The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using certain types of abusive, deceptive and misleading debt collection tactics. The FCCPA is in addition to the protections provided by Federal debt collection law and may provide greater protection to Florida residents, as well as ways for you to collect money from your harassers!
Section 559.72 of the FCCPA prohibits debt collectors from:
- Falsely representing themselves as a law enforcement officer or a representative of any governmental agency.
- Using or threatening force or violence.
- Communicating, or threatening to communicate, with your employer about the debt – unless they have taken a judgment against you.
- Harassing your family about the debt.
- Using obscene, profane, vulgar or willfully abusive language when communicating with you or your family.
- Claiming, attempting or threatening to enforce an illegitimate debt against you which doesn’t exist (for example, an expired debt under the statute of limitations).
- Using communications that give the appearance of being authorized by the government (for example, forms and “summons” designed to look like government documents or letters from attorneys).
- Pretending to be attorneys or inferring that attorneys have deemed that you owe the debt.
- Contacting you between the hours of 9 p.m. And 8 a.m. Without your permission.
- Filing a lawsuit against you in the wrong venue.
- Knowingly hiring an unlicensed credit collection agency to collect a debt.
- Mailing you documents that contain embarrassing words or phrases on a postcard or envelope (e.g.: dear deadbeat).
- Communicating directly with you when they know you are represented by an attorney.
- Advertising, or threatening to advertise, your debt for sale.
- Publishing, posting – or threatening to publish or post – your name on a deadbeat consumer list.
- Causing charges to made to debtors through the use of collect calls which may conceal the real reason for the communication.
If a debt collector or creditor violates the FCCPA, you may have a private lawsuit. That means you may be entitled to sue the debt collector for damages up to $1,000. You may also be entitled to damages for emotional distress, and punitive damages (at the discretion of a judge, but possible if the debt collector’s tactics were egregious).
Are you a victim of unfair debt collection practices? We can help! We can consider your situation and help you determine your rights. Contact us via our website’s free case review or call us at (407) 426-7222 for a free consultation to discuss your specific situation.
Portions originally posted by on June 18, 2014 | by Disparti Fowkes & Hasanbasic