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Many Floridians with debt may be subjected to unfair debt collection practices. When businesses such as a hospital or credit card company stop trying to persuade Floridians to pay debts owed, they often sell the debts to debt collectors. These debt collectors often purchase delinquent accounts in bulk and for pennies on the dollar. The debt collection agencies then attempt to collect on the entire amount the people owe. For example, if a person owes one company $300 and a debt collector buys the debt for $30, it will seek the full amount of the debt.

Debt collectors, making their money in volume, may often use bad and unfair practices that amount to creditor harassment. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted to protect people from the sometimes unscrupulous ways debt collectors try to collect debts. A debt collection agency may only call between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Also, a collector cannot repeatedly harass customers by making their phones ring continuously.

Floridians who owe money are not devoid of their rights. In fact, credit harassment violates many of the fair debt collection practices outlined in the FDCPA.

Credit harassment can happen to anyone. Debt collectors may try make a profit at many Floridians’ expense, which includes violating their rights. Anyone who owes debt should look at the FDCPA to make sure their rights have not been violated. Also, Floridians may benefit from contacting a lawyer. Bankruptcy is a way to stop creditor harassment. Filing Chapter 7 wipes out majority of a person’s unsecured debts while filing Chapter 13 allows an individual to repay secured debts like a mortgage and unsecured debts, and a lawyer may assist with either of these bankruptcy filings to help an individual achieve a fresh financial start.

Source: The Florida Times-Union, “Bad calls & unfair debt collection practices,” Rusty Collins, April 10, 2013