Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA)
The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) was adopted to reinforce the consumer rights established by federal law for individuals who owe money to others.
The FCCPA makes it illegal for any person who is attempting to collect a late bill to:
- Pose in any manner as a law enforcement officer, a representative of any governmental agency, part of a legal or judicial process, an attorney at law or an associate of an attorney.
- Use or threaten force or violence.
- Tell or threaten to tell the debtor’s employer about the debt (unless a final court order concerning the debt has been handed down).
- Provide information to anyone outside the debtor’s family that hurts the debtor’s reputation, whether or not it concerns his or her credit, unless there is a legitimate business need to do so.
- Harass the debtor by contacting the debtor or the debtor’s family too frequently or engaging in other conduct that can reasonably be considered abuse or harassment.
- Use profane, obscene, vulgar, or willfully abusive language in communicating with the debtor or her or his family.
- Advertise or threaten to advertise for sale any debt as a means to enforce payment, unless a court order allows it.
- Publish or post, or threaten to publish or post the debtor’s identify on a “deadbeat list” or similar form of embarrassment.
- Send mail in an envelope or postcard with words on the outside of the envelope or postcard meant to embarrass the debtor such as addressing them as “deadbeat.”
- Contact the debtor between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. without permission to do so.
- Contact a debtor who has advised the debt collector that they are represented by an attorney for matters related to the debt.
If a debt collector or collection agency violates any of the prohibitions above, the consumer may file a legal complaint and obtain as much a $1,000 plus court costs and attorney’s fees. Such a claim under the FCCPA must be filed within two years of the violation.
The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides similar protection and more.
The Florida law says that whichever law provides the greater protection to the consumer – the federal FDCPA or state FCCPA – will prevail.
If you are struggling with debt and are being harassed by bill collectors, the unfair debt collections lawyers of the Florida Debt Fighters can help you take advantage of the legal remedies that were enacted to help you.
We fight unethical debt collectors on behalf of consumers just like you in the Tampa area and elsewhere in Florida. We’ll put an end to harassing phone calls and other abuse. We may also seek money for you for the way you have been treated.
Contact us today to learn more.