The federal government has taken a great interest in protecting the rights of those who find themselves facing a financial crisis with collection agencies harassing them for payment. There are two federal laws that protect consumers from most violations which could occur, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Anyone who feels they have been abused, harassed, intimidated, or treated unfairly by a creditor may take advantage of those laws to find relief; however, it may help to consult an attorney to pursue the proper steps for that relief and for fair debt collection treatment.
Creditors and consumers in Mississippi are protected under the federal statues concerning debt collection and relief from harassment and abuse. Those who believe their rights have been violated in these areas may contact the state Attorney General's office.
In the state of Mississippi, each individual debt obligation contains a set period of time that the debt obligation is legally enforceable. This period is known as the statute of limitations on a given debt. In order to be covered under Mississippi debt collection laws, the debt agreement must be formed in the state's jurisdiction. The statutes of limitations for some debts in the state of Mississippi include:
While there are no specific statutes in the state of Mississippi governing debt collection and the licensing of collection agencies other than standard business license requirements, federal statues are enforced through the Mississippi Attorney General's office.
In keeping with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, contacting debtors by mail, phone, telegram, fax, or email during reasonable hours, generally between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. is permitted.
Mississippi follows federal laws in that it prohibits the following actions:
Harassment for the purpose of debt collection in the state of Mississippi is expressly forbidden by federal law.
While dealing with collection agencies can be a difficult experience, there are options for debt relief before debts require those extreme measures.
Consumers should be careful to examine the contracts for these services, ensuring that the fees are reasonable and that the company has a positive record of accomplishment. An attorney can help in confirming the appropriateness of any contract a consumer may be considering. They can also confirm that the company will accurately report any positive payments to the proper credit agencies in a timely manner.
It can be difficult to know whom to trust when finances are strained and creditors are calling. Debt settlement attorneys know the local laws as well as the common creditors in the area. They can also help determine the quality of any debt consolidation or negotiating firms their clients may be considering. With a lifelong credit report to consider, and the time it takes for bad reports to be removed, it is worthwhile to ensure the best advice and representation in these important matters.