New Hampshire Debt Collection Laws

Collection agents and collection agencies have the unwelcome task of collecting unpaid debts from borrowers who either cannot or will not pay. For those who cannot pay, the harsh and demanding tactics used by some in the past have been abusive and humiliating. That is why federal laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act were established. That is also why many states have created additional laws to protect consumers from harassment by these agents and agencies. But there is a step that financially challenged borrowers can take before they get to that point: they can seek debt settlement advice from dedicated attorneys in that field with the expertise to help them avoid a lifetime of credit consequences.

Debt Collection in New Hampshire

New Hampshire relies heavily on federal debt collection statutes, although it has enacted its own fair debt collection laws as well. Moreover, while it does not require the licensing of debt collection agents or agencies, it does oversee their compliance with federal laws through the Attorney General's office.

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations

  • New Hampshire has a 3-year statute of limitations on filing lawsuits over unpaid oral and written contracts, as well as on open accounts
  • There is a 6-year statute of limitations on promissory notes

Collections Practices and Rules for New Hampshire

While New Hampshire has their own set of debt collection laws, they generally mirror federal statutes regarding fair and reasonable treatment of consumers.

Legal Collections Actions

Collection agents or agencies are generally charged with collecting debts in a fair, forthright, and reasonable manner.

Illegal Collections Actions

  • Harassing a consumer through repeated phone calls at unusual times and in inappropriate places, or using profanity, violence, or the threat of violence
  • Contacting a consumer at their place of business once they have been informed that such calls are prohibited, making more than one call a month to an employer when such calls are not prohibited, or informing that employer of the nature of the call or the financial condition of their employee
  • Using any deception or misrepresentation in their contacts with the borrower
  • Causing additional charges or expenses to the borrower other than those legally included in the original agreement or contract or those ordered by a court
  • Threatening any action which is illegal or which they have no intention of taking
  • Posting or publishing the financial or debt status of the consumer to anyone other than the consumer
  • Communicating with a consumer once they have been informed that the consumer has an attorney representing them
  • Threatening to increase the size of the debt by additional interest, fees, attorney's fees, investigation charges, or any other charges which cannot be legally added to the debt
  • Threatens to transfer the debt to another party that will exert more pressure or harassment

Laws for Debt Harassment in New Hampshire

In both federal and state laws in New Hampshire, harassment by collection agents or collection agencies is prohibited.

New Hampshire Debt Negotiation and Settlement Rules

In order to avoid facing debt collection agencies, many people consider other options for resolving their financial problems. One of the most common choices is debt negotiation and/or debt settlement, whereby a company promises to negotiate with creditors to pay off debts at a lower rate, but in one lump sum. Problems arise, however, when some unscrupulous companies promise to take charge of collecting the lump sum and staying in contact with creditors, but instead, once their "fee" is covered, take the money and disappear. This leaves the borrower in deeper trouble than ever.

This is fraud, and all states have laws against such activity. To avoid these kinds of problems, the borrower should check with the Better Business Bureau about such companies or contact a debt settlement attorney to review all contracts and provide competent legal advice.

Help from a New Hampshire Debt Collection Attorney

When money is involved, there may always be those who attempt to take advantage of others for financial gain. That is why it is so important to have a reputable lawyer to counsel and protect consumers when attempting to avoid personal economic disaster. There are laws to protect consumers, but it often takes an attorney to let a nonprofessional know about them and take full advantage of them. Moreover, in fact, such legal advice may be the only way to protect borrowers from damage to their credit report that can affect them for many years to come.

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