DEBT DEFENSE

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects debtors from harassment by debt collectors. If a collector has violated the FDCPA, you can sue the collector in court. The FDCPA provides a range of damages for successful FDCPA lawsuits, including monetary damages, attorney fees, and more. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, FDCPA, dictates how debt collectors can act when collecting a debt from you. These are things a debt collector can’t do.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The federal government passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1978 primarily to curb abusive debt collection practices.


The FDCPA provides consumers with several protections such as the ability to sue a debt collector who violates the FDCPA in order to recover for actual and punitive damages as a result of violating the law. Additionally, the law provides that the consumer’s attorney’s fees will be paid by the debt collector. Under the FDCPA, the following actions are punishable, either over the phone or through the mail:

  • Harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact

  • Continue collection efforts after you write them to stop

  • Telephone calls made from an auto-dialer

  • Continue collecting after you write to tell them you are represented by an attorney

  • Use any false or misleading statements when attempting to collect on a debt

  • Represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau

Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The federal government passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991. The TCPA governs the conduct of telemarketers as well as certain debt collectors. Unless a consumer has previously provided their express consent, the TCPA restricts the use of automatic telephone dialing systems (also known as “auto-dialers”, “robo calls”, or “predictive dialers”), artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, as well as the use of fax machines to send unsolicited advertisements. However, keep this in mind: in order for a debt collector or telemarketer to maintain a volume operation, they must make thousands of telephone calls each day. So, if you are getting calls from a debt collector or telemarketer on your cellular telephone, there is a very good chance that they are violating the TCPA. In accordance with the TCPA, consumers are entitled to collect damages ranging from $500 to $1,500 for each unlawful call, fax, or text message. Under the TCPA, the following actions are punishable:

  • Debt collector and/or telemarketing calls made to your cellular telephone, which were initiated by the use of an auto dialer

  • Debt collector and/or telemarketing calls made to your cellular telephone, which were initiated by an artificial voice or a prerecorded message

  • Sending unwanted fax messages, which solicit or promote a business (i.e. junk faxes); or sending unwanted business advertisements via text messages to your cellular telephone

* Take note that a consumer is unlikely to know whether a call to his or her cellular telephone was initiated using an auto dialer since they often sound like any other phone call. A call initiated using an auto dialer may, in fact, have a live person on the other end.

Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act

The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA), like the FDCPA, protects consumers from certain debt collection actions. However, unlike the FDCPA, the FCCPA is also applicable to certain creditors. Remember: being in debt does not give a debt collector the right to violate the law or your personal dignity. In accordance with the FCCPA, each unlawful act by a debt collector or harrassing creditor are punishable upto $1,000. Under the FCCPA, the following actions are punishable:

  • The use of profanity or vulgar language

  • Threats of force or violence

  • Pretending to be a law enforcement officer or an employee of any government agency

  • Informing the consumer’s employer of his debt

  • Continual communication with the debtor so as to constitute harassment; or attempting to enforce a debt when the creditor or debt collector knows that the debt is not legitimate