Collection companies step up suits over delinquent credit card debt

The number of Florida court cases between debt collections agencies and consumers has increased significantly in recent months, according to a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Typically, these involve accounts worth between $2,000 and $4,000, and some small claims judges are trying as many as 25 of these cases per week.

The problem for consumers is that they can’t afford to pay their credit card bills due to a loss of income, but that’s not a sound legal reason for failing to do so, the report said. Often, these cases go in favor of the collections company.

“Usually there’s no real defense, unless they’re disputing the amount of debt,” Palm Beach County Court Judge Reginald Corlew told the newspaper.

Consumers typically only have legal protection from collections agencies if the company makes harassing phone calls or otherwise engages in harassing tactics in an effort to recoup the balance it purchased.