Orlando Debt Collection Lawyer
Recently, the Supreme Court has watered down some provisions in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. However, the FDCPA’s key principles remain in force. The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) contains additional consumer protections. Debtors need not file bankruptcy to take advantage of the protections in these laws.
At the Law Offices of Carol M. Galloway, our experienced Orlando debt collection lawyers not only know the law. We know how to make the law work for you. We focus on preventative tactics. At the first sign of creditor harassment, like multiple statements from the same creditor or mysterious statements from unknown debt buyers, we start fighting for you. This proactive stance usually produces results that exceed our clients’ expectations.
The FDCPA generally regulates debt collectors, or debt-buyers. Usually, these organizations pay original creditors for the right to collect the debt. As a result, debt-buyers often use abusive tactics, so they can collect as much money as possible as quickly as possible. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act generally prohibits activities like:
- Calling at unreasonable hours or an unreasonable number of times,
- Contacting the debtor at work,
- Talking to third parties about the debt, and
- Engaging in any other tactics designed to abuse, harass, or mislead consumers into paying debts.
On a related note, the Federal Trade Commission recently passed some rules limiting pre-recorded calls, or robocalls.
Both the FDCPA and the FTC robocall rules usually include a private right of action. So, if a creditor or debt-buyer violates these restrictions, consumers don’t have to wait for a bureaucrat to do something. Instead, they can partner with an Orlando debt collection lawyer and obtain immediate relief, as well as compensation for their losses.
The FCCPA is a broader and more specific version of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Creditors, including debt-buyers and original creditors, cannot:
- Pose as a police officer or government employee,
- Use, or threaten to use, force or violence,
- Speak with, or threaten to speak with, your employer about the debt, at least in most cases,
- Disclose any information about your reputation or creditworthiness to any third party, if the creditor knows or should know that the other person doesn’t have a legitimate business need for the information or that the information is false,
- Report, or threaten to report, negative information about a disputed debt to a credit reporting agency without also acknowledging the dispute,
- Harass you or a family member about the debt,
- Send official-looking communications, such as forms and “summons,” which are designed to look like legal documents,
- Use any obscene, profane, vulgar, or abusive language when communicating with you or your family
- Send a postcard or envelope that contains embarrassing words or phrases, and
- Communicate directly with individuals who have retained an attorney.
The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act also includes a private right of action. Victims are eligible for actual damages, a $1,000 statutory fine per incident, attorneys’ fees, and perhaps punitive damages.
Furthermore, consumers in Florida may also file complaints with Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). After it receives a complaint, the CFPB works to get a response from the collector, usually within 15 days.
Work With a Dedicated Orlando Debt Collection Attorney
Bankruptcy offers distressed debtors a way out. For a free consultation with an experienced Orlando debt collection lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Carol M. Galloway, P.A. We routinely handle these matters throughout the Sunshine State.