Many of us have heard of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and related federal consumer protection laws. In addition to these federal laws that apply to all U.S. citizens, many states have enacted laws that supplement federal debt, credit, banking and lending laws including state laws for 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 often prohibit creditors from contacting consumers at inconvenient times, such as extremely early in the morning or late at night. They also almost always prohibit creditors from making empty threats, reporting false information to credit bureaus and harassing debtors with unreasonably frequent calls and letters.
State garnishment laws also 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!