Debt collector do's
Debt collectors who attempt to get in touch with individuals residing in Florida must be registered with the state. Out-of-state debt collectors must also abide by this rule. They must be up front with you in terms of their identity and intentions. If a consumer asks, all collectors are required to state their own name and that of the collection agency.
In accordance with state and/or federal law, debt collectors must offer consumers privacy protection
- No information regarding your debt that could tarnish your reputation can be shared to anyone outside of your family.
- Distribution of or contribution to any type of "deadbeat" or "black" list is unlawful.
- Using profanity over the phone.
- Mail sent from the collection agency cannot include information on the outside of the package that could potentially humiliate the consumer or publicize their situation.
- Debt collectors cannot disclose any information regarding their collection endeavors or a consumer's financial state of affairs to an employer without a court order for a task such as wage garnishment.
Debt collector dont's
Aside from the obligations mentioned above, debt collectors must be conscious of harassing, abusing, or purposely misleading consumers.
The subsequent forms of harassment or abuse are against the law:
- Using profanity or offensive language.
- Repeatedly calling a consumer or their family with the sole purpose of annoying them.
- Making violent or aggressive threats against a consumer or their personal property.
- Threatening to expose a consumer's debt.
- Making illegal threats that the debt collector has no intentions of acting out.
The subsequent forms of misrepresentation are against the law:
- Persuading a consumer to believe that the debt collector is a lawyer, police officer, government official, from a credit bureau, or endorsed by the government.
- Using stationary or forms that simulate legal or official government documents.
- Suggesting that the consumer is guilty of a crime or will be a sent to prison.
- Trying to collect a debt that is inaccurate.
- Impersonating someone else in order to convince the consumer to pay for a collect call or telegram.
If you believe a debt collector has broken the law while attempting to collect your debt, contact your state's attorney general. It may also be wise to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If it can be proven that the collection agency has done something illegal, the odds are in your favor to win a lawsuit against them.