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Archive for the ‘Florida Debt Collection’ Category

How long can a company try to collect a debt?

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 | Florida Debt Collection | No Comments

Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?

If you have some negative debt reflected on your credit reports, you may be wondering how long debt collectors can try to collect on that debt, and how long that debt can affect your credit. The simple answer is, it depends. The full answer requires some explanation…let’s start with collections.

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Florida Debt Collection Laws

Sunday, August 12th, 2018 | Florida Debt Collection | No Comments

Florida Debt Collection Laws – From The Cash Flow Group

Florida Debt Collection

 

Florida collections agencies have a code of conduct that they must follow. This is so they can do their work in a legal manner. Outlined below are some worrisome aspects of debt collections. These are specific for residents in the state of Florida.

Statutes of Limitations

What is a statue of limitation? It is the period of time following the last payment made on an account. During this a creditor can be successful in suing for payment. Once the statute of limitations has expired the debtor has an absolute defense in the case of a lawsuit. In other words, you no longer have to pay.
 
What is the statute of limitations in Florida? It is five years for written agreements and four years for oral agreements. Statutes of limitation on debts do not affect how long they are now listed on your credit report.

Contact from Collectors

 
Collectors keep “bad” debts from original creditors. This happens either by debts assigned to them or (usually) by buying them. Your creditor is not obligated to inform you when your account transfers to an agency. Sometimes the first clue that you get is a most unexpected phone call or letter.
 
When an agency contacts for you the first time, they are now required to send you a written notice in the mail. This needs to be within five days of initial contact. The notice must include three important pieces of information:
 
(1) the total amount of money that you owe
(2) the name of your original creditor
(3) the actions that you should take if you wish to dispute the debt.
 
Collectors may contact you about your debt by phone, mail, fax, or telegram, both at your home and at work. State your wishes in writing if there is a specific type of contact that you would like stopped or altered. Once you have done this, send to collections agency via mail.
 
For example, what if your employer disapproves of calls to you at work? You should tell them this and that you would like such calls to stop. If the approved calling hours (8am-9pm) are inconvenient for you, tell them to call another time.
 
If you have representation by an attorney, then collectors should contact your attorney.

Disputing the Debt

If a collector contacts you about a payment you believe is now paid, or you do not recognize, dispute it! But, you must dispute the debt within 30 days of initial contact with the collections agency.
 
No matter what message you want to get across to a debt collections company, you should do it in writing. With very important correspondence, send your mail certified and with a delivery receipt. Documentation is essential. This is especially if there is a difference in opinion on your liability for the debt.
 
Do not send original documents to collectors. Do send copies of documents that support your position. Once you make your dispute, the collections agency may not contact you again. They may not contact you without providing their proof of the debt. In the event that the debt you are being contacted about is someone else’s, they may ask for proof of your identity.
 
What happens when you file a dispute on your debt? The agency must report this dispute to the consumer agencies if they choose to report your debt. It’s either all or nothing when it comes to reporting.

What Collectors Must Do:

Debt collectors who contact individuals in Florida must register with the state. This includes those debt collectors whose location is elsewhere. They must be completely honest with you about their identity and their purpose. Any collector who calls you must tell you their name and the name of the collections agency.
 
Collectors must also protect your privacy. This is according to state and/or federal law, in the following ways:
 
• They cannot disclose any information about your debt. This information could harm your reputation to anyone outside of your family. • Publishing or contributing to any type of “deadbeat list” or “black list” is illegal. • Mail sent by the collections agency cannot contain any immediately visible information. This information could embarrass the debtor or reveal the debtor’s situation. • They cannot reveal any information about your financial situation. They can also not reveal their collections efforts to your employer. The cannot reveal without first obtaining a court order (such as for wage garnishment).

What Collectors Must Not Do

In addition to their responsibilities as outlined above, debt collectors also are obligated to refrain from any type of harassment, abuse, or deliberate misleading of debtors.

Collector’s obligation is to also refrain from any type of harassment, or abuse. Also any deliberate misleading of debtors.
 
The following types of harassment / abuse are illegal:
  • Use of obscene or profane language
  • Calling a debtor or his or her family with the intent to annoy or irritate
  • Threats of violence against a debtor or his or her property
  • Threats to advertise one’s debt
  • Threats to take any action that is illegal
The following methods of misrepresentation are illegal:
  • Leading a debtor to believe that the collector is:
    • An Attorney
    • A law enforcement official
    • From a government agency
    • From a credit bureau
    • Approved by the government.
  • Using stationary or forms that look like legal documents or official government documents
  • Implying that the debtor has committed a crime or is going to jail
  • Attempting to collect a debt that is incorrect
  • Hiding one’s identity so that a debtor is now fooled into paying for a collect call or telegram

Violations of the Law

If you believe that a collector has broken in law while trying to collect on your debt, then you should contact the state attorney general. You also may want to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the agency charged with overseeing the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If a collections agency has broken the law in your case, then you might successfully file a lawsuit against them. Do you believe that a collector has broken in law while trying to collect on your debt? Contact the state attorney general. You also may want to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. This agency is in charge of overseeing the federal FDCPA. Has a collections agency broken the law in your case? You might be able to be successful in filing a lawsuit against them.

 

The Cash Flow Group

Fort Lauderdale / Miami, FL

Toll Free: 800.226.2006

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The Cash Flow Group, Inc

1126 S Federal Hwy

Suite 1006

Ft Lauderdale, FL 33316

Email: info@thecashflowgroup.com

800.226.2006 Toll Free

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