The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi recently won a lawsuit for a Florida man after a debt collector violated the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The trial was about collection jurisdiction and who can collect a debt in the state of Florida without a collections license.
After a tough fight with two motions for summary judgment, our client ultimately won the case and was awarded $40,000 inclusive of damages, attorney fees, and costs. The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi was beside him the entire time and helped him win his fight against a harassing debt collector.
Griffen Lee vs. Charles G. McCarthy, Jr.
Griffen Lee (plaintiff) contended that he did not owe Illinois attorney Charles G. McCarthy, Jr. (defendant) $448.50 because he was not authorized to collect debt in the state of Florida. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant was not registered as a consumer collection agency in Florida, meaning he violated §559.553 of the Florida Statutes and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).
Florida Statute §559.533 specifically states that a person may not engage in business in Florida as a consumer collection agency without first registering with Florida and maintaining a valid registration.
This same statute exempts certain persons from the registration requirements. It states that there is an exemption of registration for “[a]n out-of-state consumer debt collector who does not solicit debt accounts for collection from credit grantors who have a business presence in this state.” The defendant claimed that he fell under this exemption and therefore should not be penalized.
The court disagreed with the defendant’s claim. The defendant was hired to collect the debt on behalf of Boca Raton Gastroenterology, a Florida business. The exemption under the Florida statute solely refers to debt collectors that originate from out-of-state and solicit debt from a creditor outside of Florida. The court ultimately ruled that the defendant was not an out-of-state debt collector and thus not entitled to the statute’s exemption.
With the help of his attorneys, Griffen Lee’s summary of judgment was granted. He was awarded $40,000 inclusive of damages, attorney fees, and costs.
The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA protects consumers from harassing behavior from debt collectors across the nation. The federal statute outlines hundreds of rules and regulations that debt collectors must follow when pursuing the unpaid debt.
When a debt collector violates the FDCPA, debtors may file a lawsuit against the debt collector and seek compensatory damages. Under the FDCPA you are entitled to up to $1,000 for harassment by debt collectors and actual damages which can be significant.
The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi works tirelessly to fight for the rights of Florida consumers. We have litigated over hundreds and hundreds of consumer cases in federal and state court and are eager to help you today. Contact our office at 1-844-JIBRAEL to learn more about us. If we determine you have an FDCPA violation claim, we will represent you for free.