Consumer

Consumer Protection Corner

Question:
What rights do I have if a Debt Collector is dunning me?

Answer:
The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act together provide significant remedies for debtors who have been victimized by unfair, harassing, deceptive and impermissible debt collection techniques. If you have been the victim of unlawful debt collection activities, you are entitled to actual damages, statutory damages (as high as $1000), injunctive and declaratory relief and to have all of your attorney’s fees and costs paid by the unlawful debt collector. Our firm regularly takes on cases against those who have violated consumer protection statutes on a contingency basis.

Question:
What is a debt collector prohibited from threatening to do?

Answer:
A debt collector can’t threaten to take action he has not been granted the right to do. For instance, many collection agencies threaten legal action against you by them if you don’t pay. In many cases, this is UNTRUE!! In many cases the debt collector has never been authorized to hire an attorney or to file suit on the creditor’s behalf. In many cases the debt collector would never file suit against you because the amount is small, i.e.., under $1000.00 . In most situations, the debt collector has NEVER filed a lawsuit against any debtor. If a debt collector threatens action he may not take, or knows he won’t take, or is not allowed to take, that debt collector has broken the law and you may be entitled to $500.00 or $1000.00 plus attorneys fees even if you have been otherwise undamaged. Even if you owed the debt anyway!!!

Question:
When is a debt collector allowed to call my home and who may he talk to?

Answer:
A debt collector may ONLY call your home between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm in the debtor’s time zone. Every call outside that time is a violation. A debt collector may not disclose evidence of the debt to anyone other than the debtor and his/her family. A debt collector may not tell your friends or others about the debt even if they happen to answer your home phone.

Question:
DO I have to put up with a rude and harassing debt collector?

Answer:
Both the state and federal statutes provide that a debt collector may not be abusive or harassing in their conduct. They may not address things to you as “Deadbeat” or
or similar language. They may not disclose the debt or evidence of it to your employer.

To find out more, contact Silber and Valente, Attorneys at law.