Florida Consumer Debt Help

Florida Consumer Debt Help

Debt Help - Call 813-907-2933

Debt Help - Call 813-907-2933

813-907-2933 to Begin the Debt Resolution Process Now

813-907-2933 to Begin the Debt Resolution Process Now

CREDIT REPORT ISSUES

CREDIT REPORT ISSUES

Stop Harassing Debt Collection Calls

Stop Harassing Debt Collection Calls

Debt Collector Harassment Suits

Debt Collector Harassment Suits

DEBT COLLECTOR VIOLATIONS

FDCPA | FCCPA | TCPA VIOLATIONS 

If a debt collector does any of the following, he or she may have caused his or her employer to be in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and / or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act:

Called you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.?

 

Used a fake caller ID, e.g. Bob Smith, rather than the name of the debt collector to lure you to answer the phone?

 

Called using automated dialing (a delay before someone picks up, a recorded greeting, automatic hold).

Used false means / representations to lure you into responding to their calls or calling back? (e.g. Leaving a message “If you are not (any name but yours), call back so we can take you off our list…”, or used a misleading name on the caller ID?).

 

Called you at work knowing that you cannot accept calls there?

 

Left a message on your voicemail which included any information regarding the existence or details of the debt, your name or any other information identifying you?

 

Used or threatened force or violence?

 

Used obscene, abusive, or profane language?

 

Advertised your debt to get you to pay?

 

Continuously called you or your family to annoy or harass you?

 

Repeatedly made your phone ring to annoy or harass you?

 

Refused to tell you who they are?

 

Made any false representations?

 

Pretended or simulated to be a law enforcement officer or from any government agency?

 

Told you that they would tell another individual information affecting your credit worthiness about a disputed debt without telling them that the debt is actually disputed or have they done this?

 

Tell or threaten to tell your employer about a debt (without your written permission), if a final judgment has not been made against you? 

 

Tell someone else other than a family member information affecting your reputation (credit worthiness or otherwise) with reason to know that the other person does not have a legitimate business need for it?

 

Claim, attempt, or threaten to collect a debt that they know is not legitimate?

 

Communicated in such a manner to make you think they are approved by a governmental agency or attorney when they were not?

 

Threatened or actually published or posted before the general public your name as a debtor (“deadbeat list”)?

 

Mail anything to you with anything printed on the envelope to embarrass you, such as “Deadbeat, Jane Doe”?

 

Caused you to incur charges by concealing the true nature of communication, such as collect telephone calls or telegram fees?

 

Used tricks or deception to make you call them including lying about the purpose of their attempt to contact you or tell you to call back to advise them that they have a wrong number or wrong person only to find out when you call that they “happen” to have a debt that you owe them?

 

Made any attempt to collect a debt against you even though the debt was put through bankruptcy?

FAIR DEBT COLLECTIONS PRACTICES ACT | FDCPA.  Congress determined that there is “abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors. Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy.”  Congress further determined that there were no laws to protect consumers from the abusive debt collectors so it enacted the FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT, also known as the “FDCPA” in 1977.  Unfortunately, the existence of the law itself does not prevent the abuses.  Often, debt collectors must be sued for these violations.  Our firm handles these cases on a contingency basis which means we do not collect fees unless and until we prevail on your behalf. 

FLORIDA CONSUMER COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT | FCCPA.  The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act is a Florida State statute which substantially mirrors the FDCPA. Like violations under the FDCPA, violations under the FCCPA, when successfully pursued, may serve as leverage in reducing or waiving the related debt.  Our firm handles these suits on a contingency basis as well.

TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT | TCPA.  Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act original in 19  The TCPA provides that you could be awarded between $500 for each violation and up to $1,500 for each willful violation by a violating caller.  The TCPA encompasses “robocalls” which are defined as  “[phone calls] that [use] a computerized auto-dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot.”  The law applies to residential landlines, cell phones (calls and texts), and faxes.  The TCPA provides that “it shall be unlawful for an person….to make a call…using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice…to [a pager, cell phone]…[or] to use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send…an unsolicited advertisement…unless the unsolicited advertisement is from a sender with an established business relationship” and the fax number was voluntarily provided.  Debt collectors are allowed to make such calls only for the purpose of collecting a debt, subject to the other available laws such as the FDCPA and FCCPA. The call must allow you to “opt out” from receiving future calls in some manner such as by pressing a number.  Often, the “opt out” option is actually used to verify that there is a “fish on the other end” and will result in more calls.  Unfortunately, most robocalls are intended for fraudulent or criminal purposes.  There are permitted computerized messages calls such as school notifications, campaign calls and polling calls.  However, a violation call may initially masquerade as a legitimate call such as when a telemarketer begins the call with a meaningless “poll” which turns into a sales pitch.  Also, the IRS will NEVER call you unless you have requested a call.  Permitted calls NEVER include unsolicited sales calls.  A debt collector or other business may be violating the TCPA if it fails to obtain your written consent, a telephone keypress or a recording of your oral consent before it may make a pre-recorded telemarketing call or text to your mobile phone or call to your residential phone number.   You will know you have received a robocall if you answer the phone to an automated message or hear a period of silence on the phone, a sound and then someone begins speaking (usually with the noise of other callers in the background.)  Beware if you are initially asked a question from an unsolicited caller; the question, such as “Can you hear me?”, will usually be eliciting the answer “yes” which may be recorded and fraudulently used as permission to continue the conversation or contact you again.  Robocallers often use numbers in your area code to increase the likelihood that you will pick-up even though the robocaller is nowhere near your area, state and often, not in the same country.  When robocallers can be tracked and located, they may be required to pay you damages under the TCPA.  Our firm handles these claims on a contingency basis.

LEGAL DEBT COLLECTOR TACTICS.  There are tactics that debt collectors use that may not seem permissible but are actually legal.  Many companies maintain in-house debt collection departments that are divided based upon the intensity of collection efforts used.  Debt collectors will conduct background checks on you to determine if you are on probation or parole or in the military so that they can use the information to "subtly" increase the pressure on you to pay the alleged debt.  Debt collectors may call you several times per day if you do not answer if you have not already requested that they stop calling.  When you do answer and they call you back repeatedly or call your family repeatedly anyway or they begin disturbing you at work, this is when the calls may be considered harassing.  If you initiate any calls to the debt collector, this will lesson the probability that the calls     They will also log onto your Facebook and other social accounts and then log onto your friends's and family's accounts to obtain more information.  They will use the information to contact your family and friends under the guise of seeking your contact information when they already have your information.  These calls will then generate inquiries by your friends and family, causing you embarrassment and added pressure to contact the debt collector and resolve your debt to cease the embarrassment.  When they become less subtle about how they use the information, that is when the violations occur.

 
 
 
 
 

Get help before it's too late.

The Law Office of Heather A. Harwell, P.A. handles Consumer Bankruptcy, Debt Defense, Garnishment Defense, Credit Reporting Issues, Lawsuits against Creditors & Debt Collectors violating Fair Debt Collection Law violations, and Appeals regarding Debt, Credit and Violations issues in the U.S.M.D. of Florida, Hillsborough County, Hernando County, Pasco County, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, Spring Hill, San Antonio, Trinity, North Tampa, New Port Richey,  Lutz, Land O Lakes and surrounding areas.  EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT.  The information provided in this website is meant for general informational purposes only and should NOT be construed as formal or comprehensive legal advice.  Visiting this website and/or referring to its content does not create an attorney-client relationship.  
Principal Office:  27446  Cashford Circle, Ste. 101, Wesley Chapel, Florida  33544