In a recent infographic released by the National Consumer Law Center, Florida ranked number one for the highest amount of debt collection complaints in the nation. This study was based on data compiled by the Federal Trade Commission. It found that for every 100,000 people, 476 Florida Consumers complained about debt collection methods. In other words, Florida’s complaints are almost 4 times higher than the national average (125). This is very concerning because Florida ranked 13th in the nation for the number of individuals with debt in the collection. This was 39% based on 2016 credit bureau records. Similarly, the median is 30%.
In general, the complaints are that there was no debt owed or that the amount owed in question was wrong. To date, over 250,000 debt collection complaints have been lodged with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. These complaints are typical of Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act violations. I have filed claims for these violations in both state and federal court. These illegal debt collection activities can wreak havoc on consumers who are often times being asked to “prove a negative.” Unfortunately, this often leads to consumers settling the disputed debt to make the onslaught of harassment stop. Conversely, this may have a debt buyer file suit based on this wrong information.
If you are being harassed or have a debt collection complaint, hire an attorney
Oftentimes, I take these cases on a contingency basis. If you think that a debt collector is trying to illegally collect a debt from you that you do not owe or are misrepresenting the amount of that debt, hiring an experienced consumer protection attorney can dramatically increase your odds of being treated fairly by these debt collectors.
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