The world of debt collection in Florida, and the United States in general, is somewhat opaque. In the U.S., thousands of companies label themselves as debt collectors
Their business model relies on buying up debt for pennies on the dollar from creditors who believe there is little chance a debt will be collected. They purchase these debts from various institutions, including banks, payday loan companies, and auto loan institutions. They’ll even purchase medical debt from hospitals.
The debt collectors then attempt to collect the debt by contacting those who owe money. However, sometimes, those debt collectors cross the line of what is appropriate and legal when it comes to collecting, often going so far as to harass people into paying.
In 1978, Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In 2014, Florida passed its own law that took what the FDCPA had enacted and enhanced its consumer protections for Florida residents. This law is the Florida Consumer Collection Protection Act (FCCPA).
Read on as we discuss what the FCCPA does for Florida residents, the protections it offers, and how it differs from the FDCPA. We’ll also dive into how credit repair companies in Miami can help you get erroneous information removed from your credit report so that you can get approved for the loans you need.
FDCPA Versus FCCPA
The primary difference between the FDCPA and Florida's FCCPA is that the FDCPA is a federal law. This means it applies everywhere in the U.S., regardless of where the debt collection company or the consumer that owes the debt is based. The FCCPA only applies to Florida consumers.
Both the FDCPA and the FCCPA cover these same consumer protections:
Debt collectors are prohibited from harassing debtors. Harassment has a wide definition, but typically this involves calling the debtor multiple times per day, repeatedly contacting them while they are at work, or sending postcards or letters that attempt to shame the debtor by implying on the outside of the envelope that they owe a debt.
Debt collectors are prohibited from threatening a debtor verbally or physically. This includes threatening to harm the debtor or threatening to seize property that is not eligible to be seized under debt collection laws.
Debt collectors are forbidden from claiming to be someone they are not, such as law enforcement agencies, lawyers, or government officials. They are also forbidden from sending letters or communication that appear as though they came from the government, law enforcement, or attorneys.
Outside of these similar prohibitions, the FCCPA adds significant protections that go beyond those of the FDCPA, including:
An extended statute of limitations to bring claims against debt collectors, from one year under the FDCPA to two years under the FCCPA
Under the FDCPA, consumers are only allowed to collect $1,000 plus attorney fees, and certain statutory damages—the FCCPA allows an additional award of punitive damages and the amount is unlimited.
Perhaps the biggest difference is that the FDCPA only regulates those companies that are registered as debt collectors. The FCCPA applies to anyone who violates the law, whether or not they are registered as a debt collector.
Credit Repair for Erasing Credit Report Inaccuracies
You may have been contacted by a debt collection agency, such as ERC debt collections, that is attempting to collect a debt you do not owe or have already paid. In instances such as these, there is likely a collection account on your credit report that is hurting your credit score. Credit repair companies such as The Phenix Group can assist in getting these inaccuracies removed–we can help you file lengthy paperwork with the credit reporting agencies and debt collectors so you can obtain a good credit score in Florida.
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