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Abusive & Unlawful Debt Collection Practices in Florida

Recently, our national economy has been through the ringer- and consumers have gone right along with it. As a result, hardworking citizens all over the country have found themselves in debt and in some instances such individuals are facing serious harassment by their creditors.

While some consumers may think this is just part of the pain associated with a down economy, it is important to understand that some of the practices utilized by debt collectors are illegal. In fact, both the Federal and Florida legislatures have enacted laws specifically targeted at eliminating and punishing creditors who harass creditors. Florida has enacted a statute; the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA), which specifically notes tactics used by creditors and provides monetary recovery for consumers who fall victim to these nefarious tactics.

In explaining the FCCPA and the types of tactics it outlaws, it is important to note that we use the word “creditor” carefully. This is because the FCCPA does not apply only to collection agencies. Rather, it applies to anyone to whom a debt is owed. This could be your credit card company, your line of credit at Home Depot, or even your hospital or primary care physician.

One of the most common types of creditor harassment involves phone calls (i.e., a lot of phone calls). Phone calls all day and night, over and over, on and on. While creditors are permitted to call the debtor to try and collect, there is a limit to how often they can call. FCCPA 559.72(7) prohibits collectors from “willfully communicating with the debtor or any member of her or his family with such frequency as can reasonably be expected harass the debtor or his family.” This means that the bill collectors who ring you or your family time after time, day after day, are violating Florida statutory law.  As a consumer, you should know that you have access to legal remedy for these violations.

The FCCPA also limits who the debt collectors can call. Specifically, FCCPA 559.72(5) prohibits creditors from disclosing any information affecting the debtor’s reputation (for credit-worthiness or otherwise) to any person other than the debtor or members of the debtor’s family. There are very limited circumstances under which a debt collector may contact your employer, and there are no circumstances under which a debt collector may contact your friends or co-workers.

At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our creditor harassment attorneys are well versed in Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act and we are willing to take serious action against all types of debt collectors for violating the rights of consumers. For assistance in dealing with harassing debt collectors, please contact our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is a Florida consumer justice law firm.