State Laws: State Fair Debt Collection Practices Acts and Other Consumer Credit Protection Laws, Rules, Civil Codes and State Regulations

While many consumer protection laws apply to all U.S. citizens, many states have enacted laws that supplement federal debt, credit, banking and lending laws including debt collection practices, credit reporting, the statue of limitations on debts, garnishment laws, returned check and dealer doc maximum fees and unfair and deceptive practices acts.

State fair debt laws regulate the actions that lenders and collection agencies can take to recover a debt from a consumer in default. These consumer protection laws prohibit creditors from contacting consumers at inconvenient times, such as extremely early in the morning or late at night. They also prohibit creditors from making empty threats, reporting false information to credit bureaus and harassing debtors with unreasonably frequent calls and letters. State garnishment laws regulate the procedure creditors must use to garnish a debtor’s wages. These laws typically place a limit on the amount of wages a creditor can take, and they exempt certain types of income from garnishment. State garnishment laws also prevent creditors from garnishing wages without a court order.

Use these links to research your State’s specific fair debt collection laws!

Use these links to research your State’s specific !

Use these links to read your State’s specific Fast Facts consumer guide!


  1. What are the debt collection laws in US Territories such as Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, etc. Are debt collection agencies required to be licensed in the Jursidictions?

    • Those jurisdictions are governed by the United States Constitution and Title 48 of the United States Code which generally outlines how the United States Code relates to territories and insular areas such as those you mention. Whether a collector needs to be licensed depends on the laws where it sits and the laws where it collects.

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