Creditors such as banks and credit card companies pursue the collection of outstanding consumer debts up to a certain point.
When it appears cost prohibitive to go after consumers, banks and credit card companies frequently turn to debt collection agencies for the collection of delinquent debts.
Third party debt collectors have two options in the working arrangements made with banks and credit card companies.
They can work directly with the original creditors and receive a fee for collecting debts. On the other hand, bill collectors can purchase outstanding consumer debts for a fraction of the original amount owed.
In both case, the profit incentive is huge, which means many debt collection agencies aggressively conduct debt collection efforts.
Fortunately, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) helps protect you against illegal debt collection tactics.
Florida’s FDCPA Laws
Enacted by the United States Congress in 1977, the FDCPA was written to grant every American consumer legal protections against third party debt collector harassment.
The comprehensive consumer protection law applies to everyone that has the legal right to live in the United States.
Shortly after the FDCPA became law, a few states began passing their own version of the federal consumer protection law.
Florida enacted the Consumer Collection Practices Act (CCPA), which prohibits bill collectors and original creditors from abusing, threatening, and deceiving consumers.
The CCPA acts as a supplementary consumer protection law, as most of its provisions mirror the language written into the federal FDCPA.
Consumer Protections Granted by the FDCPA and Florida Collection Laws
The FDCPA goes well beyond prohibiting debt collection agency threats, abuse, and deception. Under the FDCPA, a bill collector is not allowed to report false information on your credit reports.
Debt collection agencies must never try to collect on a debt that has already been paid off. If you send a formal notice to a debt collection agency to stop calling you, the agency must abide by your request.
Some third party debt collectors try to collect more money than they are legally allowed to collect. If you discover fraudulent bill collector behavior, you should contact a Florida licensed consume protection attorney.
Florida legislators added a few provisions to the CCPA that are not found within the FDCPA.
or example, it is illegal under the CCPA for a bill collector to file a lawsuit against you in the incorrect legal venue.
Florida FDCPA laws make it unlawful for a debt collection agency to send communications that appear like they were written by an attorney or government official.
The Sunshine State also has established a statute of limitations for revolving accounts like credit cards of four years. Written contracts such as personal loans carry a statute of limitations that run five years.
Make sure you enjoy every legal protection granted by the groundbreaking FDCPA. Contact a consumer protection lawyer today to determine the best course of legal action to take against a third party debt collector.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Florida’s FDCPA laws, you should seek the help of an FDCPA attorney.
You may be able to seek up to $1,000 in damages for each violation of the FDCPA. An attorney will be able to help navigate you through the entire process.