Florida Debt Collection Harassment
There are Federal and Florida state laws that protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices. Facing financial debt is hard enough without inappropriate communications and activities from creditors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides protection from a variety of abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices by debt collectors. While the FDCPA only applies to third party debt collectors, the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) provides additional protection against original creditor collections.
Common Florida Debt Collection Violations
The debt collection statutes provide Florida consumers legal protection from certain forms of debt collection methods, including:
- Calling at a location known to be inconvenient, such as your place of employment or during inappropriate hours (generally between 9:00pm and 8:00am);
- Calling after being informed that you have legal representation;
- Continued communication attempts by a creditor after being informed that an individual is unable to pay the debt;
- Use of physical or verbal threats or acts to collect debt;
- Publicizing or threatening to make public your debt delinquencies;
- Excessive calling with an intent to disturb or annoy;
- Making false representations that the caller is an attorney;
- Making false threats that failing to pay will result in an arrest, imprisonment or other taking of one’s property;
- Attempting to collect a debt via a postcard;
- Acquiring an individual’s location information from another person, while stating that he/she owes a debt in order to learn of your location; and
- Threatening to deposit, or depositing, a postdated check before the date written on the check.
These actions include only a few circumstances in which a debt collector may be liable for violations of the FDCPA and/or the FCCPA. As there are limits on the amount of time one can file a claim for FDCPA or FCCPA violations, seeking legal representation as soon as possible if one believes his/her rights have been violated is recommended.