If you are behind in paying your bills, you can expect to hear from a debt collector. A debt collector is someone, other than the creditor, who regularly collects debts owed to someone else. Lawyers who collect debts are considered to be debt collectors, too. And debt collectors are abusive. They violate the law, but you can fight back!
Debt collectors generate more complaints to the FTC than any other industry group. The list of things a debt collector is prohibited from doing is exhaustive and complicated. If you want to get an idea of whether you are being abused, seek the advice of a consumer rights attorney.
Debt collectors must treat you with truth, fairness, dignity, and respect. Period. Debt collectors are regulated by numerous state and federal laws in their debt collection activities. That's where our firm can help. Most people know that debt collectors cannot abuse them on the phone or in writing--what many people don't know is that they have a lot of other legal rights, too. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") lays down the federal law for how debt collectors have to behave when they are collecting from you.
Here are some common examples of FDCPA violations perpetrated by debt collectors:
- Contacting a debtor who is represented by an attorney.
- Failing to warn a debtor that the communication is from a debt collector and that any information obtained will be used to collect a debt.
- Failing to warn on all subsequent communications that they are from a debt collector.
- Calling the debtor an unreasonable number of times daily or after they have been instructed to stop calling.
- Using profane, foul, or obscene language.
- Making racial, religious, or sexual slurs.
- Yelling or screaming at the debtor.
- Engaging in name calling.
- Falsely threatening a lawsuit.
- Falsely threatening to ruin a debtor’s credit.
- Calling your workplace after you have told them that you are not allowed to accept calls there.
As a consumer, you are entitled to file a lawsuit against any debt collector who violates your rights under the FDCPA. In short, the FDCPA allows a consumer to recover their actual damages, statutory damages of up to $1,000 and their attorney's fees and costs. While this may seem like a modest amount, to debt collectors who violate the law there is much more at stake: Increased insurance rates, decreased collection rates, potential governmental regulatory action, and the spiraling costs of defending a lawsuit for their illegal conduct.
The deck is stacked against consumers with sophisticated debt collection tactics. As a consumer, you should not hesitate to shield yourself from these sharp practices and exercise your rights under the FDCPA. Our law firm has the experience, resources and ability to to zealously represent you in your FDCPA action against any debt collector. We file federal civil lawsuits against debt collectors who violate any state or federal law.
Furthermore, in Florida, you are also protected against unfair, unreasonable and deceptive collection tactics by creditors as well. This protection comes from the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act. If you believe you are the victim of illegal collection activity, fill out the form below or call us today!