The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and its Florida counterpart, the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, (“FCCPA”) require a debt collector or creditor to cease all collection efforts once a consumer acts to preserve their rights. But you have to ask first, and in writing by sending a cease and desist.
Under 15 U.S.C. Section 1692c(c) if a consumer notifies the debt collector, in writing, to cease further communications OR if the consumer notifies the debt collector, in writing, that he or she refuses to pay the debt, the debt collector cannot communicate with the debtor, with 2 exceptions.
- (a) to advise consumer collection efforts will cease; or
- (b) to advise that specific remedies, which are ordinarily invoked, may now be invoked (i.e. a lawsuit will be filed).
Invoking these consumer rights should cause further phone calls and collection letters to stop. If the creditor or debt collector continues doing either, they are likely acting in violation of our consumer laws and a consumer attorney should be consulted. Usually a consumer attorney represents consumers for FDCPA and FCCPA violations on what is called a contingency fee basis where no costs or fees are due unless and until a successful recovery is made.
In some instances, our clients have used the damages they obtained from one creditor who violates these laws to pay for a bankruptcy filing for all the other creditors. When you live paycheck and paycheck, and cannot save up the money to file bankruptcy, a predicament one of our single parent debtors found herself, this was her only way to a fresh start.
For further information, please see our Creditor Harassment page on our website or contact us below for a free consultation.