832.10 Alternative to Bad Check Diversion Program; Fees for Collection

(1) Prior to presenting a complaint about a dishonored check to a state attorney, a payee on such bad check may place or assign the debt evidenced by the bad check for collection pursuant to this section by a private debt collector registered under part VI of chapter 559.

(2) Upon such placement or assignment, the payee shall be entitled to add a collection fee to offset the cost of collection. This collection fee is in addition to the bad check service charges authorized by law. The collection fee payable to the debt collector shall be a reasonable fee in accord with industry standards, based upon the total amount collected.

(3) Unless extended by the payee, the debt collector shall have 90 days from the date of placement or assignment of the debt for collection within which to collect the amount of the bad check, applicable bad debt charges, and the collector's collection fee. Upon the expiration of such 90 day period and any extensions thereof, the payee then may present a complaint to the appropriate state attorney. The debt collector may continue to try to collect the debt, provided such collection effort does not impede the prosecution or other disposition of the case by the state attorney.

(4) The debt collector may not compromise the amount to be collected without the express consent of the payee of the check. The debt collector shall remit to the payee the amount collected less the collector's fee percentage on the total amount collected.

(5) The use of such debt collector shall not affect the authority of the state attorney to prosecute any person for any violation of s. 832.04, s. 832.041, s. 832.05, or s. 832.06. The use of this section by a payee on a bad check shall not affect the rights of the payee, other than as set forth in this section, to present a complaint to the appropriate state attorney.

History.--s. 2, ch. 98-223.