One man was sentenced to 78 months in prison recently after he was found guilty of preying on those who were behind on payments. Not only did the man’s collection agency target those who owed money, but he sometimes went after those who did not even have a real debt. In Florida, as in other states, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects those who are in debt from this type of creditor harassment.
The man was the owner of a debt collection service that schemed to make money off of their targets. Some of those targets actually owed money, and others did not, but they were all subjected to threats, false statements and other forms of harassment. The victims were coerced into giving money to the man, who used various aliases.
He also sent debt collectors who called the debtors and claimed to be law enforcement and government officials. They would threaten that they were on the way to serve papers to the victim unless a payment was made. For those who were in bankruptcy, the man would claim to be a representative of their attorney. In court, he stated that his drug addiction was the motivation behind the schemes, as had been using crack cocaine, heroin and cocaine for 10 years.
Anyone in Florida who is facing foreclosure, or is being contacted by a debt collector, does not have to be subjected to such disturbing tactics. While it is legal to try and collect a debt, it is not legal to threaten anyone or to seek out those who don’t even owe a debt. A bankruptcy attorney can advise these clients on the best options that they have to stop foreclosure, and end creditor harassment.
Source: buffalonews.com, “Abusive debt collector gets 78 months in prison“, Phil Fairbanks, May 31, 2017