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Creditor abuses you should never have to put up with

As you may know, being deep in debt goes hand in hand with dealing with creditors. You may not know, however, that there are some debt collection practices that violate consumer rights laws. You and other Florida residents should understand which debt collector practices are lawful and which ones violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the FDCPA was passed to protect those in debt from collection practices that are unfair, deceptive or abusive. The fact that this federal law exists does not mean these practices are uncommon. What behaviors are unlawful under this act? The following scenarios have happened to countless debtors and may have happened to you:

  • A debt collector may have falsely informed you that you are breaking the law by not paying your bills and threatened you with law enforcement fines or imprisonment.
  • A collector might have posed as an attorney, law enforcement officer or government agent to intimidate you into paying the debt.
  • Collectors might have used foul language on the phone with you or made threats of physical harm.
  • You might have received documents and deceptively told by collectors that they are legal documents, or vice versa.

Additionally, collectors must not repeatedly call and harass you or contact you at inconvenient times, such as early in the morning or late at night. If you tell them your employer does not allow you to receive phone calls at work, they must cease contacting you there. They may contact someone you know only once in an attempt to gain your contact information, and the law does not permit them to discuss debt-related information with anyone other than you or your attorney.

If you suspect debt collectors are unlawfully harassing or victimizing you, you have the right to report the actions and to seek legal counsel.

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