Don’t be fleeced by debt collectors. You have protections. In Florida, we have the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act available to our clients.
I was reminded this week that not everyone knows their rights when the mother of a debtor called me. She was conned into paying $600 to avoid the threatened arrest of her daughter per a warrant that was allegedly on the judge’s desk to be signed in 20 minutes. My client needed that $600 but under presssure, she caved. There are certain things debt collectors cannot do (and if they do, they are liable for statutory damages even though you do not have any actual damages):
1. Pretend to be someone else.
2. Threaten you with arrest.
3. Impersonate governmental officials.
4. Call your cell phone if you have revoked consent to call it (preferably in writing).
5. Call you at a work number if you’ve advised them it is inconvenient or your employer does not allow personal calls.
6. Lie to you.
7. Tell other people that you owe a debt.
8. Repeatedly call your friends or family. They can call once in an effort to locate you.
9. Call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
10. Swear or use profanity or act in rude manner.
For more information regarding what can be done when a debt collector violates your rights, see Christie D. Arkovich, P.A.