Miami, FL asked in Collections for Florida

Q: Scam email threats me over debt collection and go court and lose my job and try arrest me?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Answered
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Unscrupulous debt collectors have unlawfully used threats of incarceration for many years, trying to scare debtors into sending them some money--any amount--which should not EVER be done before talking to a Florida lawyer.

Barry W. Kaufman agrees with this answer

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
Answered
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I am going to guess what you are asking. Here are the facts.

A valid, bona fide debt collector is not going to threaten you with arrest for not paying your bills unless the debt collector is really stupid, because threatening you is against state and federal law. In fact, a debt collector cannot threaten you with a lawsuit, or the loss of your job. (A debt collector can say that he is, or may, going to refer your file to an attorney because that's as far as a debt collector can go). You cannot be arrested for not paying a bill because failure to pay a bill is not a crime.

Scammers may try to convince you that they are going to do all those things, because scammers are low-lifes who do not care about the law. They prey on people and hope someone is dumb enough to send them money.

Bona fide debt collectors don't need to play games. In fact, within 5 days of a debt collector calling you, the collector must send you a notice under federal law. Scammers don't do that.

Now then, many consumer lending companies (credit card issuers, banks, automobile finance companies, etc) will sell their debt to a debt buyer. If your debt is sold to a debt buyer, the debt buyer must follow all the rules I mentioned above, but you probably will not recognize the name. This does not mean that anyone is trying to scam you.

Lastly, some scammers, but not all, use callers from overseas. These guys have a tough time with English but they always have an common American name (like John or Charles). They always ask you for information - NEVER give them personal information. You have to be on your toes.

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