Idaho Debt Collection Laws

A person who owes a financial obligation to another individual or to a corporate body is said to be in debt. When this occurs, it behooves him/her to pay them off as quickly as possible. If the debtor is unable to pay, the creditor may turn the debtor’s account over to a debt collection agency. Debt collection is an industry where there is great potential for fraud and harassment. For that reason, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was established to protect debtors from credit agencies.

Debt Collection in Idaho

The state of Idaho adheres to a large body of law governing the rights of consumers, which includes their rights in relation to debt collectors. The consumer protection laws in the state of Idaho explicitly outline the penalties collections companies face for violating federal or state debt collection laws. Violations not only result in fines, but also, consumers may pursue legal action in the courts and retain punitive damages, regular damage claims, and reimbursement for legal expenses.

Idaho Statute of Limitations

In the state of Idaho, collection companies have a set period of time to take legally enforceable action on outstanding debt obligations. Once this period of statute of limitations lapses, collection companies and original creditors no longer have the legal right to lien on a given debt, which therefore, essentially erases any legal liability a consumer has for that given debt. Some of the statutes of limitations regarding debts in the state of Idaho, include:

  • Written contracts and other debts formed from these contracts have a statute of limitations period of no more than five (5) years in Idaho
  • Breach of contract of items for sale possess a statue of limitations period of no more than four (4) years in Idaho
  • Non-written, implied, or oral credit agreements possess a statute of limitations period of no more than four (4) years following the date of the last payment on an outstanding debt, unless a debtor makes further repayment or signs contract acknowledging statute of debt
  • Court judgments have a statute of limitations for debt collections claims of no more than five (5) years, with an option to include another five (5) years after the first five (5) years

Collections Practices and Rules for Idaho

Idaho collection laws do not differ substantially from what is found in the FDCPA. Therefore, a debt collection agency may contact you via phone, email, fax, or mail. They must inform you of the debt you owe following certain guidelines:

Legal Collections Actions

  • Debt collectors can contact debtors via personal visit, phone, fax, mail, or email, so long as they do not engage in any actions deemed illegal collections actions in the process

Illegal Collections Actions

  • They cannot contact you during “unreasonable” hours (i.e., before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm);
  • They may not contact you at work if they know your employer does not approve of you receiving personal calls while on the job;
  • If you have obtained legal counsel, they may not contact you directly; they must negotiate with your lawyer.
  • Furthermore, a debt collector is forbidden from threatening physical violence, bribing, or otherwise intimidating you. If he/she does so, be sure to record their name, the debt collection agency they represent, and the time they called

Laws for Debt Harassment in Idaho

Harassment by debt collectors and other violations of the Consumer Protections Act of Idaho will result in penalties assessed against liable entities. Illegal or deceptive collections practices, which violate state laws on debt harassment, if taken to court, can result in punitive damage awards, including reimbursement of legal expenses, original damage claims, and other awards. Furthermore, the elderly and the disabled, if victimized by collection entities, have even more legal leverage to collect larger damage awards against illegally practicing debt collection companies.

Idaho Debt Negotiation and Settlement Rules

If the amount of debt stated by the debt collector is in fact consistent with what you owe, and it is a substantial amount, you may request to have a payment plan set up. Most debt collection agencies will work with you on this. The plan must be consistent with what you are able to pay on a monthly basis, and not drive you into further debt. However, it is crucial that once a payment plan is set up, you get it in writing. This will protect you against the later possibility of fraud.

If the amounted the agent claims you owe does not match your records, you may dispute the charges. Most attorneys would recommend that you send a certified letter to the debt agency, specifying why you do not owe the debt, or the debt amount. This can be a lengthy process, and may involve a great deal of correspondence between you and the agency. It is also permissible to request that the debt collector refrain from calling you, although you are still obligated to pay the debt. Even if you do not dispute the charges against you, working with a debt collector is tedious, time-consuming, and often requires knowledge of what the law actually says. That is why it is advantageous to hire an attorney who specializes in this field. They can negotiate on your behalf, protect you from harassment and fraud, and help you to set up a payment plan that will work with your budget.

Help from an Idaho Debt Collection Attorney

Debt settlement and collection laws are complex. The legality of many debt collection agencies or debt buyers may even come under scrutiny in some cases. Having an experience Idaho Debt Settlement lawyer look into debt collectors making collection attempts is important. An attorney can verify the veracity of their claims, as well as determine the appropriate legal strategy for resolving outstanding debts. In many cases, debts are bought and resold several times at significantly reduced rates, which opens the door for consumers to resolve outstanding debts at highly discounted rates. Having an attorney negotiate these settlements, as well as ensuring that the agreed upon settlement and credit reporting actions are legally enforceable, is important.

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