Understanding The FDCPA
The Fair Debt Creditor’s Protection Act (FDCPA) does not apply to original creditors. Original creditors are representatives of the company you contracted with for the loan, such as your auto loan company or credit card company. A representative from the collections department of your VISA account is not covered by the FDCPA.
The FDCPA does apply to the following list of debt collectors:
- Collection Agencies
- Debt buyers, debt purchasers and zombie creditors
- Law firms that engage in high-volume debt collection work – meaning that they’re rubber stamping debt collection lawsuits
- Anyone “pretending” to be employed by a collection agency
- Skip-tracers (individuals trying to locate a debtor’s contact information or information about a debtor’s assets)
So, anyone else trying to collect on your VISA account, other than true VISA representatives, is included.
Do I Have Any Recourse If An Original Creditor Is Harassing Me?
Yes! Florida has enacted the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) which mirrors the FDCPA in many ways, but applies to original creditors as well as debt collectors. So if you are being harassed by an original creditor regarding a consumer debt, call the Florida Debt Fighters.
How Much Can I Recover?
The FDCPA allows for $1,000 in statutory damages plus additional money if you have any actual damages as a result of the debt collector’s conduct. The amount of compensation for which you may be entitled to depends upon the number and seriousness of violations you’ve received. The FDCPA also allows you to recover for attorneys’ fees (meaning that there are no up-front costs to you) and costs associated with violation(s).
How Does The FDCPA Work?
The FDCPA allows consumers to sue a debt collector for debts arising from personal, family or household purposes – businesses are excluded – in a civil court where the debt collector has violated the FDCPA within the past year.
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone.
- Calling you at work if you’ve told the debt collector that you’re not allowed to receive calls at work.
- Calling multiple times per day or week to annoy or harass.
- Contacting you after you’ve sent the debt collection agency a cease and desist letter.
- Using abusive or profane language.
- Revealing your debt information to third parties.
- Threatening to take you to court when the agency has no intention of doing so.
- Threatening you with criminal action.
- Misleading you about the type, amount, or legal status of a debt.
- Trying to collect more than is owed – including interest on the unpaid debt.
- Contacting you after the debt collection agency is informed that you are represented by an attorney.
- Failing to send a written notice within five days of first contacting you.
Other violations of the FDCPA can be technical in nature, such as failing to include required debt collection language in collection letters or for failing to identify themselves in phone conversations.
Call Florida Debt Fighters Today To Evaluate Your Legal Options – Without Cost Or Obligation
If you’ve been the victim of abusive and deceptive debt collection practices, the attorneys at Florida Debt Fighters are ready to protect your rights under the law. From our offices in Tampa we fight debt collectors for consumers just like you across the state of Florida. We can make put a stop to the harassing calls, e-mails and letters from bill collectors — once and for all.