FAIR DEBT COLLECTION (FDCPA) LAWYERS

Consumer protection laws have expanded to cover the increasing number of ways consumers can be contacted. Although a handful of debt collection agencies attempt to abide by the rules, many fail to respect the privacy of the consumers they are after. Many fail to contact the right consumer, harassing a victim unnecessarily by calling several times a day at inconvenient hours. 

To protect consumers from Miami debt collection harassment, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and attorneys like us at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi enforce the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

WHO QUALIFIES FOR PROTECTION UNDER THE FDCPA?

Whether or not you owe a debt that has been passed to collection agencies, you can receive annoying and sometimes unlawful collection calls. If abusive debt collectors are soliciting you, the FDCPA highlights consumer protections. A consumer is not just the original consumer who incurred the debt but also refers to the debtor’s spouse, parent, or guardian.

Most kinds of debts are protected from illegal debt collection practices, including obligations for personal, family, or household purposes such as credit card debts and hospital bills.

WHAT ARE THE FDCPA GUIDELINES?

Overall, the FDCPA regulates debt collectors’ actions to the extent that it concerns the following activities: 

ACQUISITION OF THE DEBTOR'S LOCATION

Collectors are required to identify themselves, their motive, and their employer (when asked) to any third party they call to gather information about a debtor. They may only contact third parties once to discover a debtor’s location, unless the information is found to be erroneous. Should the collector learn that the debtor has retained a lawyer, they must cease direct communications to the debtor and only communicate with the lawyer.  

COMMUNICATION WITH CONSUMERS

Unless the debtor grants permission, collectors may not contact a debtor if the following situations apply:

  • The time of the call is inconvenient, as understood or as defined by law
  • The debtor has retained an attorney
  • A collector may not contact the debtor’s place of employment if it is recognized that such correspondence will negatively affect the debtor

DISRESPECT OF CONSUMERS

Debt collectors may not harass, abuse, or oppress any person connected to collecting a debt. These behaviors may include: 

  • Threatening to behave violently or criminally to harm the person 
  • Using offensive language in communications
  • Sharing the person’s name in a list of consumers who supposedly refuse to pay debts, unless that publication is rendered to a consumer reporting agency
  • Repeatedly call the debtor or third parties with a purpose to harass, abuse, or annoy 

MISREPRESENTATION AND UNFAIR PRACTICES

A collector may not use any deceptive, misleading, or false representation or means in relationship with the collection of any debt. Debt collectors may not:

  • Falsely represent the character, amount, or legal status of the debt
  • Claim to be a lawyer or government official
  • Imply or say that the implication for nonpayment will result in the debtor’s arrest or confiscation of their property
  • Threaten legal action that’s not intended
  • Use fraudulent means to collect or attempt to collect the debt or expenses related to the original debt unless approved in the original contract
  • Imply a consumer reporting agency employs them 
  • Imply that collection documents are a legal process
  • Cause excessive charges for communications by concealment of the real purpose of the communication

VALIDATION OF DEBTS

Within five days following the first contact with the debtor, the collector must send a written statement that includes:

  • Amount of debt owed
  • Name of the lender
  • Payment due date

WHAT DEBT COLLECTION TACTICS ARE CONSIDERED ILLEGAL?

Some of the most common illegal tactics debt collectors utilize against you include:

  • Calling too early in the morning or too late at night (before 8 AM or after 9 PM)
  • Calling more than once a day
  • Calling more than five times per week
  • Calling over 20 times in one month
  • Calling at work when they have been asked not to
  • Using profanity to intimidate you
  • Using threats to attempt to coerce you into paying a debt
  • Telling or asking family members, friends, coworkers, and generally anyone who is not involved in your debt about your debt
  • Exaggerating the amount owed
  • Leaving prerecorded messages without your consent
  • Threatening arrest or violence
  • Suing for a time-barred debt
  • Failing to disclose their identity over the phone
  • Calling by using an automated dialing system without your consent
  • …and dozens more

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF FDCPA VIOLATIONS?

Any debt collector who does not comply with FDCPA requirements may be held accountable to the debtor for actual damages incurred as a consequence. Additionally, a debtor can pursue damages by filing a personal claim that may compensate for up to $1,000 per FDCPA violation. 

The amount of compensation awarded in damages will depend on various factors, including: 

  • The rate of recurrence and noncompliance of the collector
  • The character of the noncompliance
  • Assets of the debtor
  • The number of individuals negatively affected
  • The degree of intent with which the infringements were performed

SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION WITH SOUTH FLORIDA'S EXPERIENCED FAIR DEBT COLLECTION LAWYERS 

At The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi, we believe in aggressively protecting your rights as a consumer. If you think debt collectors have contacted you in violation of the FDCPA or TCPA, there may be legal avenues available to you. With over 200 possible violations, there is a good chance you stand to receive compensation for the harassment. Let the FDCPA lawyers at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi fight on your behalf against companies who violate the law and secure the compensation you deserve. 

If we can determine that you have a case, we will represent you for FREE. Schedule your complimentary legal consultation with an attorney specializing in Miami consumer law by completing a contact form or call (844)-JIBRAEL. 

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$1,500,000

Telephone
Consumer
Protection Act

$1,400,000

Fair Debt
Collection
Practices Act

$250,000

Employee
Harassment
 

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