Kansas Debt Collection Laws

Any time a person owes someone a financial obligation, he/she is said to be in debt. Usually, citizens of Kansas are in debt because they owe money on their mortgage, their credit card, their car, or some other major transaction. If the debt remains unpaid (or underpaid) for a substantial period, most creditors will send the debtor's record to a collection agency. For many years, collection agencies were notorious for harassing, even threatening, debtors. Nevertheless, in 1977, the U.S. Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect debtors from being harassed.

Debt Collection in Kansas

Kansas does not have any laws or statutes to supplement FDCPA. However, the state attorney general does have a Consumer Protection Division office that helps consumers with these and other related issues.

Kansas Statute of Limitations

Every state has specific laws regarding the collection of old or expired debts. These laws or statutes, known as statutes of limitations, cover the applicable timeline that a debt collection company has a legally enforceable right to collect on a given debt obligation through garnishments, liens, or asset seizure. In the state of Kansas, the applicable statutes of limitations regarding debt collection, include:

  • Relief from debt obligations on the grounds of fraud have a two (2) year statute of limitations in Kansas
  • Written agreements, promissory notes, or contracts have a statute of limitations period of five (5) years in Kansas
  • Implied, non-written, or expressed obligations or liabilities have a statute of limitations period of no more than three (3) years in the state of Kansas

Collections Practices and Rules for Kansas

By law, a debt collection agency may only call the debtor between 8:00am-9:00pm. They may contact them by phone, fax, email, or mail. Following this, they must send a letter to the debtor within five days confirming the contents of the call; i.e., the name of the agent, the amount owed, and the creditor(s). There are numerous other laws governing the legal and illegal practices that debt collection agencies may or may not utilize during the process of attempting to collect on an outstanding debt.

Legal Collections Actions

  • Legal collections actions are initiated typically via letter or phone call, although the law does permit other forms of contact, including email, faxes, and even personal visits
  • After first contact, a debt collection company must send documentation supporting their claims regarding debts owed, including the original amount owed, the name of the original creditor, and other information

Illegal Collections Actions

  • Collectors that have received a letter from an individual stating they wish for no further contact may not continue to contact the individual unless to state their actions regarding a specific debt or to notify the consumer of the debt being dismissed
  • Debt collectors cannot use harassing, abusive, or threatening language when communicating with a consumer
  • Debt collection companies are prohibited by law from using threats or implied intentions to take legal actions, including liens or wage garnishments, unless they specifically have the intention of doing so
  • Debt collection companies are prohibited by law from insinuating they are attorneys, government officials, or in some other official capacity besides being a debt collector
  • Debt collection law violations, if filed against debt collection companies by a consumer victim within one year, may result in civil action in state and federal court

Laws for Debt Harassment in Kansas

If you receive a phone call, email, letter, or fax from a debt collection agency claiming you owe money, be certain that they follow certain guidelines:

  • They must call between the hours of 8:00am-9:00pm;
  • They must not use harsh, crude, threatening or otherwise intimidating language;
  • If they know your work supervisor does not approve of your taking personal phone calls, they must not call you;
  • If they know you have an attorney, they must call him/her instead of you.

If any of these regulations, as well as several others, are violated, claims of debt harassment may be applicable. Consumers in the state of Kansas that believe they have been victimized by debt harassment have a legal right to file claims with the Attorney General of Kansas.

Kansas Debt Negotiation and Settlement Rules

While debt collection laws are clear regarding the illegal and legal practices available to debt collection companies, the settlement and negotiation phase of debt settlement is much less regulated. Commonly, a consumer wishing to settle an outstanding debt should consult with an attorney to handle all arrangements regarding the debt settlement agreement, which will include:

  • Negotiating lowered original repayment amounts, whether in a lump sum or over a period of payments
  • Establishing how the resolution of the debt will appear to credit reporting agencies
  • Ensuring the legality of a debt settlement agreement, including proving the veracity of a debt collection company and their relationship to the original creditor

Help from a 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 attorney 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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