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Handling debt collectors in Florida around the holidays

When people in Florida owe old debts, they may be targeted by aggressive debt collectors. Debt collectors must follow the guidelines of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, including not calling at times that are inconvenient. Inconvenient times include calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. There is no specific prohibition against debt collectors calling on the holidays, however.

When a debt collector violates the FDCPA, debtors are able to sue them and to collect damages. The law provides that people can tell debt collectors in writing not to contact them anymore, and the debt collectors have to abide by the request. However, telling debt collectors not to contact a person does not mean that the person's debt disappears. Debt collectors may turn to more aggressive debt collection measures such as filing a civil lawsuit in order to recover the debt.

If a debt collector wins a judgment against a debtor, the collector may then file a request for wage garnishment. People may be able to call creditors before a debt is referred to a debt collector in order to make payment arrangements. They may also try to settle with the debt collector. If doing so is not financially possible, the person may be able to stop all collection efforts by filing a petition for bankruptcy.

When a person files a petition for bankruptcy, the court issues an injunction to all of the creditors preventing them from continuing any further collection attempts. If a person files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he or she may pay far less than what he or she owes for most unsecured debts while concentrating on paying off priority debts over a repayment plan that lasts from three to five years. This may allow the debtor to have a fresh financial start so that he or she can move forward with his or her life.

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