Arizona Debt Collection Laws

There are specific and strict federal laws controlling how debt collection agencies operate throughout this country. They protect consumers from unfair and unethical harassment as well as other abuses in two primary statutes, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. States have the obligation to enforce these laws through their state attorney general's office and, if applicable, enforce any state laws that have been enacted to extend these protections. Anyone who is facing financial challenges should consider contacting an attorney to help avoid having to face collections agencies over these issues.

Debt Collection in Arizona

The Office of the Attorney General in Arizona oversees debt collection services and agencies in the state, for the most part complying with federal laws in this area. However, Arizona has enacted their own state laws reinforcing those federal statutes. Abuses can be reported to the state Attorney General's office of the local district attorney.

Arizona Statute of Limitations

  • The state of Arizona has a statute of limitations of 3 years on suits filed over repayment of oral agreements
  • The state statute of limitations on written contracts is 6 years
  • Debt collection efforts other than lawsuits can continue as long as the debt remains unpaid and the creditor wishes to invest time and expense in pursuing them

Collections Practices and Rules for Arizona

Arizona requires all debt collection agencies to be licensed and bonded by the state, however, they are then able to pursue debt collection procedures within legal limits. Any agencies that do not apply for and receive a license in the state could face misdemeanor charges.

Legal Collections Actions

  • Creditors and debt collectors may call, write, fax, and sometimes even email consumers in their attempts to collect past due payments
  • When they choose to do so within the boundaries of the law and the extent of the statute of limitations, creditors may file suit to collect payment or repossess goods for restitution
  • Agencies and creditors have the right to report any activity by the debtor, either negative or positive, to the credit bureaus

See also: Legal Debt Collection Practices in Arizona

Illegal Collections Actions

  • Disrupting consumers with repeated phone calls, often before or after reasonable daytime hours
  • Continuing to contact consumers even after they have asked that such contact be discontinued, except for information about impending legal action
  • Harassing, abusing, using violence or threatening to do so, or attempting to intimidate the borrower into making payments
  • Contacting a consumer at their workplace even after having been informed that the employer prohibits such calls
  • Deceiving or misrepresenting the debt collector or their business when contacting a borrower, suggesting they are law enforcement or government officials
  • Revealing or threatening to reveal the debt status of the consumer to anyone other than the consumer

Laws for Debt Harassment in Arizona

Federal laws relating to debt collection procedures prohibit harassment in any form, when it would be deemed harassment by a reasonable person, as do state laws in Arizona.

Arizona Debt Negotiation and Settlement Rules

Many consumers who find themselves unable to pay all of their bills or keep up to date on others would find it helpful to have an expert negotiate with their creditors for them. Moreover, while there are reputable companies who provide that service, there are others taking advantage of today's poor economy and creating sham companies that only promise these services but don't provide them. If they receive money for these schemes, they can be guilty of fraud, which is illegal in this country.

Consumers should be careful to research such potential representatives or contact their debt settlement attorney to either advise them on any potential contracts they are considering or to provide those services themselves, if they do so. Those who have already been cheated out of their hard-earned money should ask an attorney to help pursue and file suit against these scam artists.

Help from an Arizona Debt Collection Attorney

When money and credit scores are uncertain, it is vital for consumers to be sure they are enlisting skilled experts who can guide them to the best possible plan for satisfying their creditors, restoring their finances, and reclaiming their all-important credit rating.

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