Mississippi Debt Collection Laws

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.

Debt Collection in Mississippi

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.

Mississippi Statute of Limitations

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:

  • Debt created as the result of a deficiency claim is eligible for no more than one (1) year following the sale of the initial collateral item(s)
  • Construction liens are enforceable for only a period of one (1) year following the filing date
  • Judgments stemming from real estate liens contain a statute of limitations for up to seven (7) years with the ability to obtain extension at the end of the seventh year
  • Promissory notes and other forms of contracts contain a statute of limitations period of no more than three (3) years in Mississippi
  • Open accounts have a statue of limitations period of three (3) years from the initial due date on given account

Collections Practices and Rules for Mississippi

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.

Legal Collections Actions

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.

Illegal Collections Actions

Mississippi follows federal laws in that it prohibits the following actions:

  • Contacting consumers if they have informed the collection agency or debt collector that they no longer wish to be contacted or that their employer prohibits such contact at work
  • Harassing consumers through abuse, intimidation, profanity, violence, or the threat of violence toward them or toward anyone who might provide information the collector requires
  • Misleading or misrepresenting themselves in such as way as to harass, intimidate, or force a desired response from a consumer
  • Dealing unfairly or unethically with a consumer, or taking any action that would incur addition expenses for the consumer

Laws for Debt Harassment in Mississippi

Harassment for the purpose of debt collection in the state of Mississippi is expressly forbidden by federal law.

Mississippi Debt Negotiation and Settlement Rules

While dealing with collection agencies can be a difficult experience, there are options for debt relief before debts require those extreme measures.

  • Debt negotiation companies that will work with a consumer and their creditors to negotiate lower interest rates or lower debt payoff amounts, although creditors are rarely willing to consider such negotiations until a consumer is several months behind in their payments
  • Debt settlement companies that represent consumers to their creditors, establishing an escrow account and promising full payment once the consumer has saved sufficient funds to pay a reduced settlement amount

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.

Help from a Mississippi Debt Collection Attorney

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.

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