When it comes to Florida consumer law and debt collection, there are numerous laws designed to protect you, but what constitutes an abuse of those laws? Today we’re going to talk about abusive debt collection practices and what practices are specifically prohibited under Florida law.

Florida Consumer Law: Understanding Prohibited Debt Collection Practices

Florida Consumer Laws Relating to Debt Collection That You Need to know

Before we start talking about debt collection practices that are expressly prohibited by law, it’s important to talk about the two most important laws in play when it comes to debt collection in Florida – the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted by the federal government to establish guidelines for debt collectors to prevent disrespectful and aggressive debt collection practices. The act creates guidelines that debt collectors must follow in conducting their business, defines the rights of consumers involved in claims subject to debt collectors, and provides penalties for the unscrupulous debt collectors who harass and annoy consumers.

The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act is Florida’s supplement to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This consumer protection statute is more expansive than the federal act (FDCPA) and in some cases, provides greater levels of consumer protection. The FCCPA attempts to level the playing field by providing consumers which redress for violations by debt collectors and creditors. It also requires that consumers receive notice of the transfer of a debt prior to an action to collect a debt so that consumers no longer have to guess who is collecting the debt against them.

Debt Collection Acts Prohibited Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

There are two categories of practices that are forbidden under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – abusive behavior and deceptive behavior.

Examples of abusive collections behavior include:

  • Calling at all hours of the night. As a general rule, debt collectors are not allowed to call a debtor between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Using obscene or offensive language in communications with a debtor
  • Repeated contact with a debtor with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass
  • Publishing a debtor’s name in a deadbeat list
  • Failure to cease communication with debtor upon written request to do so
  • Communicating with a debtor at their place of employment

Examples of deceptive behavior include:

  • Threatening arrest or legal action when it is not actually permitted
  • Falsely representing the amount of debt, type of debt, or status of debt
  • Report false information about a consumer’s credit
  • Falsely claim to be an attorney or associated with a government entity
  • Failure to cease communication with debtor upon written request to do so
  • Use deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect a debt

Debt Collection Acts Prohibited Under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act

Examples of acts prohibited by the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act:

  • Calling at all hours of the night. As a general rule, debt collectors are not allowed to call a debtor between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Communicate with any debtor if the collector or creditor knows or should know that said debtor is represented by an attorney.
  • Use or threaten force or violence.
  • Repeated contact with a debtor with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass
  • Publishing a debtor’s name in a deadbeat list
  • Falsely claim to be an attorney or associated with a government entity
  • Communicate with a consumer’s employer without permission.
  • Using obscene or offensive language in communications with a debtor
  • Publish or threaten to publish a “deadbeat list”.
  • Attempt to collect an illegitimate debt when the collector or creditor knows that said right does not exist.
  • Refuse to identify himself, his employer, or whom he represents if requested to do so by a debtor.
  • Mail any envelope or postcard with words typed, written, or printed on the outside of the envelope or postcard calculated to embarrass the debtor. I.e., Deadbeat.

What Happens if a Debt Collector Violates A Florida Consumer Law With Their Debt Collection Practices?

If a debt collector violates a Florida consumer law with their debt collection practices, you have the right to take that debt collector to court where you may receive up to $1,000 in damages in addition to having your court costs and attorney fees covered. Here at Weidner Law, our attorneys are dedicated to fighting for your consumer rights which means that when your rights are violated by debt collection practices, we are dedicated to not only protecting you against that harassment, but we are also devoted to winning you money judgments in your case against those creditors, banks, and debt collectors.

If your consumer rights have been violated by abusive debt collection practices that are expressly forbidden by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, you don’t have to take it! Get the Florida consumer lawyers that everyone trusts on your side and take back your rights from abusive debt collectors today!

Need Help Tackling Florida Consumer Law Breaches?

If you need an attorney on your side to help you to stand up for your consumer rights against abusive debt collection practices, Weidner Law can help! Just pick up the phone and dial 727-954-8752 to see how Weidner Law attorneys can help you today!

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