Complaints regarding creditor debt collection agencies, debt buyers, collection attorneys, and many mortgage servicers generate more complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that any other industry. In additon to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Florida consumers can take advantage of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA). One key difference is that the FDCPA applies only to debt collectors and it excludes its protections when the original creditor is collecting its own debt. In Florida, the FCCPA protects consumers from both debt collectors and original creditors. Another reason why Florida’s law is more expansive is that extends the $1,000 in statutory damages to multiple violations allowing for a greater recovery than the one time $1,000 available under the FDCPA regardless of the number of violations.
Complaints of illegal debt collection and abusive tactics rose from 5,064 in 1999 to 26,652 in 2009. Higher levels of unsustainable debt is part of the reason for such a significant increase, but more likely it is due to the fact that the collections industry makes millions of autodialed calls every business hour.
More attorneys are stepping up in an effort to enforce consumers’ rights by filing FDCPA and FCCPA lawsuits. Our law firm began taking FDCPA and FCCPA cases at the beginning of 2010 as a natural offshoot of our bankruptcy practice. Many more bankruptcy attorneys are recoginizing that the overly aggressive actions by creditors are splitting families, causing job losses and significant emotional distress in the more egregious cases.
For more information, please contact Christie D. Arkovich, P.A. to see if a debt collector is acting within their rights.