Articles Posted in FDCPA – Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

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The U.S. House of Representatives introduced a new bill, the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011, that would allow businesses to dial consumers’ cell phones using an automatic dialing system. This practice is oftentimes called “robo-calling”. This means that the operator does not have to manually dial each number. Rather, the computer system can dial the numbers and play a prerecorded message on many phones at once. The current law is that operators have to manually dial the numbers (unless the customer consents to robo-calling), which is not very profitable for many collection agencies.

The down side to this bill would obviously be that creditors would be able to start robo-calling your cellphone. This does not sit well with many consumers. But some creditors say that the current regulations have not kept up with the technology of today, and that a lot of people do not have home phone lines anymore. Creditors are wanting robo-calling access to cell phones.

The upside to the bill, however, is that an airline company could robo-call passengers if a flight was cancelled or is running late. Or your credit card company could set up a system to automatically call you if they think someone is fraudulently using your card. Or your bank could robo-call with a message that someone changed the address or PIN number on your account.

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Imagine that you’re a single woman who has some unpaid debt but like everyone else you’re just trying to live your life and get by. Perhaps one lonely evening you create a personals ad on an online dating service. Soon you are happy to get a response from a young man who asks you to meet him. You prepare for the date, show up on time and he shows up too. You order drinks, then food and then he declares that he is in fact a debt collector for the company you owe. He tells you that you need to pay your debts, gets up and leaves.

Does this sound impossible? Well it isn’t. In fact, someone seeking help with creditor harassment described a very similar situation to me just yesterday. This behavior comes out of left field for creditors as it requires more time and resources than we’d expect from a creditor. It also appears to violate the Fair Debt Collect Practices Act (FDCPA) as creditors cannot use deceptive means in an attempt to collect or enforce a debt.

If you think that a creditor is doing something unethical in an attempt to collect a debt, it may be illegal. Contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer for a free consultation.

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Did you know that in the state of Florida it is a violation of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) section 559.72 (8) for a creditor to swear at you or a family member?

This protection exists even if the collector is from out of state as all collection agencies are required to register with the state of Florida before contacting it’s citizens in an attempt to collect a debt.

If you live in Florida and a creditor does contact you using profane or vulgar language, you can sue them under the FCCPA. If you would like to discuss the quality of your case and see what we might be able to do for you, contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer or call us at (904) 685-1200 for a free consultation.

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facebook.jpgWith more than 800 million active users, it’s no surprise that creditors are using the social networking site to contact debtors in attempts to collect monies owed. One Florida woman from St. Petersburg Florida received a friend request from a creditor using a fake name. Once she accepted that request her telephone number and ‘friends’ contacts were made available to the creditor who then contacted her family regarding her debts.

Similarly, a Chicago case dealt with a man who was ‘friended’ on Facebook by a young woman in a bikini. Once he accepted her request she posted on his public wall, “Pay your debts, you deadbeat.”

Although these situations were found to be violations of the Florida Consumer Collection Protection Act (FCCPA), that hasn’t stopped creditors completely. A report out of Great Britain has shown that their Office of Fair Trading is now working to implement laws to protect debtors from creditors taking the same actions in their country. A 59% increase in new complaints about debt collecting has been reported, some of which is probably linked to Facebook activities.

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Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collector cannot communicate with any person other than the you without that your permission. There are some exceptions, such as situations if you gave permission to the collector to speak to other people or when the debt collector is speaking with your attorney.

A debtor cannot tell your neighbor that you are behind on your mortgage without your prior permission. If this has happened to you, it is a violation of the FDCPA and we may be able to sue the creditor on your behalf.

If you think that a creditor is doing something unethical in an attempt to collect a debt, it may be illegal. Contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer or call us at (904) 685-1200 for a free consultation.

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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), as amended in 2006, is a federal law that outlines some practices that are illegal for debt collectors to employ. The purpose of the Act is to eliminate abusive debt collection practice by debt collectors. Here are some highlights of the Act, though this list is not exhaustive:

A debt collectors may not:

1. Use or threat to use violence to harm your physical person, reputation, or property

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After the death of a friend or loved one, it can be very confusing what to do with their finances. When an individual dies, sometimes the debt they leave behind must be paid by their estate, other times it does not. If the deceased had a co-signer on a debt, then that co-signer is still legally responsible for that debt. In some states, a spouse may also still be liable for certain debts such as health care expenses.

Oftentimes, a relative is NOT liable for the debts of the deceased. But a creditor may call you and imply that you are responsible or try and guilt you into paying. This may be illegal and our Jacksonville Consumer Law Attorney may be able to make the creditor stop their collection activities against you and sue the creditor for any damages.

Before you pay for these debts, contact a Jacksonville Consumer Law Attorney to discuss if you must pay the debt or not.

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If the debt was properly listed on your bankruptcy schedules and subsequently discharged, the creditor no longer has the right to collect that debt from you. If the creditor is continuing to harass you, you should have your Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorneywrite a cease and desist letter to the creditor. This usually cures the problem and the creditor will stop contacting you. If, however, the creditor continues to try and collect the debt, this is illegal and your Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney will file a complaint against them for possible discharge violations, FDCPA violations, FCCPA violations, and/or FDUTPA violations. Often times attorneys will take these cases on a contingency basis, meaning that you and the attorney would each get a share of the monies recovered, so that you would not have to pay any legal fees up front. If a creditor is harassing you, contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney today to discuss your options.

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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is an Act that Congress passed in response to a growing number of abusive collection practices used by collection agencies. The FDCPA provides guidelines that creditors must follow when trying to collect debts from consumers. This Act applies to debt collectors. A debt collector is defined as any person who regularly collects debts that are owed to others. This act also applies to attorney collectors but in-house collections are not covered.

If the collection department from your favorite store is contacting you regarding your credit card with them, they are not restricted by the FDCPA, but they are governed by the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act. However, if that same store used an outside collection agency, that agency is governed by the FDCPA.

Some restrictions that the FDCPA puts on debt collectors are:

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