debt collection

Understanding Illegal Debt Collection Practices

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is a consumer protection law that is designed to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices. Unfortunately, however, many debt collectors are all too happy to violate the FDCPA in their quest to coerce consumers into making payments. Fortunately, when debt collectors violate the FDCPA, consumers have multiple legal options available. When a debt collector uses illegal means to try to collect a debt, the affected debtor has the following options available:

  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Use the violation as leverage to negotiate a favorable settlement.
  • Sue the debt collection agency. 

If you are a victim of any of the illegal debt collection practices described below, you should contact a Florida consumer class action attorney as soon as possible, as you may be entitled to compensation under the FDCPA.   

Illegal debt collection practices under the FDCPA

Abuse or harassment: When trying to collect a debt, the FDCPA prohibits a debt collector from

  • threatening to use violence against a debtor;
  • threatening to harm a debtor;
  • using obscene, profane, or abusive language;
  • repeatedly calling a debtor; and
  • contacting a debtor without first identifying his or herself as a debt collector.

Improper contact: Under the FDCPA, a debt collector may not contact a debtor

  • at an unusual or inconvenient time or place,
  • at work if the debt collector knows that the debtor’s employer doesn’t allow collections calls at work, or
  • directly if the debt collector is aware of should be aware that the debtor is represented by an attorney.

Misleading or false statements: The FDCPA prohibits a bill collector from using misleading or false statements to collect a debt. 

Unfair practices: Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is prohibited from employing outrageous or unfair practices to collect a debt. 

Third-party communications: Finally, a debt collector is prohibited under the FDCPA from contacting third parties to try to collect a debt. However, a debt collector may contact a debtor’s parents (if the debtor is a minor), spouse, and co-debtors. 

Florida Consumer Class Action Attorney

If you’ve been the target of illegal debt collection practices by unscrupulous debt collectors, you need an experienced and aggressive Florida consumer class action attorney on your side. Attorney Seth Lehrman is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of consumers, and this includes helping them fight back against debt collectors who use illegal debt collection practices. Attorney Seth Lehrman has decades of experience trying consumer class action cases in both state and federal court, and he is widely recognized for helping victims of unfair business practices achieve justice. So, if you or a loved one have been victimized by the illegal practices of debt collectors, please contact our office as soon as possible to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation.