Debt Collector Harassment in Tallahassee, FL
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Tallahassee, 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 Tallahassee, Florida
According to Florida’s Attorney General, Tallahassee consumers are protected from debt collector harassment by both federal and state laws. Moreover, Florida law applies to original creditors in addition to debt collectors. Some of the prohibited business practices include:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling you at work
- Calling continuously, or between 9:00pm and 8:00am
- Sharing your debt information with neighbors or co-workers
- Threatening to harm 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 Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee, 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 Tallahassee 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 lists collection agencies operating in and near Tallahassee. Some of these companies are accredited, which means they meet the Bureau’s standards for ethical business practices. Accredited agencies near Tallahassee include Emerald Coast Billing and Collections, and DPS Recovery LLC. Non-accredited agencies in Tallahassee include Professional Credit Corporation, and Shining Star Collection Agency.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Tallahassee, Florida?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee, FL by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
If you are the victim of debt collector harassment in Tallahassee, Florida Law Help recommends keeping a record of how you were treated. Keep a file of all documents received and copies of anything you send. It is also advisable to send documents via certified mail to verify receipt. Additionally, log all calls, noting the date, time, name of caller, company contact information, and what was said. In addition, you are under no obligation to talk to a collection agency in Tallahassee, so don’t be afraid to hang up.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee, 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. Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee, FL debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
You may have to choose where to file, since it is possible that both federal and state laws may have been violated. Consequently, you may be able to file in US District Court, Northern District of Florida or in Leon County Circuit Court. A Tallahassee attorney can advise you about the optimal jurisdiction for your harassment case. It is important not to delay this decision, because you only have one year from the time the harassment occurred to file your case. You may sue for any economic damages that resulted, as well as attorney fees and court costs. Additionally, you may be entitled to statutory relief of up to $1,000, even if you do not win your case.
Work With an Experienced Tallahassee, Florida Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Tallahassee, 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!