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$________ Professional Malpractice – Debt Collection – Violation of Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act – Inappropriate debt collection efforts – Defendant in default – Damages only.

Pinellas County, FL

The plaintiff alleged, under the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act, that the defendant engaged in unlawful and harassing collection methods. The defendant was in default and the case was tried only to assess the plaintiff’s damages.

The plaintiff testified that he obtained a short-term loan, lost his job and attempted to work out payment terms for repayment of the debt. The plaintiff testified that the defendant debt collector told him he would be arrested if he did not pay the money immediately. The plaintiff testified that the defendant also told him that he (the plaintiff) had written a bad check and could go to jail if he did not pay.

The plaintiff maintained that the methods and manner in which the defendant attempted to collect the debt violated the law. The plaintiff contended that he was fearful that he would be incarcerated because of the debt. The plaintiff made no claim for out-of-pocket expenses. Plaintiff’s counsel requested $________ for the plaintiff’s emotional distress.The jury awarded the plaintiff a total of $________ in damages. The award included the $________ maximum statutory damages plus $________ in non-economic damages. The plaintiff has also been granted entitlement to statutory attorney fees in an amount to be determined.

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