To make the consumer debt collecting process more fair, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted on a federal level. This law was designed to limit the actions and behaviors of third-party debt collectors. The FDCPA also defines how a debt must be verified and how a debtor can legally challenge the validity of a debt.
The Act defines a third-party collector as someone who attempts to collect a debt for another entity or party. The frequency of contact and the hours of permitted contact are restricted by the Act. If you have been the victim of a debt collector failing to adhere to the FDCPA in Florida, you might be eligible to pursue a civil suit to seek damages. Consult with a Florida FDCPA attorney to stop the debt collection harassment.
Florida’s FDCPA Laws and How They Work
Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) was designed to keep debt collectors and creditors from using various deceptive, misleading, and abusive tactics when collecting debts. The FCCPA supplements the FDCPA so it offers additional protection. In Florida, if an individual or company buys debts the state allows collection of those assigned debts.
The new debt owner, however, is required to give you 30 days notice before attempting to collect that debt. However, the new owner of the debt is subjected to adhering to the FDCPA and the FCCPA. The FCCPA prohibits debt collectors from misleading, deceptive, abusive, harassing, and fraudulent practices. The rules prohibiting collection of old debts where the statute of limitations has run out still applies.
Differences in the General FDCPA and Florida CCPA Laws
The FDCPA prohibits abusive and manipulative tactics being used while debts are being collected, but the FCCPA is very precise its description and says specifically that those collecting debts cannot pretend to be a police officer. They also cannot use or threaten violence or force, communicate or threaten to communicate with your employer about the debt unless there is a judgment against you, contact third parties about the debt, harass family about the debt.
Time is a factor as well. They cannot contact you between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. about the debt without your permission, send letters that look like summons or court documents that are not, threaten and attempt to enforce an illegitimate debt against you, use profane or obscene language while collecting the debt, knowingly hire an unlicensed CCA to collect the debt, or mail you documents that contain words or phrases on the outside of the envelope or postcard that are designed to embarrass you.
Consult with an FDCPA Attorney
If you are the victim of an unscrupulous debt collector, you should consult with an FDCPA attorney. Your attorney will make sure the harassment stops and the collector leaves you alone. If the creditor or debt collector has violated the FDCPA or FCCPA, you can file a civil suit to seek actual damages and statutory damages not exceeding $1,000, as well as possible punitive damages and court costs and legal fees. If you are being harassed by a debt collector, consult with a Florida FDCPA attorney today to ensure your rights are protected.