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The Florida debt collection laws govern when and how should debt collectors acquire outstanding debts from consumers. These laws also state where the creditors can file legal action again the debtor if bills are not paid. According to federal law, debt collectors must sue a debtor where he lives or in the state where the debtor accumulated the debt.
Credit Card Debt Settlement
In a credit card debt settlement procedure, the consumer negotiates with the creditors to settle his debts by paying an amount less than the owed amount. In Florida, credit card debt settlement is a valid option for consumers who owe an enormous amount of debt. However, there are a few downsides of a debt settlement. There may be an adverse affect on the debtor’ credit score and further he/ she runs the risk of receiving a lawsuit from the creditor. Though all states follow federal laws that protect debtors from harassment by the collectors, Florida has extended those restraints to actual creditors, and has further provided another coat for debtor’ defense.
Statute of Limitations
Like other states, Florida also has laws, which administer the time limits within which either party may file civil lawsuit regarding past agreements. In Florida, the statute of limitations on debt is five years, according to state statute 95.11. After the completion of the term, a creditor cannot sue a debtor for nonpayment of credit card bills. After this period, these debts are considered as “time-barred debt”.
Though debt collectors cannot threaten debtors with proceedings on a time-barred debt, the debtor may without knowing reset the clock on the statute of limitations by acknowledging any old debt.
In a few cases, some state courts may proclaim a verdict that may take authority over the statute of limitations. This may make the time limit either earlier or later than the statue of limitations. Therefore, in such a case, the court will ignore the statue of limitations and enforce its own judgment.
Homestead and Garnishment Laws
Florida state laws provide great protection for debtor’ home and wages and better negotiation options with their creditors. If a debtor is not protected, the court may order a few steps to pay off the debt. The court may order your employer to set aside wages until the debt is paid. This is known as wage garnishment. Again, the Florida courts scarcely order seizing of your assets like bank accounts.
In Florida, the debtors also get some protection from having the court ordering the sale of a property if there is a lien. With some protections, the homes of the debtors of Florida are safe. However, they should consult an attorney to know whether they qualify for such exemptions or not.