Arkansas Debt Collection Laws

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act protect consumers from intimidating, abusive, and harassing practices by collection agencies pursuing their claims. In the past, there were many reports of abuses that damaged consumers and hurt the industry. With these federal protections in place, consumers are protected from threatening and deceptive behavior that often illegally compelled them to make payments they could not afford. In addition, some states strengthen these protections even further, allowing debtors to take the time to seek out reliable advice and find the help to preserve their financial future.

Debt Collection in Arkansas

While Arkansas has enacted their own set of debt protection statutes, they generally reinforce the mandates of federal laws in this area. If a consumer finds themselves victimized by collection agencies in Arkansas, they should file a written complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or the Arkansas Debt Collection Board.

Arkansas Statute of Limitations

  • The statute of limitations in Arkansas concerning lawsuits filed to recover debts made by oral agreement and open accounts is 3 years
  • Written contracts are subject to a statute of limitations of 5 years
  • Creditors and debt collection services do not have to cease their efforts to collect unpaid debts when the statute of limitations expires, as long as they do so legally, without attempting to file suit

Collections Practices and Rules for Arkansas

The primary area of deviation from federal debt protection statutes and those written in Arkansas entail requiring every debt collection agency to be licensed and bonded or face misdemeanor charges and penalties.

Legal Collections Actions

  • Legal actions to pursue the collection of delinquent debts include letters, phone calls, faxes, emails, and even personal visits
  • Within the state statute of limitations they may file lawsuits and court ordered wage garnishments or repossessions
  • They may also report late and missing payments, as well as defaulted debts to the appropriate credit bureaus

Illegal Collections Actions

  • Deceptive representations of the debt collector as a law enforcement or government official, or presenting paperwork that appears to contain official government or court documents
  • Continuing contact with a consumer after written requests to cease such contact unless informing the consumer of impending actions
  • Disclosing debt information in any public forum or threatening to do so
  • Using intimidation, abuse, profanity, violence or threats of violence, or other forms of harassment
  • Repeatedly calling consumers, especially at inconvenient or inappropriate hours
  • Placing calls to a consumer's place of business even after being informed that it is unacceptable to the employer

Laws for Debt Harassment in Arkansas

There are laws against harassment in both federal and state statutes. Any consumer that is subjected to this unlawful behavior should report the debt collection agency to the attorney general, Federal Trade Commission, or Arkansas Debt Collection Board.

Arkansas Debt Negotiation and Settlement Rules

There are processes by which consumers can receive expert help from debt negotiation and settlement companies. However, it can be difficult to discern the reputable companies from those conducting scams. Generally, unscrupulous businesses will:

  • Charge high fees that must be paid up front
  • Discourage communication between the debtor and their creditors
  • Be hesitant to allow consumers to have a lawyer review a contract before signing

Many debt settlement lawyers can perform the same services under much more reliable circumstances. They can also help pursue restitution if a consumer has already been cheated and suffered greater debt complications because of such a scam.

Help from an Arkansas Debt Collection Attorney

Lawyers know the law and many are proficient at applying their legal expertise to financial and debt collection issues. Finding a qualified and responsible Arkansas debt settlement lawyer to handle both legal and financial issues through a debt crisis can simplify the process and often begin the financial restoration procedure more quickly and efficiently.

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