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Debt Collection

Debt Solutions

THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT AND CREDITOR HARASSMENT

 

Now more than ever, creditor harassment has become a regular part of people’s lives.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (or FDCPA) protects consumers from debt collectors, and keeps debt collectors from using “abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices”.  If a debt collector has not followed the rules for debt collectors under this Act, they may be liable for $1,000 in damages under the statute plus any actual damages and attorneys fees.

Most people today have at least heard of this federal law, but not many are aware of what it actualy covers and what is considered harassment under the law.

Here are some common abuses and illegal tactics that are prohibited by the FDCPA. For more detailed information, visit The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act website.

  • Calling debtors outside of the legally proscribed time between 8am-9pm, local time.
  • Continuing communications after debtor has written to cease communications.
  • Contacting debtors at their workplace after having been told its unacceptable or prohibited by the employer.
  • Contacting the debtor’s friends, neighbors, or co-workers.
  • Calling the debtor anonymously, or using a false name.
  • Calling a debtor that is represented by an attorney.
  • Using deception or misrepresentation to collect a debt.
  • Using abusive, threatening, or profanity to scare debtors into paying.
  • Threatening legal action without following through.
  • Threatening legal action when the collector or collection agency is not an actual attorney legally qualfied to proscribe legal actions.
  • Pestering or tyranizing a debtor.
  • Threatening physical violence against the debtor.
  • Communicating the nature of the debt with third parties (other than the debtor’s spouse or attorney).
  • Accusing the debtor of a crime or criminal activity, or threatening arrest.

If you have been the victim of any of these practices you may have a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  The creditor harrassment attorneys at Cohen & DePaul would be happy to speak with you about your situation to see if you may have a claim against a debt collector.  Our firm handles these types of cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you ger paid.  Call us today at 813-606-4446 to see if you have a claim for creditor harrassment.

 

FLORIDA CONSUMER COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT (FCCPA)

 

Florida has a separate law to protect its citizens from creditor harassment called the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA). The terms are similar to the FDCPA, and include the following prohibited activities:

  • Pretending to be a law enforcement officer or employee of any government agency
  • Threats of force or violence
  • Informing the debtor’s employer of his debt prior to a judgment being entered on the debt
  • Disclosing the debt to the debtors’ friends or neighbors
  • Comminucating with the debtor and/or the debtor’s family continually so as to constitute harassment
  • Attempting to enforce a debt when the creditor or debt collector knows that the debt is not legitimate
  • Using of profanity or vulgar language
  • Communicating orally with a debtor in such a manner as to give the false impression that such person is or is associated with an attorney
  • Refusing to provide adequate information of himself or his employer while attempting to collect a debt

If you have been the victim of any of these practices you may have a claim under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act.  The creditor harrassment attorneys at Cohen & DePaul would be happy to speak with you about your situation to see if you may have a claim against a debt collector.  Our firm handles these types of cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you ger paid.  Call us today at 813-606-4446 to see if you have a claim for creditor harrassment.

 

DISCHARGE VIOLATIONS

 

If your debts were discharged in Bankruptcy and your creditor is still attempting to collect the debt, you may have a claim for a violation of your Discharge order as well as under the FCCPA and FDCPA.  Your Bankruptcy Discharge order does just what it says – it discharges debts listed in your Bankruptcy case.  If a creditor that was discharged in your Bankruptcy still tries to collect the debt, it is a violation of the FDCPA and FCCPA because it is collection of a debt that the debt collector knows it has no right to collect, but it is also a violation of the Bankruptcy Court’s order stating that the debt is no longer collectable agaoinst the debtor personally.  This means you may be able to collect damages under not only FDCPA and FCCPA, which are limited to $1000, actual damages and attorneys fees, but also under the Bankruptcy statute which allows for punitive damages based ont he severity of the injury.  Punitive damages are meant to punish the creditor for their actions, and are often much more than the damages allowed under either FDCPA and FCCPA.

If your creditor has attempted to collect a debt that you discharged in Bankruptcy, you may have a claim under the FDCPA, the FCCPA, and the Discharge order.  The Bankruptcy attorneys at Cohen & DePaul would be happy to speak with you about your situation to see if you may have a claim against a debt collector.  Our firm handles these types of cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you ger paid.  Call us today at 813-606-4446 to see if you have a claim for creditor harrassment.