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If you’re having trouble paying bills, and your debt is mounting by the day, the last thing you need is collection agencies harassing you for money. Dealing with debt is a stressful situation, and sometimes bill collectors will resort to illegal or fraudulent tactics to take advantage of you and your lack of knowledge of consumer law.
The knowledgeable debt harassment lawyers at Morgan & Morgan in Jacksonville are experienced in dealing with these types of creditors and know your legal rights. If you believe bill collectors are harassing you, contact us to fill out a case evaluation form today. We are here to help you and protect your consumer rights.
Debt Harassment Help in Jacksonville
What exactly is debt harassment? There is a difference between lawful collection attempts and debt harassment. Our debt attorneys will look at your case carefully and work with you to help stop the harassment or, if necessary, file a lawsuit.
If you owe money to creditors, they have a right to seek what’s owed to them. However, they must do so within the parameters of federal and Florida law. Your creditors can ask you to pay your bills in a reasonable manner.
Following are a few things they must do:
- Identify themselves as a debt collector when communicating with you
- Give the name and address of the original creditor
- Let you know you have the right to dispute the debt
- If you do dispute the debt, provide verification or cease collection efforts
- File a lawsuit in the proper venue, if a lawsuit against you is necessary
However, following are a few things they cannot do, and are considered harassment:
- Impersonating law enforcement or a government agency
- Threatening violence
- Contacting third parties about the debt
- Contacting your employer about the debt unless there is a judgment against you
- Contacting you between 9:00pm and 8:00am without your permission
- Sending communications falsified to look like government documents
- Using obscene language
- Mailing documents with humiliating words on a postcard or envelope
- Communicating directly when you have hired an attorney
These are only some of the ways debt collectors might harass you. Their goal is to intimidate you into paying your debt, even through unlawful means. You have rights as a consumer. If you believe those rights are being violated, contact a debt harassment lawyer at our Jacksonville offices today.
The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act
The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) was enacted to protect Florida consumers from debt collector and creditor harassment. It’s similar to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which is a federal law.
If a debt collector violates any part of the FCCPA, you should consult with a Jacksonville debt harassment law firm about your rights. You may be able to file a lawsuit if a creditor breaks the law and receive compensation. Your compensation could include:
- Financial damages (not exceeding $1,000)
- Punitive damages (at the judge’s discretion)
- Court costs/attorney fees
You also have protection under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TPCA). If you are receiving “robocalls” on your cell phone from bill collectors, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
How Can I Stop Debt Harassment?
If you feel you are being harassed, you should consult with an experienced Jacksonville debt attorney. However, there are also a few steps you can take on your own.
- Contact the collector in writing and ask them to stop contacting you
- Document any illegal behavior (include times and dates)
- Request forms from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and file a complaint
Then, contact a Florida debt harassment attorney to see if you have grounds to file a lawsuit.
Our Jacksonville Law Firm Helps Protect You From Debt Harassment
If you are in debt and believe a collection agency is harassing you and your family, you don’t have to deal with the stress alone. Morgan & Morgan represents the people, and we are ready to protect your consumer rights. Contact us today for help.