Delaware Debt Collection Laws

To account for aggressive and unfair practices of debt collectors, the federal government passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act in 1978. These laws set the guidelines for all debt related laws. Since then, the number of debtors has only increased in America, along with the aggressive tactics of collectors. Because of this, many states have incorporated additional laws regarding these situations in their law codes.

Debt Collection in Delaware

The laws regulating fair debt collection in Delaware are those of the federally enacted laws. Included in Delaware law code are the regulations for debt collection by the state government, but no state specific protection for debt collection of businesses or individuals. Unique in Delaware is a legal interest rate maximum of five times the current federal reserve rate. There is no stipulated usury rate.

Delaware Statute of Limitations

When dealing with debt collection, the statute of limitations for a given debt starts not with the last fulfilled payment, but with the first incomplete payment. A statute of limitations is the period of time allotted for bringing any charges to court against a business or individual. In addition, rather than the residence of either involved party, the applicable statute of limitations is governed by the laws of its place of creation. These limitations in Delaware are:

  • 4 years: Open accounts (credit cards)
  • 3 years: Written contracts
  • 6 years: Promissory notes
  • 3 years: Sale of goods

Collections Practices and Rules for Delaware

Delaware has a unique garnishment limit set at 15% of net income, rather than the disposable income, as used by the federal limits. In addition, Delaware does not allow for garnishment of bank accounts. All other debt collection violation are assessed and penalized at the federal guidelines of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. They warrant fines of $1,000 per violation, and possible legal fee compensation.


  • Respectful calling to a debtor's residence between 8:00AM and 9:00PM
  • Disclosing the nature of a debt to a debtor's spouse
  • Communication with a debtor through his or her employer when no home address or phone number is available


  • Any physical or emotional threats to a debtor or their family
  • Purposeful use of misleading or deceiving information
  • Refusing a debt's payment in full at any time, for any reason

Laws for Debt Harassment in Delaware

As there are no provisions in Delaware law code for debt harassment, those of the federal government are applicable, as with other debt collection laws in Delaware. Debt harassment warrants the same violation penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, but as harassment usually entails multiple infractions, this penalty can prove to be substantial.

Delaware Debt Negotiation and Settlement Rules

Debt negotiation and debt settlement are essentially the creation of a new contract to replace the original. Moreover, as such, the same regulations that apply to contract negotiations in any given state apply to renegotiations and settlements. Applicable Delaware laws are those such as wage garnishment and interest rate restrictions. Debt collectors are generally flexible with this process, as long as it will allow the debtor to repay their debt in full. This process may result in one or more lump sum payments, continued payments at a reduce rate or frequency, and payment deferrals. Direct negotiations with the loaning party, and possibly legal representation, are often the most effective way to resolve an outstanding debt. Many debt settlement companies do exist, however they should be used with caution, as they sometimes use improper practices resulting in higher chargers for the debtor in the end. But, when successfully completed, there are many benefits to debt negotiation and settlement:

  • Any risk for lawsuit from the lending party is removed.
  • Special circumstances of debtor's financial outlook can be accounted for.
  • Stress of pending debts is reduced.

Help from a Delaware Debt Collection Attorney

A debt settlement lawyer specializes in contract negotiations, financial assessments and all debt related laws. They are especially useful for debt negotiations because the process can sometimes be very complicated. Contracts have a wide range of possible clauses that can be used to deceive or confuse debtors. These specialized lawyers are skilled in evaluating a debtor's specific circumstances to generate the best available options for them. In addition, they will help the overall process of debt collection, because once hired, debt collectors may only contact debtors through their legal representation. If further direct communication is attempted, these lawyers are also able to handle debt harassment situations.

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
Get Professional Help

Talk to an attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you