When you have debt, the last thing you want to do is answer your phone. The anxiety of knowing there is a potential bill collector on the other end asking for money that you may not have causes stress, and sometimes these collectors can become incredibly rude. While the Federal Trade Commission has made efforts to keep debt collectors in line, there is no way of knowing what that phone call will be like.
The first thing you should do with a debt collector is call them back as they will continue to make calls in an attempt to reach you. If you don’t address your debt there is, after all, no way to come to a resolution.
The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) prohibits debt collectors from harassing you, threatening you, or using vulgarity when they are attempting to resolve a debt with you. Collectors are also not allowed to make anonymous calls nor can they allege that they are representing a government entity. These collectors must properly identify who they are and the name of the company they are representing. They must also inform you of this right as well as provide written verification should you decide to dispute it. If you hired an attorney to help with you the debt then the debt collectors are prohibited from contacting you and are required to send all communications directly to your attorney including phone calls, letters, email or personal contact. It is very common for debt collectors to intentionally violate the FCCPA in an effort to collect on a debt. Such actions are in violation of the law and you may be entitled to collect up to $1,000.00 in damages.
Lastly, do not provide any sensitive information like your social security number or credit card until you are certain that the debt and the person attempting to collect are authentic. Use the Internet to research legitimacy and closely monitor your credit report if you think your identity may have been stolen. You may obtain a free copy of your three credit report by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
This update is provided by Miami bankruptcy attorney Alonso, Perez & Santos, LLP. Our areas of practice are bankruptcy, debt harassment, credit card defense, foreclosure defense, and also include insurance litigation, construction law, immigration law, business start-ups, and more. Call 305-676-7545 to speak with a Miami debt collection attorney and or insurance attorney to receive a free consultation and evaluation of your insurance policy. We look forward to working with you.
This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.