect

Gerd7484
Gerd7484

super i will post all the peopel who own me moeny  and a lot off it

Mark Twain
Mark Twain

And these administrators that will be mediating disagreements, they are qualified how?  It sounds like he just added that but never really thought it through.  And paying to get your name off the list?  Extortion.  This is a half-baked idea.  

Barrerio the dim
Barrerio the dim

Post Bruno Barrerio's name. He caused taxpayers to be in debt over $3 BILLION. For the bonds to benefit the liars Jeffrey Loria and the midget David Samson. Vote Barrerio out and Luis Garcia In.

MBA
MBA

The FDCPA only applies to Debt Collectors

Floyd Dehanne
Floyd Dehanne

The site is in violation of the Fair Debt and Collection Act under the Harassment section 803.3 which clearly prohibits the "publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of Sections 603(f) or 604(3) of this act" electronic posting for this purpose is publishing not mention the this agency does not meet requirements 603 & 604. This site IS NOT a consumer reporting agency or debt collection agency.. (nor can they prove the validity of the debtor complaints that they post. The list in the tower club mentioned in the article was on private property on a bulletin board and not broadcasted for world view) The solicitation of payment for this "pseudo removal" which in fact leaves your name out there with a mere paid status will result in civil penalties under the Act as well.They are merely allowing anyone to post a claim without any oversight or validation of debt whatsoever which really amounts to defacto blackmail because the lists sole purpose (as admitted in the article) to to humiliate alleged offenders before their bosses and peers.Broder seems to think that he can avoid the judicial process by embarrassing others. Owed money, Jim? Get an attorney and your judgement in court like everybody else.. Because being sued for your site and the irreparable harm it will cause those people on your list is going to be way more expensive that the money they owed you. 

Floyd Dehanne
Floyd Dehanne

This site is a COMPLETE AND FLAGRANT VIOLATION OF THE FAIR DEBT AND COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT under Section 806.3 which states 

(3)  The publication of a list of consumers who allegedlyrefuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reportingagency or to persons meeting the requirements of sec-tion 603(f) or 604(3)1 of this Act. 

A Matter of Law
A Matter of Law

Jon Broder is going to get sued big time and easily for this kind of stuff. Someone who posts or even uses his site might be maid liable too; and I imagine he has some sort of fail safe in the set up process that throws any blame onto the person posting the debt as well. I highly recommend that he looks for a lawyer with even the most basic business and financial knowledge who will easily express the many reasons why this can lead to a costly lawsuit. If his website gets just one small fake post or incorrect debt, or even if a person with debt shares the name of another that doesn't, Defamation is just one simple factor that people can use to sue Joe's company. This is a scummy idea.

Thomaslovell81
Thomaslovell81

When I read your article the named Lyle Wexler sounded familiar.  He was involved in a commodities trading scandal and was prosecuted by the Commodities Future Trading Commission for fraudulently soliciting customers to purchase securities.  

http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/... 

YeaRight
YeaRight

paying extra to take off the name after the debt has been sued? LOL L.A.W.S.U.I.T

$3 BILLION stolen
$3 BILLION stolen

The site should post the names of all the elected officials who voted to divert over $3 BILLION taxpayer dollars to the privately owned Marlins.Bruno Barrerio made the Motion at the County.Dennis Moss was the then Chair who assisted Barrerio. Joe Martinez was a Yes vote. At the City Michelle Spence-Jones was a Yes vote right before she was indicted. Angel Gonzalez voted Yes. He resigned under indictment. Marc Sarnoff voted Yes.

Jim Camp
Jim Camp

I see them getting sued. There is a reason that your personal financial records & credit are private and that credit reports aren't public information ? Well, that's what is going on here, the financial matters are laid out for the world to see.

Gerd7484
Gerd7484

no way... they know the own, and they have moeney, just do not pay.. it,s pay day now.if the want to sue well. coast there moeny, the lose ,ore  more  pay up

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