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Attention Florida residents with debt: You have collection rights

Going into 2013 many Florida residents have no doubt made getting out of debt one of their top New Year's resolutions. Many of these residents already have bill collectors calling their homes, and many others have the threat of wage garnishment hanging over their heads.

When it comes to bill collectors, the first thing to keep in mind is that even though a person may owe money, he or she still has rights when it comes to dealing with collectors.

Part of the issue with debt collectors is that many have their own financial interests in mind when trying to collect on a debt. This means that some may end up taking it a step too far when contacting a Florida resident who owes money. Maybe the collector calls non-stop or late into the evening? Or maybe the collector has made threats or used obscene language as a way to try and intimidate a person into paying? Either way, these types of practices are not allowed.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was created as a way to set debt collection rules. For example, collectors can typically only call a person between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. The collector can also not repeatedly call a person.

Threats and obscene language are also not allowed, nor are collectors allowed to lie or claim to have sent legal forms that have not actually been sent.

Outside of understanding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, those Florida residents with debt should also start to explore what different debt relief options are available. These can help to ensure a person meets their New Year's resolution and get out of debt once and for all.

Source: Local 10, "Is it legal for a debt collector to call you at work?" Jan. 7, 2013

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