The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act is designed to extend federal debt collection protections to residents of the state of Florida
In some instances, this state law (Fla. Stat. 559.55, et seq.,) even extends the federal protections. For example the federal version of the statute does not extend to the original creditor. The Florida counterpart on the other hand does. Outside of the basic differences, a debt collector (such as a credit card company, a company seeking to recover lease damages, or a company seeking to pursue a deficiency for a car loan) may be held to some very specific requirements prior to attempting to collect on your consumer debts.
At a minimum, you are entitled to notice if your debt is sold or assigned
Frequently, consumers are faced with collection activities from companies that they did not borrow money from. This can pose some interesting problems; especially when you are wanting to repay the debt in question but are not sure if the collection company has a legitimate interest in the debt. This is done, pursuant to the Florida Consumer Protection Practices Act by a notice of assignment of a consumer debt, which must be sent at least thirty days prior to any action to collect that debt.
Debt Collectors are not supposed to Harass you under the Consumer Collection Practices Act
That’s right – the act is very clear on this point. Under Florida law, debt collectors are not supposed to contact debtors or their families in a manner that can reasonably be expected to harass them. This has varying definitions under Florida law; but the more frequent and egregious the contact the stronger the argument may be towards harassment. This can include repeated phone calls made in an effort to collect a debt, sending a copy of a warrant for arrest in reference to debt collection, or even the disclosure of a debt to a third party that has no need to know about same. The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act is a strict liability statute, and each breach may cary a different statutory remedy.
If Debt Collectors will not stop calling you, you may have options that will penalize them
But time may be of the essence. Pursuant to statute, there is a two (2) year statute of limitations stemming from the date of the violation. If you would like to discuss the collection activities being used to collect your debts, you should contact an attorney’s office immediately.