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WHO IS A "DEBT COLLECTOR" UNDER FLORIDA LAW? - Consumer Rights Article

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Under Florida law, and more specifically the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”), a “debt collector” is defined as: “any person who uses any instrumentality of commerce within this state, . . . in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another. The term ’debt collector’ includes any creditor who, in the process of collecting her or his own debts, uses any name other than her or his own which would indicate that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such debts.” 

So, the FCCPA applies to any person or persons, collecting his/her own debts. Under that broad definition, the FCCPA would apply to a law firm attempting to collect its own fees, as well as the employees engaged in such collection activity on the law firm‘s behalf. 

Robin Morgan retained the law firm of Arnold & Wilkins. Morgan did not pay the law firm and they sued her is Small Claims Court. She counterclaimed against the law firm, as well as the attorney and his assistant, individually, for violations of the FCCPA. The law firm and the individuals moved to dismiss the counterclaim because they were not “debt collectors” under the FCCPA. Morgan responded to the motion to dismiss by arguing that the FCCPA applies not only to a collection agency, but to any party seeking to collect a consumer debt. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss finding that the FCCPA only apples to debt collectors not creditors collecting their own accounts as Morgan has alleged counter-defendants were doing. 

On appeal, the law firm and the individual counterdefendants conceded that the trial court was in error when it ruled that FCCPA pertains only to debt collectors, however, they argued that that the trial court reached the right result for the wrong reason because Morgan’s debt was not a debt within the purview of the FCCPA since the debt did not flow from an extension of credit. The appellate court reversed holding that that the obligation to the law firm was a debt covered by the FCCPA. Morgan v. Wilkins, 74 So. 3d 179 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011).

 

Contact Consumer Rights Lawyer, N. James Turner at The Debt Relief Law Center by Calling Toll Free 1.888.877.5103 to Schedule a Confidential and FREE Legal Consultation.

Orlando Consumer Rights Lawyer, N. James Turner proudly serves the Debt Collection Harassment, Debt Collection Defense, Bankruptcy, Student Loan Dispute, Credit Repair, and other Consumer Law legal needs for residents of Orlando, Kissimmee, Orange County, Osceola County, Seminole County, and throughout Central Florida.

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DEBT COLLECTION DEFENSE

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If you are dealing with a situation in which you, as a consumer, are not being dealt with properly in a consumer related transaction or circumstance, find out what your legal rights are. Seek the advice and representation of experienced legal counsel.

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CREDIT CARD DEBT DEFENSE

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Every day those with credit card debt are harassed by a number of collection agencies that commonly use unethical and sometimes illegal means to attempt to collect debt.

 

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STUDENT LOANS

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Higher education is an investment in one's future; and it can be expensive. If you are being harassed by student loan creditors or debt collection agencies, find out what your legal rights and options are. Make sure your are informed and your rights ar protected.

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COLLECTIONS HARASSMENT

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Being harassed by creditors or debt collectors is illegal. There are both State and Federal Debt Collection Laws that exist to protect the consumer from harassment and other illegal activities by collection agencies, their subsidiaries, and third parties.

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We will investigate your credit report error and make sure that the error is corrected. We willl dispute the item, insisting that the information furnisher produces evidence substantiating the error or removes the item.

 

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Bankruptcy is a mechanism of the Federal Government to allow debtors (people who owe money) to restart their lives when they have gotten into a financial dilemma where there is no reasonable way to repay the debts they owe.

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Orlando Consumer Rights Lawyer - watch these informative videos about consumer rights in the financial services industry.

 

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We answer some of the most common Debt Collection Harassment Question that we hear on a daily basis.

 

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Si usted es una de las millones de personas acosadas por un cobrador de deudas desaprensivo, la ley está de su parte. El Acta de Prácticas Justas Para el Cobro de Deudas, regula las prácticas de los cobradores de deudas y les impone sanciones que rompen las reglas.

 

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STARTED SINCE 1990

Orlando Consumer Rights Lawyer - providing aggressive and affordable professional services to consumers who have been victims of debt collection harassment by debt collectors and Credit Repair, to residents in Orlando, Kissimmee, and throughout the Central Florida Area.

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