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Have you been hounded by phone calls from debt collectors? These debt collectors are harassers and abusers, who prey on those who do not know their protections and try to intimidate them. But if you’re being intimidated by these collectors, you have more rights than you may realize.
At Morgan & Morgan, our debt collection attorneys are experienced in taking these collectors to task. Our expert understanding of laws protecting citizens from debt collectors has allowed us to successfully stand up to the collectors for many of our clients, securing them compensation and offering them much-needed peace of mind.
Debt collectors have been known to try and bully struggling Floridians into paying unfair debts at moments of weakness. Some of these debts, though, are not even ones you are obliged to pay. Fraudulent collectors may try to scam you out of your rights and money. With a Morgan & Morgan attorney at your side, however, you know that someone will be looking out for you trying to protect you.
Our attorneys in Ocala how to put debt collectors in their place and how to get compensation for good people who have been hurt by the harassment and illegal behavior of collectors. Contact us for a free consultation today.
What Debt Collectors Can’t Do
If you have experienced first-hand how debt collectors operate, you may believe there is nearly nothing they can’t and won’t do. However, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act places strict standards of conduct upon nearly every third-party debt collector in the United States. Debt collectors cannot:
- Threaten force, violence, or defamation
- Use obscene, profane, or abusive language
- Publish the names of alleged debtors
- Place phone calls with a frequency that is intended to harass
- Misrepresent the amount, nature, or origin of an alleged debt
- Impersonate law enforcement or another authority
- Misrepresent the potential penalties for non-payment, including telling alleged debtors they will be prosecuted, imprisoned, or have their wages garnished (unless garnishment is actually authorized by a court)
- Add charges or fees not authorized by the original agreement
- Solicit or demand an excessively postdated check
- Threaten to repossess property when the right to do so does not actually exist
Florida state law reiterates similar protections and actually provides some additional ones such as making it illegal for a debt collector to communicate with an alleged debtor’s employer – or threaten to do so – without a legitimate garnishment order.
How Can Victims of Debt Collector Harassment in Florida Fight Back?
Debt collectors must cease communication with you once you notify them that an attorney represents you. Further, if you dispute a debt, they must cease communication until they are able to provide sufficient verification of the amount and nature of that debt.
When debt collectors nevertheless choose to ignore these reasonable rules, victims may bring a civil lawsuit for any actual damages they suffered, attorney fees, and up to $1,000 in additional statutory damages.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help Take Your Life Back From Debt Collectors
Debt collectors attack their victims in a position of weakness. They rely on fear and a lack of knowledge of the law among their victims to perpetrate harassing and often illegal conduct while pursuing debt.
If you have experienced any of the conduct described here or otherwise been the victim of debt collector harassment in Ocala, we may be able to help.