In Kahmeyer v. Federal Credit Corporation, the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, Florida released an opinion that has given new life to the argument that each violation of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act ("FCCPA") results in a separate award of statutory damages. While no Florida appellate court has addressed the issue, the expectation is that consumer attorneys will increasingly rely on the Kahmeyer decision to claim damages in excess of the $1,000 per case statutory limit provided under the FCCPA.
Similar to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), the FCCPA was enacted in 1993 to protect consumers from abusive, harassing, and unfair debt collection practices. Section 559.72 of the FCCPA contains a list of nineteen prohibited practices, which include, for example, disclosing information about the debtor to third parties in a way that affects the consumer's reputation, using abusive language when communicating with the debtor, and attempting to enforce an illegitimate debt.
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