What is the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act?
Tampa Bay residents who are dealing with debt collector harassment should learn about the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act. This state law is similar to the federal law that prohibits debt collector harassment. Collections harassment is often stressful and some residents feel that there is nothing they can do about the situation. With this state law, however, residents can be confident that they don’t have to endure the harassment alone. Here are some key elements of this state law.
Practices That Are Prohibited Under the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act
Under this state law, creditors cannot pose as law enforcement officers, threaten force, and threaten to contact residents’ employers about the debts they owe, harassing families of debtors by phone or mail, contacting debtors between hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m., or using obscene language against the debtor. If these unlawful practices take place, debtors can sue for damages and attorneys’ fees. Debt collectors in Tampa are required by law to be licensed.
Who Can Debtors Contact Under FCCPA?
Under FCCPA collections agencies can contact certain persons other than debtors regarding debts that are owed. These persons include the debtor’s spouse, parents of the debtor, and the debtor’s representative. However, even when these persons are contacted, harassment laws would still apply.
About Debt Validation Requirements
Under FCCPA, within five days of contact from a creditor, the creditor will need to let residents know how much is owed, the creditor’s name, a statement saying that the purpose of the contact is to collect a debt, and a statement of validation from the original creditor if the debtor requests it. The creditor must also issue validation of the debt if the debtor disputes what the creditor says. With this protection in place, Tampa Bay residents don’t have to put up with collections harassment any longer.
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.