The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is designed to protect consumers by prohibiting unscrupulous debt collection practices. However, this doesn’t always prevent debt collectors from using illegal methods to coerce debtors into making payments. Luckily, when debt collectors violate the FDCPA, affected debtors have several legal options available. With the assistance of a Florida consumer protection and commercial litigation attorney, a debtor who has been harassed by a debt collector has the following options:
- File a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission
- Use the violation to negotiate a favorable settlement
- Sue the debt collector
Therefore, if you’ve been subjected to any of the following illegal debt collection practices, contact an experienced Florida consumer protection and commercial litigation attorney as soon as possible, as you may be entitled to compensation.
Illegal practices under the FDCPA
Improper contact with debtors
A debt collector may not contact a debtor:
- Directly if the collector knows or should know that the debtor is represented by legal counsel
- At an inconvenient or unusual place or time
- At work, if the collector knows that the debtor’s employer prohibits collections calls at work
Debt collection abuse or debt collection harassment
In attempting to collect a debt, a debt collector may not:
- Threaten to use violence against a debtor
- Harm or threaten to harm a debtor
- Use profane, obscene, or abusive language
- Call the debtor repeatedly
- Contact the debtor without self-identifying as a bill collector
False or misleading statements
A bill collector may not use false or misleading statements to collect a debt.
A collection agency may not employ unfair or outrageous practices to collect a debt.
Finally, a debt collector may not contact third parties in an effort to collect a debt. However, a bill collector may contact a debtor’s spouse, parents (if the debtor is a minor), and co-debtors. However, a debt collector must cease such contact if requested by the debtor.
Florida Consumer Protection and Commercial Litigation Attorney
If you believe you’ve been the victim of illegal debt collection harassment, you need aggressive legal representation. At Edwards Pottinger, our experienced Florida attorneys are dedicated to fighting marketplace injustice in all its forms, including illegal debt collection practices. Backed by decades of extensive experience trying cases in both state and federal court, Seth Lehrman and the Edwards Pottinger team are widely recognized for helping victims of unfair business practices achieve the justice they deserve. Regardless of your legal issue, our aggressive and compassionate Florida attorneys will take the time to discuss your rights, explore your options, and help you navigate the legal system. Therefore, if you or a loved one have been victimized by the illegal practices of debt collectors, please contact us immediately to schedule a consultation and begin your road to financial recovery.
Seth Lehrman helps his clients with debt collection harassment throughout the state of Florida in areas such as Fort Lauderdale.