Ocala, FL Credit Card Collection Defense
At Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli, our Ocala attorneys represent people and businesses in a wide variety of civil matters, including individuals with credit card debt. Our Ocala law firm understands that at times, life happens. Unforeseen circumstances may prevent individuals from making consistent, timely payments. Consequently, large credit card corporations begin placing unreasonable pressure on such individuals to gain profit. As time passes, a small amount of credit card debt may lead to hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in debt. This may result in a ripple effect of decline in credit scores and reputation within the housing and job markets.
Credit card collection can pose a significant burden and stress on individuals, but our attorneys are well-versed on Florida credit card collection law. Award-winning Ocala attorney Kenneth M. Hesser, for example, specializes in bankruptcy and debt, and will go above and beyond to protect your legal and financial rights during credit card collection attempts.
Florida Credit Card Collection Law Protections
The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (CCPA) is a legislation that supplements the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Both pieces of legislation provide specific protections to individuals faced with credit card debt. These acts prohibit both debt collectors and creditors from collecting credit card debt in a way that is “abusive, deceptive, and/or misleading.” There are limits to what such credit card collectors and creditors can do. Failure to follow the provisions outlined in both the federal and state acts constitutes collection agency harassment, which is illegal. A credit card defense attorney can protect you from abusive credit card collection agencies throughout Florida.
Collection Agency Harassment
Collection agency harassment can be seen in many forms. Unfortunately, most everyday people are not familiar with the illegal tactics that are employed to harass and intimidate individuals into credit card payment. Subtle forms of collection agency harassment may include calls made to individuals at their places of employment, failure to adhere to discretion policies by informing third parties of credit card debt, and other tactics that may result in abuse, harassment or embarrassment. The following are specific examples of collection agency harassment in the state of Florida:
- Calls made at unreasonable hours (early mornings, late nights)
- Continuous communication after the individual has been made aware of the debt owed
- Repetitive, continuous calls (especially those made with the intent of annoyance to push individuals toward payment)
- Misrepresentation of debt and/or payment plans
- Publishing the consumer’s name on “bad credit” databases
- Contacting the consumer after bankruptcy has been filed (*Note: If you have filed for bankruptcy, it is illegal for credit collection companies to contact you for payment. Per Florida bankruptcy law, a filing of bankruptcy indicates that an individual is unable to make payments, and such privacy rights must be respected). An Ocala bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand your rights, privileges, expectations and responsibilities after filing for bankruptcy so that you may restore your financial status as quickly as possible.
- Seeking funds that are not justified
- Threatening legal action/arrest
- Reporting false information on the consumer’s credit report
- Usage of profanity
- Contacting the consumer after he/she has hired an attorney for legal representation
If you or someone that you know have experienced any form of harassment by a creditor or collection agency, know that such behavior is illegal. An Ocala lawyer at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli can guide you through taking the proper measures after experiencing such disregard for human dignity.
Being Sued For Nonpayment? Follow These Steps!
There is no law that prevents credit card companies from filing lawsuits against individuals who fail to make payments if all of the guidelines of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (CCPA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are adhered to.
However, there are defenses that can be presented after you receive a summon. If you are being sued for nonpayment, you should contact an experienced credit card defense attorney immediately. Present the attorney with specific data and information. You may wish to provide your bank statements for the full duration of the credit card, credit card statements and notices, work income and schedule, as well as proof of prior payments. You should also keep a running journal of your interactions with the creditor(s). Take note of the dates and times that you receive calls/notices, the names/title of the people that you speak to, what is stated to you and how the information is presented. This information will be extremely useful during your defense.
Credit Card Defense Attorneys in Ocala, FL
The best thing to do if you are deep in credit card debt is to contact an experienced credit card collection defense attorney. At Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli, our attorneys are knowledgeable, aggressive and empathetic to your needs. Allow our Ocala firm to advocate for you against the toughest corporations.