The FCCPA has a 2 year statute of limitations which gives one more year of potential actions and it allows for more actions in violation of the statute. It is intended to be a state version of the FDCPA, and explicitly defers to interpretations of the FDCPA.
Any lawyer that does not see the potential for (a) helping their clients and (b) making a lot of money doing it is missing the train, which has already left the station. I have not emphasized this remedy because for the most part, the awards have been minimal. But there are an increasing number of cases in which the awards have been significant. Make sure you know what you are talking about, because there is a provision that says the Defendants are entitled to fees if the action was without merit.
The items in bold were my emphasis because these items in my opinion are the most common and constant in the everlasting quest for as many foreclosure judgments as the banks can muster.
(1) A debtor may bring a civil action against a person violating the provisions of s. 559.72 in the county in which the alleged violator resides or has his or her principal place of business or in the county where the alleged violation occurred.
(2) Any person who fails to comply with any provision of s. 559.72 is liable for actual damages and for additional statutory damages as the court may allow, but not exceeding $1,000, together with court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the plaintiff. In determining the defendant’s liability for any additional statutory damages, the court shall consider the nature of the defendant’s noncompliance with s. 559.72, the frequency and persistence of the noncompliance, and the extent to which the noncompliance was intentional. In a class action lawsuit brought under this section, the court may award additional statutory damages of up to $1,000 for each named plaintiff and an aggregate award of additional statutory damages up to the lesser of $500,000 or 1 percent of the defendant’s net worth for all remaining class members; however, the aggregate award may not provide an individual class member with additional statutory damages in excess of $1,000. The court may award punitive damages and may provide such equitable relief as it deems necessary or proper, including enjoining the defendant from further violations of this part. If the court finds that the suit fails to raise a justiciable issue of law or fact, the plaintiff is liable for court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the defendant.
(3) A person may not be held liable in any action brought under this section if the person shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error, notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid such error.
(4) An action brought under this section must be commenced within 2 years after the date the alleged violation occurred.
(5) In applying and construing this section, due consideration and great weight shall be given to the interpretations of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts relating to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
History.—s. 23, ch. 72-81; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 9, ch. 78-95; ss. 3, 6, ch. 81-314; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 3, ch. 83-265; ss. 10, 13, ch. 93-275; s. 820, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 2001-206; s. 9, ch. 2010-127.
559.552 Relationship of state and federal law.—Nothing in this part shall be construed to limit or restrict the continued applicability of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to consumer collection practices in this state. This part is in addition to the requirements and regulations of the federal act. In the event of any inconsistency between any provision of this part and any provision of the federal act, the provision which is more protective of the consumer or debtor shall prevail.
History.—ss. 5, 13, ch. 93-275.
559.715 Assignment of consumer debts.—This part does not prohibit the assignment, by a creditor, of the right to bill and collect a consumer debt. However, the assignee must give the debtor written notice of such assignment as soon as practical after the assignment is made, but at least 30 days before any action to collect the debt. The assignee is a real party in interestand may bring an action to collect a debt that has been assigned to the assignee and is in default.
Filed under: foreclosure