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State Laws For Debt Collection

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!

Use these links to research your State’s other specific Consumer Credit Protection Laws, Rules, Civil Codes and State Regulations!

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

confidential informationThere may be instances where discussing your situation over a public forum could potentially compromise your interests. On these occasions we will contact you directly via email in order to answer your inquiry in a confidential manner.


  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.

  2. I took out a line of credit personal loan in 1999 in Guam and my last payment may have been in 2000. What is the SOL in Guam? What do unsay to the collection agency?

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