Most people who have unresolved debt have received mail, phone calls or even at-home visits from debt collectors. While it always feels intrusive, did you know that these debt collections practices may actually be illegal? The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in 1978 to protect consumers from abusive and/or deceptive actions taken by debt collectors. According to the National Association of Consumer Advocates some of these practices include:
- Calling you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm.
- Giving other parties such as employers or family members information regarding your debt.
- Calling you at work without your permission.
- Cursing at you or threatening to garnish your social security payments.
In 2018, the average amount of credit card debt per person in Florida is $8,444. Some of this money lands in collections. It is important to understand that it is legal for a debt collector to try to collect a debt and often times they are perfectly reasonable, but they cannot attempt collection by any means they deem necessary. If a debt collector is threatening to have you arrested, calling you repeatedly in an attempt to annoy you into paying the debt, threatening physical harm, or if they have notified you in writing that they are suing you, know that you have options.
What are your options?
If you believe a debt collector is using illegal methods to collect your debt, you can:
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint.
- File a lawsuit against the debt collector.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit against the debt collector, you may want to consider legal representation that specializes in debt negotiation and abusive debt collection practices. Dsouza Legal Group of Plantation, Florida does just that. Guiding citizens of Broward County through credit card debt negotiation, bankruptcy, foreclosure (and more) is what they have been doing for over 15 years.