Debt Collector Harassment in Port St. Lucie, FL
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Port St. Lucie, Florida there are two things to consider when thinking about debt collection: harassment and misrepresentation. The presence of either of these things constitutes debt collector harassment and may require you to take legal action against the collector.
Debt Collector Harassment in Port St. Lucie, Florida
Debt collection harassment can take many forms in Port St. Lucie. Fortunately, the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act bolsters the federal law regarding consumer protections from collection agencies. Specifically, the legal restrictions on harassment apply to the original creditors as well as the collection agencies in Port St. Lucie. Some examples of these prohibited business practices include:
- Trying to collect a debt you’ve already paid
- Advertising for sale of debt to coerce payment of the debt
- Trying to collect a debt after the statute of limitations has expired
- Threatening harm to you, your reputation, or your property
If you are a victim of any of these examples of harassment, you may have a right to sue the debt collector for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). An experienced Port St. Lucie attorney can help you identify your options and build a strong case.
Misrepresentations by a debt collector refer to someone making false claims or accusations or using false, deceptive, or misleading practices. This also includes misrepresenting any debt you may have. See some examples of this and other Illegal Debt Collection Practices below:
- The amount of money you owe
- False threats saying they will have you arrested
- Saying they are an attorney if they aren’t one
- Threats to do something that the debt collector has no intention of doing
- Threats to take actions that are not within the confines of the law
If you think any Port St. Lucie, FL debt collectors may have misrepresented themselves to you, it’s important to remember that you have options. Get in contact with an attorney that understands debt collector law.
Who Are Debt Collectors?
Most people don’t know what a debt collector is until they have one incessantly calling them about paying off debt. So, who are debt collectors? Who do they work for?
Collectors come from a debt collection agency that works with creditors who are owed debts. If you have outstanding debt in Port St. Lucie such as credit debt, unpaid loans, and personal loans, your creditor may contact a debt collection agency. This agency then assigns a debt collector to your case.
The Better Business Bureau provides a list of accredited and non-accredited collection agencies operating in and around Port St. Lucie. These companies include Portfolio Management Associates, First Data, Millennium Collections Corporation, and Oxford Management Services.
Additionally, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer provides a list of collection agencies that collect for the State. These companies include Transworld Systems Inc, United Collection Bureau Inc, National Enterprise Systems Inc, and Gila Corporation.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Port St. Lucie, Florida?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Port St. Lucie debt collectors are harassing you, then it’s important to become familiar with the Basics of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from collection agencies. If a debt collector violates any of the harassment or misrepresentation rules, the victim has a right to sue the collector for violation of the FDCPA.
Step 2: Collect Records
Have you been harassed in Port St. Lucie, FL by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
If you experience harassment in Port St. Lucie, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends keeping a file of all correspondence. Keeping the envelopes might also be useful if they have any misleading government symbols on them. Furthermore, you should save any voicemail messages, texts, and emails. Additionally, you should always log the date and time, the caller’s name, and the company contact information. Remember to take comprehensive notes during any calls. Florida is a two-party consent state, so you are prohibited from recording a call in Port St. Lucie without the debt collector’s agreement.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Port St. Lucie debt collector, it’s easy to get angry and act impulsively. Unfortunately, this can cause you to say or do something detrimental to your case. Instead, try to remain calm and make all your actions deliberate and well-thought-out. Not only will this be better for keeping your stress levels low, but it will prove helpful if you go to court. You can show that you were respectful and calm while the debt collector was the one using abusive language.
Step 4: Ask for Debt Verification
If you’re constantly getting phone calls from Port St. Lucie, FL debt collectors harassing you about what you owe, you need to ask for debt verification. Not only will this show whether or not they are misrepresenting your debt, but the debt collector must also stop contacting you until they provide the information you requested. Debt verification should show the amount of debt you owe and the name of the creditor. You have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. If you don’t dispute the debt, the creditor will assume the debt is valid.
Step 5: Contact an Attorney
If you’re the victim of debt collector harassment, it’s time to stand up and fight back. You deserve to live a life free from abusive and repetitive phone calls. Port St. Lucie attorneys that understand What to Expect When Suing for Debt Collection Harassment, and local debt collection laws, can help you make this possible. If the debt collector threatens to or does take legal action regarding your outstanding debts, working with an attorney becomes even more important.
Step 6: Present Your Case
By hiring an experienced Port St. Lucie, FL debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
A first step to address harassment in Port St. Lucie is to lodge a complaint with the Florida Attorney General. If you then choose legal action, your case may begin in either federal or state court. Specifically, you may file in the US District Court, Southern District of Florida or the 19th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. Your Port St. Lucie attorney can help determine the optimal jurisdiction for your case. Keep in mind, due to a Statute of Limitations, you typically only have one year from the time the harassment occurred to sue for damages. Be aware, even if you win your harassment case in Port St. Lucie, you may still have to pay the original debt.
Work With an Experienced Port St. Lucie, Florida Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Port St. Lucie, FL it’s time to put an end to it so you can move forward with life. There are laws in place to protect consumers from debt collectors. Legal assistance can help you to navigate these complex laws and defend yourself in court, if necessary.
Are you ready to find a debt collector attorney near you so you can finally fight back against the harassment? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Florida state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!