Debt Collector HarassmentThe testing economic times have put many consumers under tough situations such as inflated mortgage payments, steep interest payments, layoffs, amongst others. While the struggle to get your finances is place is one part of the story, coping with demanding debt collectors who are trying to squeeze out every single penny that they can from you using unethical means, doesn't make it any easier. However, you do have a say in how debt collection practices work, as the consumer.
Debt collectors are expected o follow the norms specified at state and federal levels while collecting debts from a consumer. Many debtors are unaware of the debt collector associated consumer rights laws that are steered at protecting their interests from exploitation and harassment. In fact, many consumers are also ill-advised that some debts are non-dischargeable, when in reality they can be easily discharged through bankruptcy. Debt collectors often violate these laws while seeking payments, which authorizes you to collect damages from the former.
Forbidden collection practices
Here are some collection practices that debt collectors and creditors are prohibited from employing against debtors:
- Pretending to be an officer of governmental agencies or law enforcement forces
- Threatening or using violence or force
- Threatening to or actually informing employer about debt issues (unless the employer has filed a court judgment against the debtor)
- Threatening to or revealing pejorative information regarding debt disputes to credit card reporting agencies
- Communicating debt issues with a third party
- Harassing your family or you regarding the debt
- Claiming to be attorneys or falsely stating or representing to debtor that attorneys are involved
- Filing lawsuits in venue that is not accessible to debtor, to make it difficult to defend the case
- Communicating via documents or forms that are misrepresented as court summons, governmental documents or attorney letters
- Communicating between 9 pm and 8 am without obtaining prior permission
- Using profane, obscene, abusive or vulgar language while communicating with you or those related to you
- Threatening to or trying to impose illegitimate debts in your name
- Hiring unlicensed CCAs to carry out the debt collections on purpose
- Engaging in direct communication with you despite knowing that an attorney represents you
- Sending documents which have embarrassing words on the outer cover
Suing a creditor or debt collector
A consumer is entitled to sue debt collectors within two years as per Florida state law, and one year as per federal law, from the day that the violation has occurred. The FCCPA (Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act) or the FDCPA (Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) entitles you to receive statutory damages of the order $1000. If the debt collectors harassment has caused you financial or emotional stress you may receive actual damages of greater orders. Also, you will be entitled to have free attorney services as the debt collector will be expected to reimburse the fee and other court charges on your behalf.
If you have any questions about credit card debt defense or would like to speak to us about your options, please contact us at (813) 518-7411. We represent clients during stressful and difficult times in their lives. We are empathetic, responsive, and push for a quick resolution. We look forward to helping you resolve your issue quickly, fairly, and in a way that will help you to return to the stable, predictable life that you deserve.