Bill Collector Harassment Laws in Tampa Bay Area Florida
Bill collection refers to an act of trying to collect debts that someone owes to other entities. The person or entities recognized by the laws of Florida with the mandate of collecting these bills from the defaulter are known as debt collectors. The Debt collectors are bound to observe the bill collector harassment laws officially referred to as The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when carrying out their duty. The law stipulates how the debt collector and the defaulter should interact in the process of debt recovery. The consumer is protected from oppression, harassment, and abuse from the debt collectors.
When it comes to bill collection, the debt collectors are obliged to identify themselves while contacting the defaulter. This is a legal obligation meant to protect the consumer from fraud. This means that the bill collectors need to communicate in writing their intention to collect the debt from the target defaulter. The bill collector should also disclose the correct amount that is owed to them. Equally important is that the bill collectors have the legal obligation to be truthful and transparent to their client (Bill defaulter). They should also avoid presenting themselves as the attorney whereas they are not. This implies that they should avoid making the defaulter believe that it is criminal not to pay the debts unless that is the case.
Upon disclosure of the debt details to the alleged delinquent consumer, the ‘defaulter’ has a month (30 days) to respond to the debt claim, as required by the bill collector harassment laws. In case the alleged defaulter does not agree with the collecting agency that he or she owes the money in question, he can write back asking them to substantiate their debt claim. Failure by the debt collector to avail evidence of the debt to the ‘defaulter,’ contacting them (‘defaulter’) may be considered as collection agency harassment.
Different methods of communication are allowed to be used in their (Debt collection – bill defaulter) communication. Some of the standard methods of communication may include; use of electronic mail, post office letters, telegram, fax, and phone calls. Harassment may entail frequent and annoying communication through calling or spamming on mail. The debt collector and the entities they (debt collectors) are collecting their debts from will need to agree on the mode and frequency of communication. Some employers do not allow their employees to called during working hours. This, therefore, needs to come to the attention of the debt collectors to avoid breaching this organizational policy. Failure to adhere to this constitutes harassment.
In a bid to stop bill collection agency harassment, the defaulter can contact the agency in writing expressing the desire not to receive further communication from the agency. The agency is obligated to honor the defaulter’s demand and stop communicating with them. The only contact in which the agency may engage is to write a letter confirming that they will cease to communicate as required, or that they (Collecting agency or debtor) intend to take further action regarding the debt in question.
For one to report harassment to the consumer protection agencies, they need to have evidence of suffering harassment from the collecting agency. The evidence can be obtained using storing communication records such as call logs and electronic mail communication. Letters from the collecting agency can also act as proof of harassment. Presenting evidence requires one to make a copy of the evidence and avail them to the authorities.
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.