Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 8, 2012 – Many people today find themselves in debt.
Some are surprised when a company they never heard of buys their debt and then pursues an aggressive collection strategy, which may include harassing phone calls or filing a lawsuit against the debtor. Debt buying is legal, but some collection practices are not.
“If you are being harassed by phone calls from debt collectors, you should know that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you,” said Brandon bankruptcy attorney O. Reginald Osenton. “Fending off debt collectors is often one of the first steps before declaring bankruptcy, and it is important to know the law, both to bring you peace of mind, and as a strategy against your creditors.”
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed in 1978 to protect consumers. The law prohibits certain methods of collecting debts, and provides debtors with an avenue to learn the facts about their debt.
The FDCPA places a number of restrictions on debt collection companies. Debt collectors may not make telephone calls for the purposes of collecting a debt before 8 am or after 9 pm local time. They may not make repeated calls for the purpose of annoying or harassing the debtor, and if told that the phone number is for the debtor’s workplace and such calls are not allowed, they cannot continue to make calls.
The law further prohibits certain types of communication by mail, because they might prove to be embarrassing to the recipient. Postcards are not allowed, and an envelope from a debt collector cannot display any message indicating that it contains a debt collection letter.
The FDCPA also makes it illegal for debt collectors to use abusive or profane language in collecting a debt, or to misrepresent either the amount of the debt or their own identity. For instance, debt collectors cannot falsely represent themselves as attorneys, or law enforcement officers, or falsely threaten a lawsuit or arrest.
“The FDCPA allows consumers to file a lawsuit against debt collectors that violate the law,” advised Osenton. “People facing unmanageable debt should speak to a qualified bankruptcy attorney to learn about their options.”
Many Florida homeowners have found filing for bankruptcy to be the best way to keep them in their home. The Osenton Law Offices have experienced attorneys who can help Floridians save their home when faced with foreclosure. To learn more or to contact a Brandon bankruptcy lawyer or to contact a Brandon foreclosure defense lawyer, visit http://www.brandonlawoffice.com.
Osenton Law Office, PA
500 Lithia Pinecrest Road
Brandon, Florida 33511
Call: (813) 654-5777