The Law Office of William J. Roe, P.A. is dedicated to protecting you from creditors and third-party debt collection agencies that, in an attempt to collect monies you owe (or that they say you owe), are harassing you and making your life miserable. Although debtors are no longer considered criminals and debtors prisons no longer exist, it is easy to feel targeted and trapped by third-party debt collectors who constantly interrupt you as you go about your daily routine and as you try to relax with loved ones at home. While letters or emails can be annoying and, at times frightening, telephone calls are a visceral attack on your personal space, especially in these days of cell phones when creditors can reach you wherever you are.
It’s important to know that, whether you are in debt due to medical bills, a lost job or financial recklessness, you don’t deserve to be abused. There are federal and Florida laws designed to protect your right to be free from harassment and intimidation. The informed, capable attorneys at the Law Office of William J. Roe know precisely how to ensure that the barrage of distressing phone calls stops. We may even be able to win a lawsuit against your adversaries for their illegal behavior.
In addition to The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA), your rights are protected by another federal law, the TCPA Act (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). At William J. Roe we have a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of all of these statutes. When you come to us with a creditor telephone harassment complaint, we will listen carefully to your case and evaluate whether, and to what degree, your rights are being violated. Once we take your case, you can be sure you are being represented by a premium Florida Debt Collection Harassment attorney. We will fight diligently for justice for you and your family and always treat you with kindness and respect.
What the FDCPA Did To Help
Before the TCPA added even more clout to federal legislation concerning debt collection, the FDCPA, initially enacted in 1978, was designed to eliminate deceptive and unfair debt collection practices, prohibiting, among other things:
- Using obscene or profane language
- Threatening violence, arrest or other harm
- Publishing lists of people who have not paid their debts
- Calling a debtor’s place of employment if prohibited by his/her employer
- Misrepresenting the caller’s identity
- Calling during the night (between 9 p.m and 8 a.m.)
- Failing to inform the debtor of the details of the debt (“mini-Miranda”)
- Contacting third parties (e.g. relatives, neighbors, friends) about the debt
Most significantly, If collectors have been informed that you have legal representation, they must contact your attorney (not you) unless you have given them permission to contact you directly or they have been unable to reach your attorney. Since at William Roe we return all calls promptly, once we’re on the case, harassing phone calls will stop or we will litigate.
If a creditor or debt collector violates any debt collection law and causes you and your family harm, our attorneys will file a lawsuit on your behalf. You may be awarded statutory damages and, possibly, compensation for emotional harm as well as attorneys fees and court costs. If have experienced egregious harassment, such as threats of violence, you may also be awarded punitive damages.
Additional Legal Protections Under the TCPA
Laws have to be altered as technology improves. A good example is the TCPA stipulation that offers consumers specific protection from debt collector harassment through automated robocalls. These calls, which came into use in 2008, have pre-recorded messages and, since they are not being made by actual people, can go on relentlessly without callers becoming bored, tired, or troubled by their consciences. The law states that the only way a debt-collecting agency can send you a robocall is if you have given your consent to such an action — not a likely scenario.
Why Debt Collectors Use Robocalls
Unfortunately, the same advancing technology that has made robocalls and pre-recorded messages (as well as ringless voicemail, and junk text messages) possible, has made them efficient and inexpensive. This technology has given debt collection agencies the ability to generate very large numbers of calls more or less perpetually. The number of such credit-collection calls has, therefore, increased exponentially over the last decade, resulting not only in more consumer harassment, but in more financial fraud and identity theft. Even more disturbing, collection agencies are now able to display fake caller ID (known as “spoofing”), tricking those being called to answer.
The Additional Protection Provided by the TCPA
With the enactment of the TCPA, consumers have new legal clauses to save them from specific varieties of unwanted calls, such as auto-dialed calls and prerecorded messages to cell phones and landlines made without consumer consent. Additionally beneficial, the TCPA applies to text messages as well as telephone calls. TCPA lawsuits are effective at stopping unwanted illegal calls and recovering monies for consumers who have received illegal calls.
Proving You Have Been Harassed by Debt Collectors
Once William J. Roe takes you on as a client, we are fully committed to serving your interests. We suggest that you keep a record of harassing calls. Taking screenshots of your phone with harassing phone numbers in view can also be helpful. Depending on your particular circumstances, we may file your lawsuit in state or federal court.
Damages We Can Help You Obtain
At William J. Roe, we know that your time and patience are limited, and that your peace of mind is a valuable commodity. We are ready to fight aggressively to stop the debt collection calls that are making your life chaotic. Moreover, we may be able to recover $500 for each illegal call made to your home and cell phone as well as money to pay your attorneys’ fees. If we can prove that the defendant purposefully violated the TCPA, we may even be able to have the fines tripled to $1500 each. It is difficult enough being in debt without being tormented. Contact the Law Office of William J. Roe as soon as you can. It is entirely possible that we may be able to take your case on a contingency basis, meaning you will pay us anything until we win you damages.