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Florida Collection Laws

The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) protects Florida residents from original creditors such as mortgage companies, credit card companies, auto loans, medical bills, and utility bills. Like the federal debt collection law, Florida consumers can get damages up to $1,000.00 under the FCCPA. Plus, the FCCPA also has a fee-shift provision. So, you won’t pay us a penny for our fees or costs for our help stopping original creditor harassment. When we work on original creditor harassment cases, often times (depending on the amount of the debt) we’re able to get the underlying debt waived and your credit report updated.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA):

The FDCPA has been around since 1977. The FDCPA is a federal law that applies to every state. In other words, everyone is protected by the FDCPA. The FDCPA is essentially a laundry list of what debt collectors can and cannot do while collecting a debt, as well as things debt collectors must do while collecting a debt.

  • Damages:If a collection agency violates any section of the FDCPA, the consumer is entitled to damages up to $1,000.00. Additional damages are warranted in cases where the collector’s collection activities were so egregious the consumer suffered emotional distress. 99% of cases do not involve emotional distress damages.

  • Attorney’s fees: The FDCPA has a fee-shift provision. This means, the collection agency pays the consumer’s attorney’s fees and costs.

  • Debt that is covered by the FDCPA: Only consumer debt, such as personal, family, and household debts. For example, money you owe on a personal credit card, an auto loan, a medical bill, or a utility bill. The FDCPA does not cover debts you incurred to run a business, debts regarding unpaid taxes, or traffic tickets.

  • The FDCPA only applies to 3rd-party debt collectors: The FDCPA defines a debt collector as any person who regularly collects, or attempts to collect, consumer debts for another person or institution. In short, only third-party debt collectors are bound by the FDCPA. That is, original creditors, such as credit card companies and banks are not bound by the FDCPA.

Top FDCPA Violations:

  1. Communicated (phone or letter) with you after you filed for bankruptcy.
  2. Communicated (phone or letter) with you after you told the collector you have a lawyer.
  3. Called you about a debt you do not owe after you informed the collector you do not owe the debt.
  4. Called you at work after you told them you cannot receive such calls at work.
  5. Left you a message without identifying the company’s name.
  6. Left you a message without disclosing that the call is from a debt collector.
  7. Called third parties (family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors) even though the collection agency knows your contact information.
  8. Disclosed to a third party (family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors) that you owe a debt.
  9. Contacted you after you told the collection agency, in writing, to stop contacting you.
  10. Threatened you with legal action (such as a lawsuit or wage garnishment) even though the collection agency does not intend to follow through with its threat.
  11. Called you before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM.
  12. Continued to call you after you have told the collector you cannot pay the debt.

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA):

Have you ever received a phone call from an unknown but local phone number? Chances are you have, most everyone of us has, and when you answered the call you were greeted with silence or some pre-recorded message. After a few awkward seconds and repeating yourself to be removed the list, you hang up frustrated by another robot calling your phone. What do they really want, and why don’t they ever stop calling?

Fortunately for consumers, the TCPA, limits the use of automatic dialing systems, prerecorded voice messages, and unsolicited text messages. Passed in 1991, the TCPA allows for damages ranging from $500.00 – $1,500.00 per call or text. In describing the importance of the TCPA, Senator Hollings, the TCPA’s sponsor, said, “I echo Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who wrote 100 years ago that ‘the right to be left alone is the most comprehensive of rights and the one most valued by civilized man.’”

If a company has your permission to place robocalls to you, you can revoke your consent. If robocalls continue after the consumer says stop calling, the consumer has a TCPA case.

Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA):

The EFTA protects electronic payments that are deducted from bank accounts. If a company took unauthorized deductions from your bank account, you may have an EFTA claim. Most collection agencies want to set up re-occurring payments from consumers. Imagine how much money collection agencies gets if hundreds, if not thousands, of consumers electronically pay them $50-$100, or more, per month. If you a consumer agreed to this type of re-occurring payment, the company must follow certain steps to comply with the EFTA. The EFTA allows for statutory damages up to $1,000.00 and actual damages for the payments made. The EFTA also has a fee-shift provision. This means, the company pays the consumer’s attorney’s fees and costs.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA):

The FCRA works to ensure that no information reported to your credit report is false. In essence, it gives you the right to dispute those inaccuracies that you find on your credit report. Are you one of the 40 million Americans that have a mistake on their credit report? Mistakes on your credit report can be very costly. Along with causing you to pay higher interest rates, you may be denied credit, insurance, a rental home, a loan, or even a job because of these mistakes. Some mistakes may include someone else’s information on your credit report, inaccurate public records, stale collection accounts, or maybe you were a victim of identity theft. If a credit reporting agency violates its obligations under the FCRA, you may be entitled to statutory damages up to $1,000.00, plus the credit reporting agency will be required to fix the error. The FCRA also has a fee-shift provision. This means, the credit reporting agency pays the consumer’s attorney’s fees and costs.

Under the FCRA, you have a legal right to dispute and remove inaccurate information from your credit report. These inaccuracies come in three common forms:

  1. Wrong information – Untrue information such as criminal records, driving records, accounts you did not open, mixed or merged files with someone else’s information (such as a family member or someone with the same name), judgments for lawsuits which didn’t involve you, or debts you did not incur can be permanently removed from your credit report.

  2. Duplicate information – Some accounts or transactions may be listed more than once in your credit report, and it’s helpful to ensure that your report is duplicate-free to avoid appearing to have more debt or credit-related problems than you do.

  3. Old and negative information – Most types of outdated negative credit information, such as foreclosures, judgments, liens, lawsuits, and bankruptcy, can be removed after about seven years.

Submitted Comments

1 year ago
Signed contract for solar water heater 3/25/2022 , installed 3/26/2022. Permitn2022042112 issued 4/15/2022. County did not approve permit upon their inspection. Permit was for replacement of a tankless water heater. I DID NOT HAVE A TANKLESS. Permit expired 10-12-2022. I have been in touch via phone & e-mail about new permit. I can\'t sell my house because of this. I want all equipment picked up and credited. I sent them certified mail, no response. I even offered to purchase a normal water heater. I\'m an 81 year old on Social Security and want arbitration, but don\'t know how to proceed
1 year ago
I have had a lot of financial troubles since having our son. We moved to be closer to family for help and left my career behind in attempt to make life more feasible— family is of no help like they expressed they would be and do not provide support so I can work a stable job. We were a two income household but now we are a single income household. Kohls and Southeast Toyota Finance have been harassing me nonstop. I have lost sleep due to the paranoia that my car will be towed away. so we are stuck in the rat race of being able to afford daycare vs the ratio of income I would realistically be bringing in. I would like to know how we can settle this debt and stop the harassment.
10 months ago
Sold on ebay for months no issues, 100% feedback rate over 45 orders. All of the sudden two customers say they didnt recieve package when it was still on its way. Carrier was at fault, ebay took money out even after it was delivered. Told ebay and they admited fault. Ebay then sent me a email to submit proof of invoices and idenity. Sent my invoices which Amazon accepts (way stricter company) and my company information and insurance. Bank statements and identify also given, account then indefinitely suspended for no reason, funds locked up and say they are holding them. Pure fraud and deceptions have done nothing wrong on my end.
9 months ago
Oakdale has been texting and calling my mother, father, and sister. They have used threatening behavior with them about a debt I owe. They finally called and text me. I called the number back, and it lead to another company that had no clue who I was. They called again and threaten me with legal action and \"we will find you!\". They just called my job now.
9 months ago
My parents both received calls for me to call this number. I called it and the person on the other end refused to tell me what agency they were with. Asked for a case number which was provided to my parents. .I gave her the case number. She told me it was from an old credit card in 2017 for Total Visa. She advised they were going to take my home as they know I own property. They offered me an option to pay but would not give me any paperwork despite my asking for it prior to payment. She replied that they are not legally required to supply that since it\'s past the 21 days in the demand letter. I never received it and she said she would not resend it. I was scared to just turn over money without any type of proof and when I told her so, she hung up on me. When I called back she stated to stop calling, all I wanted to do was discuss the debt and not resolve it so they were no longer willing to work with me and would see me in court where they would get a judgment for over $3000. The card only had a $300 linit! How is this possible? I am petrified and cannot sleep. Can you help?
8 months ago
Good morning, I have an ongoing dispute with First Premier Bank and the Credit Bureaus regarding inaccurate information. There are negative items on my consumer report that i would like removed promptly. I have been denied credit, mortgage products and opening an account with a credit union. Thank you
6 months ago
From the beginning we have argued with Empire flooring and even had back and dorth conversations through the BBB. I have a drawer full of pieces that came off and pictures where some were missed. Better to explain over phone
5 months ago
A bunch of issues
4 months ago
I sold 700 USD by ebay and on February and I have not recieved my money yet. I have a restriction and I am not able to update my Banking information and they argue they can not let me update it because that restrction
1 month ago
NR solutions has been harassing me, calling my family members and leaving voicemails, non stop. I show nothing on my credit report that they would be calling about and have not received anything from them via mail.