Vulgar texts possibly from bill collector leads to a federal lawsuit

Woman blames bill collector for profane messages
Posted at 5:48 PM, Apr 12, 2018

Unique hardly describes the lawsuit Scarlett Watts and her attorney recently filed in Florida federal court.

Scarlett Watts said she was only days late on her house payment when her mortgage company called looking for their money.  

Watts describes the exchange between her and the debt collector as tense but nothing more. Later that day she received a string of obscene text messages.

The texts called Watts vulgar names and mentioned her late bill not once but twice.

She called the mortgage company and they denied any wrongdoing on behalf of their employee.

Attorney Billy Howard has filed a harassment suit on Watt’s behalf against the lender based on Florida and federal law that makes it illegal for a debt collector to harass a borrower on their cell phone.

Next Howard plans to subpoena phone records to determine if the texts may have come from a company phone or an employee's phone.

Watts says she decided to take legal action to teach the texter a lesson and hopefully collect a few thousand dollars. Victims of debt collection harassment can sue for between $500 and $1500 per call or text.

Scripps station WFTS in Tampa reached out to the lender four times for a comment. They have yet to respond.