What You Can Do To Stop Debt Collectors According To Florida Debt Collection Laws
Any debt over 180 days overdue is a debt in collection and is detrimental to your finances. The debt affects your credit score and makes it harder for you to access credit in the future.
Your credit information affects your job eligibility, access to insurance premiums, and rental residences. Do you know the if you live in Florida?
28% of Americans have a debt being collected by third-party services. Some of these services are unscrupulous, and in Florida, most do not follow the debt collection laws.
What is FDCPA?
If you have a , the FDCPA (Federal Debt Collection Practices Act) is a federal law that protects you from third-party debt collectors. The law prohibits collectors from using unfair or illegal means to collect a debt. However, this does not mean unreputable collectors don't exist.
You can stop the debt collectors yourself, which is a long shot. You can use services like DoNotPay, an AI-powered app that can stop the collectors on your behalf. The FDCPA only applies to consumer debts, not commercial debts.
Consumer debt is incurred for personal purposes, such as paying for household expenses or purchasing items.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) primarily enforces the FDCPA, and other financial regulatory agencies enforce the law for the various institutions under their supervision.
Florida Debt Collection Laws
The Florida Consumer Collection Act (FCCPA) protects consumers in Florida. The state law prohibits the original creditor or third-party collectors from using abusive or deceptive practices to collect a debt.
If a collector harms you in direct violation of the FCCPA, you can take a private cause of action. This action means you have the right to sue the creditor or debt collector. If you win the lawsuit, the court can award you:
- Damages not exceeding $1000 and based on the current laws
- Actual damages or losses endured
- Other damages that the judge will determine
- Attorney fees
- Court costs
The FCCPA liaises with the FDCPA to limit threatening letters, phone calls, and various unfair means of collection used by debt collectors. The state law protects you and gives you the right to sue debt collectors who violate the FCCPA.
The federal law (FDCPA) prohibits the debt collectors from harassing or using threatening and abusive language, but this law does not apply to the original creditors. The FDCPA applies to third-party collectors. However, the FCCPA states that the debt collection laws apply to both third-party collectors and the original creditor.
The FDCPA requires debt collectors to follow some rules such as:
- Provision of a debt validation letter within five days from initial contact
- Response to all debt verification requests and holding all collections until they can verify the debts.
- Refrain from calling at odd hours or places such as work
- Refraining from exposing your debt to others such as family, friends, and employers.
- Respecting your request to stop collection calls
- Communicating with your lawyer if you have one
Statute of Limitation in Florida
The statute of limitation on debt collection in Florida refers to the period a debt collector can sue you to collect payment. Once this time passes, the debt collection agency can no longer take you to court. The statute of limitation on debt collection in Florida is five years for promissory notes or written contracts.
|Open-ended Accounts (credit cards and oral contracts)||4 Years|
|Judgment Collections||20 Years|
How to Deal With Debt Collectors on Your Own
When a debt collector comes calling, you can deal with the issue on the phone, write a letter or email, or go to their offices. You can take the following steps if you get a debt collection notice:
1. Review the debt collection notice and verify the original creditor, the debt amount, debt purpose, and the collector's identity.
2. If the debt is erroneous or you have questions, you should file a verification request.
3. After the debt validation, you can:
- Pay the debt
- Draft a Debt Validation letter that notifies the debt collector that you dispute the debt, putting them to task to produce evidence that you owe the debt. Until they provide you with the debt validation, they should not contact you directly. Specify how they should contact you, whether through a lawyer or other means. After this letter, the law requires them not to contact you, but they can file a lawsuit.
- If the collectors have violated the FDCPA, report them to the FTC or CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).
Although the FDCPA and FCCPA prohibit debt collectors and original creditors from engaging in unfair, abusive, harassing, deceptive practices, most violate this law.
Trying to stop the debt collectors from collecting may be a lengthy and frustrating process if you try to tackle it yourself.
Stop Debt Collectors With The Help Of DoNotPay
DoNotPay, your AI-powered assistant, can help you make a successful case against the debt collection agency. Whether debt collectors are harassing you or they recently contacted you about a debt, DoNotPay can help you ascertain if the debt collector is FDCPA compliant.
If you opt to report the debt collectors to the CFPB, DoNotPay files the complaint on your behalf. DoNotPay streamlines this process by saving you time and avoiding long-drawn-out confrontations with debt collectors.
How Can DoNotPay Help?
After asking you some questions, DoNotPay helps you decide on the best course of action. We contact the debt collectors with a demand letter on your behalf.
How it Works:
- Search “debt collection” on DoNotPay.
- Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.
- Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.
And that’s it! Once you choose the course of action you want to take, DoNotPay will handle the rest. We’ll deliver your request directly to the debt collectors via first-class mail, or file your complaint automatically with the CFPB so that they’re no longer able to use unfair debt collection practices.
Why Use DoNotPay to Stop Debt Collectors Under The Florida Debt Collection Laws
Using DoNotPay helps in several ways:
- Fast: Following up with a debt collection agency or original creditor might take you a while. DoNotPay cuts through any corporate red tape to solve your case fast and reliably.
- Easy: All you need to do is furnish DNP with all the debt details and leave the rest to us.
- Successful: DoNotPay always makes the best case for our clients to ensure successful outcomes.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DNP can help you solve numerous problems, such as:
- Filing a complaint
- Stalking and Harassment
- Sex Offender Search
- Notice of Intent to Homeschool
- Contact Government Representatives
- HR Complaints
- Late Delivery Refunds