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Gov. DeSantis reverses order directing State to pursue unemployment benefits with debt collectiors

Posted by Sami Thalji | Oct 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

Governor Ron DeSantis announced he was reversing his earlier misguided decision to send debt collectors after Floridians who received excess payments for unemployment benefits. The initial order to pursue overpayments with debt collectors was purely a political move designed to paint everyday Florida consumers struggling with job loss due to covid as bad actors. The reality was very different as acknowledged by the Governor in his letter to Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity, where he admits, “As a result of providing this swift response, many claimants, believing they were fully and accurately applying for Reemployment Assistance within the bounds of the law, received overpayments from the state." Translation, Florida consumers were correctly applying for benefits and had no idea they were receiving overpayments. When the Governor decided to send debt collectors after Floridians it created a few problems for the state. First, from a practical perspective, these Floridians had lost their jobs and already spent the money on necessities. So there is no money to collect because it has been spent. Second, he opened the state up to liability for the numerous debt collection violations that would inevitably occur. So the initial mistake, was compounded by a purely political decision that likely cost Florida consumers even more money in the form of the state paying damage claims for illegal collection activities under Florida's Consumer Collections Practices Act. I will never understand how and why attacking everyday consumers is good for politics, but here we are.  

About the Author

Sami Thalji

Sami Thalji is a native Floridian, born in Clearwater and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sami graduated from Osceola High School in Seminole, Florida before attending and receiving both his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida in Ga...


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