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KJLLAW, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 1527
Experience:  Attorney at Law Office of KJLLAW
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In 2007 I purchased a auto in florida. Due to economy at the

Customer Question

In 2007 I purchased a auto in florida. Due to economy at the time, I lost all income. The auto was repo'd in 2008. I received a call October 2016 from someone stating they were taking me to court if I did not pay the loan off. I understand the statute of limitations in florida is 5 years. that being said, can I be taken to court by someone who apparently took over this bad debt and when is it considered harrassment for them to continue to call me?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  KJLLAW replied 10 months ago.

Good morning. How much did you owe on the loan at the time of the repossession?

Expert:  KJLLAW replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site, the answers are for general information. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Under Florida law if at the time of default (when you stopped paying and they took the car, if the unpaid balance was less than $2,000, the car lender, and any subsequent collection companies, cannot try to collect a deficiency from you. That’s under Florida Statutes Annotated §516.31(3).

If it was over $2,000, then the statute of limitation for filing an action in court is 5 years.
The limitations period begins from the date the last element of the cause of action occurred, Keep in mind that the limitation period is tolled (stopped) for any period during which the debtor is absent from the state and each time a voluntary payment is made on a debt arising from a written instrument. So if you made any agreements either in writing or verbally the SOL starts ticking again.

If a collection company or a debt buyer that has taken over the debt, files a lawsuit on a debt where the statute of limitations has expired, you can have the case dismissed, and you can counterclaim for a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA), which protects you from abusive debt collection practices. The FCCPA prohibits creditors and debt collectors from engaging in abusive, harassing, unfair, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading practices. (If the debt is still valid it can remain on your credit report for 7 years from the date of the default).

If the debt collector is engaging in fraudulent or harassing behavior then you have a private cause of action under the FCCPA. This means that you can file a lawsuit in Florida against the collector or creditor. If you win, the court may award to you, actual damages, statutory damages not to exceed $1,000, possible punitive damages (at the judge's discretion), and attorney’s fees and court costs.

You can also file a complaint with Florida's Office of Financial Regulation. Here is the link to their complaint form.

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Expert:  KJLLAW replied 10 months ago.

if you have any other questions, just ask.