Are You Protected from Debt Collectors?
Yes, you are protected from debt collectors who go too far to collect on debts. Whether you have fallen behind on bills or you were mistakenly reported to collections, you have rights and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is in place to stop debt collectors from being abusive, unfair or deceptive.
What is the FDCPA?
The FDCPA covers personal debts such as medical, credit cards, mortgages and other loans. This act doesn’t cover business debts. The act puts a stop to the harassment. While you still owe the money, creditors can’t harass or intimidate you. It is against the law.
Simply put, the act doesn’t allow debt collection agencies to do any of the following:
- Harassment – this includes threats of violence, obscene language, publishing your name or calling multiple times a day
- False Statements – claiming that the caller is with the government or is an attorney, sending forms and misrepresenting what the forms are, or claiming that you have committed a crime
- Threatening – telling you that you will be arrested or that they will take legal action when they have no intention or right to do so
- Unfair Practices – charge extra interest or fees above the contract you have with your creditor, deposit a post-dated check early or contact you by postcard
This is happening to me, what should I do?
If you are on the receiving end of any of the actions listed above, you may want to contact a debt collection harassment lawyer. They can put a stop to creditors, negotiate for you and represent you in court. If the debt collector has violated the FDCPA, you may be entitled to monetary damages.
Florida also has specific laws to protect debtors as well. We will discuss that in an upcoming blog.
Hopefully, you will never be in a position in which you need the legal services of a Tampa personal injury lawyer that specializes in debt collection harassment, but in the event that you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement and get back to living your life.