Articles Posted in Unfair Debt Collection

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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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If you have filed a bankruptcy in Jacksonville and have had debts discharged in the Florida bankruptcy court, a creditor cannot make an attempt to collect on that debt. If the creditor does, they are likely violating 11 USC §524. §524 serves as an injunction preventing the creditor from contacting the discharged debtor. This is similar to an injunction in family law commonly known as a Restraining Order. However, while a violation of a Restraining Order can lead to imprisonment, violation of a bankruptcy discharge injunction often leads to money being awarded to the client.

Discharge violations occur often and are sometimes overlooked by clients who just want to move on with their lives. The amount of money a client can be awarded depends on the severity and frequency of the collection attempts. Generally, the cost to bring an action against the creditor is paid for by the money collected from them. That means that a client could pay nothing out of pocket and could still walk away with cash.

If you are being contacted by a creditor who should have been discharged in your bankruptcy and would like them to stop, please contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer or call us at (904) 685-1200 for a free consultation.

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If you would like to file for bankruptcy, come in and speak with our Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney during a free consultation. Call 904-685-1200 to schedule an appointment that is convenient for you. During the consultation, the attorney will discuss your particular situation. Next you need to fill out a bankruptcy questionnaire, which will aid us in drafting your bankruptcy schedules. You will be given this questionnaire at your consultation and can fill it out at your leisure. Before we file for you, you will need to complete your credit counseling. There are many different online sources that offer this service. If you supply them with our fax or email address, they will send over a certificate after you have completed your counseling. After we have drafted your schedules, you need to review them to make sure that they meet with your satisfaction. Then we can file your case!

The process is designed to be convenient and as seamless as possible. Contact our Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer today to get started!

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Debt can be classified as secured, unsecured, or priority. A secured debt is one that is collateralized by property. This means that if you default on the debt, the creditor can take the property that secures the loan. Your mortgage loan is probably secured by your home. Your auto loan is probably secured by your auto.

An unsecured debt is when you make a promise to repay the debt, but the debt is not secured by any collateral. If you default on the promise, the creditor cannot take your property without obtaining a judgment.

A priority debt is a debt that is entitled to repayment ahead of other debts that you owe. Taxes and some attorney fees are priority debts. A list of priority debts can be found in 11 U.S.C. §507.

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Most debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, there are a few debts that are not:

1. Debts arising from fraudulent conduct 2. Government-backed student loans (unless severe hardship can be shown)

3. Debts stemming from death or personal injuries related to your operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated 4. Certain taxes and fines 5. Some debts not listed on your bankruptcy 6. Domestic support obligations (alimony, child support, etc.)

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was originally enacted in 1970, and was amended in 2003. It applied to consumer reporting agencies, which are companies that collect and distribute information about people’s credit. Under the FCRA, consumer reporting agencies must provide you, upon your request, with a free copy of your credit report once per year. This is so you can verify the information contained in your credit report and dispute anything that disagree with. You can request your free report via phone, mail, or The FCRA also dictates how long negative information can be retained on your credit report. This is usually seven years, though bankruptcies stay for ten years.

If you feel that you have an issue with your credit report, contact a Jacksonville Consumer Law Attorney today at 904-685-1200.

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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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No, there is not a minimum amount of debt that you must have in order to file a bankruptcy. You can file with any amount owed to any creditor. However, you will want to analyze whether a bankruptcy is in your financial best interest. Meaning that if you have a very low amount of debt with only a few creditors, it may be in your best interest to negotiate with those creditors to try to lower your amount due to them. A Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney can possibly negotiate a debt settlement with your creditors for you. If the creditor has already filed a lawsuit against you, the Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney can defend the suit on your behalf and try to reach an amicable solution between you and your creditor.

Contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney at 904-685-1200 today for all your consumer law needs!

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