Collection After Notice of Representation
Once a creditor or debt collector has been advised that you have hired a
LeavenLaw attorney for representation regarding your debt owed to or collected by
them, they cannot continue to communicate directly with you in an attempt
to collect the debt. Instead, they must communicate with our law firm.
If they do not, and they continue to send you credit card statements,
continue to make debt collection calls, turn you over to a third-party
debt collector who collects from you on the creditor's behalf, or
send you collection letters, they have violated both the federal Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") and the Florida Consumer
Collection Practices Act ("FCCPA"). If the creditor or debt
collector calls your cellular telephone using an automatic telephone dialing
system, you could be entitled to up to $1,500.00 per call under the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA").
If you do continue to get collection calls or letters, please take note,
save the letters and voicemails, and call our office for free assistance.
Credit Card Statements
Many times, after you have notified your credit card company that you have
hired a LeavenLaw attorney for representation regarding that credit card
(or your debts, generally) they will continue to send you credit card
statements or periodic billing statements. In these credit card statements,
the creditor will tell you:
- Past Due Balance
- Please call to make payment arrangements
- Please call our office to discuss a payment plan or payment alternatives
- Continued late payments could affect your credit score
- We will report your account as past due if payment is not received immediately
Any words contained in a periodic billing statement that expressly command
(or ask you) to pay the debt are likely violations of the FCCPA, assuming
the creditor knew you were represented by an attorney with regard to the
debt. This rule of law was established by the attorneys of LeavenLaw in
the seminal case of
Kelliher v. Target National, litigated and decided here in the federal courts. If you get such statements,
please, call our office and ask to speak to a paralegal or attorney in
the Consumer Law / Creditor Harassment Department. We will be happy to
analyze your case for free.
If you get debt collection calls after you (or our office) has provided
the creditor or their debt collector notice of our office's representation
of you regarding the debt, they have violated the law. As such, you could
be entitled to up to $1,000.00 damages under each the FCCPA and the FDCPA,
and possibly up to $1,500.00 per call under the TCPA--if they are auto-dialing
your cellular telephone or leaving automated messages. If you continued
to get debt collection calls, take good notes using the
LeavenLaw Communications Log and call our office to discuss your rights.
Turn-over to Debt Collector
Once a creditor has been notified a LeavenLaw attorney represents you with
regard to your debts, they cannot try to get around the law simply by
turning the debt over to a debt collector for further collection directly
from you. Such "willful blindness" is not allowed. Instead,
the creditor has a duty to inform the debt collector that you have hired
our office and provide their debt collector notice of our representation.
If they do not provide the debt collector such information and the debt
collector attempts to collect the debt from you rather than contacting
our office, the creditor has certainly violated the FCCPA. And a good
argument exists that the debt collector violated both the FCCPA and the
FDCPA. Our law firm has litigated this very issue, and has obtained a
critical, published decision by the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division:
Kelliher v. Target National Bank.
If you continue to get collection communications -- calls or letters --
from a debt collector after you told the creditor of our representation,
you have a case. Save the letters, gather your collection call notes and call us.
Once a debt is past due, the reality is, you will in all likelihood receive
collection letters from third-party debt collectors. If the creditor,
however, has been notified of your representation regarding the debt owed
to that creditor, they cannot just turn it over to a debt collector for
continued collection. Your creditor must let their debt collector know
that you hired a LeavenLaw attorney for representation regarding the debt
and provide them with our contact information for further debt collection
communication. If your creditor does not, and the debt collector attempts
to collect the debt directly from you, the creditor and perhaps the debt
collector, have violated with FCCPA and the FDCPA, respectively. Please
call us to discuss your case if anyone attempts to collect a debt from
you after you have advised them of notice of our representation.
The LeavenLaw Consumer Law & Creditor Harassment Department offers
free consultations and case reviews to help individuals in tough, financials
straights. Call today to discuss your case. (727) 346.6050.