Debt Collection

See these videos on debt collections:

If you are contacted by a debt collector, contact us right away! In a majority of cases, debt collectors violate one or more of the many laws designed to protect you and your family. We will review your case to see how we can best help you find a way to defeat the debt collector’s case against you and possibly win damages and attorney’s fees and costs from the debt collector.

According to the law, debt collectors are forbidden to:

  • Talk to anyone except you (or your attorney) about the debt
  • Call people you know for any reason except to locate you
  • Threaten you physically or verbally
  • Use degrading terms or expletives toward you
  • Call you repeatedly or call right back when you have hung up on them
  • Imply they’re government employees or associates
  • Claim to be attorneys
  • Accuse you of criminal behavior (debts are civil, not criminal)
  • Misrepresent the amount you owe
  • Refuse to provide proof that the debt is yours or that the matter has been dropped (when provided with a written denial)

Check out this document for a more detailed look at the Florida statutes on collection harassment.

You can send this cease communication letter to a debt collector to demand that they stop contacting you about a debt you do not owe. Alternatively, you can demand proof of a debt they claim that you owe using this debt dispute letter.

Take careful notes when you are called by a debt collector, recording the date, the time, the name of the caller, their phone number, the name of the company and its address, the method used to reach you, and any other information that may be useful in monitoring possible harassment. Once you have been contacted by phone, the collector has five days to mail you written information detailing the amount of the debt, the identity of the creditor, and instructions for disputing or resolving the debt.

You may also wish to record your phone conversation with a collector. It is important to remember, however, that you MUST have the other party’s permission to record a phone conversation, or it is illegal in Florida. Make sure the collector verifies aloud that they are aware of and have consented to your audio recording. If this verbal consent is not present on the recording, you can be convicted of an illegal act.

Make sure you keep all your notes and records in your permanent files. Since debts are often resold (see our page on debt scavengers), you could be contacted in the future about a debt that was already settled or dropped. Make sure you can easily prove the status of an alleged debt to any future collectors.

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