North Dakota Debt Collection Laws

Lenders and collection agencies are authorized to pursue collection of legal debts that have gone unpaid or are in default. However, there are limits to the activities collection agents and agencies may pursue to obtain payments. In fact, there are federal statutes to prevent harassment, deception, and unethical behaviour in these processes. These statutes are found primarily in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Some states have statutes expanding on those laws, as well, providing the protection consumers need from unscrupulous collection agencies. In addition, it may be wise for consumers to contact an attorney experienced in debt settlement cases to help them find options to pay off debt and restore their credit rating rather than wait for collection agencies to become involved.

Debt Collection in North Dakota

In keeping with federal laws, North Dakota has enacted statutes that mirror those decrees, protecting its citizens from abuse and harassment at the hands of debt collection agencies. These activities are administered by the state Attorney General's office and complaints can be registered there or with a local district attorney.

North Dakota Statute of Limitations

  • North Dakota has enacted a statute of limitations of 6 years on any lawsuits for non-payment of written and oral agreements, promissory notes, and open accounts
  • Debt collection agencies are, however, not prohibited from continuing to pursue debt collection by any other legal means after the statute of limitations has expired

Collections Practices and Rules for North Dakota

While North Dakota's debt protection statutes are generally in keeping with federal laws, the state does require that every debt collection agent and agency have a license and be bonded with the state. Noncompliance can result in a felony charge.

Legal Collections Actions

Creditors, debt collectors, and debt collection agencies may pursue outstanding debts owed through normal contact, such as mail, phone, and fax.

Illegal Collections Actions

  • Any form or harassment, intimidation, abuse, profanity, violence, or the threat of violence
  • Repeated phone calls or calls at inappropriate times, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., without permission from the consumer
  • Continued contact with the consumer after the debt collector has been informed that they are represented by an attorney
  • Contacting the consumer at their place of employment knowing that such contact is prohibited by the employer
  • Deceit, misrepresentation, or claiming to be a law enforcement or court official
  • Revealing or threatening to reveal the consumer's debt status to anyone other than the consumer without permission
  • Continuing to contact a consumer after they have requested no further calls unless it is to inform the consumer of some impending action by the debt collector or the court

Laws for Debt Harassment in North Dakota

Any form of harassment that a reasonable person would concur is harassment is considered illegal in North Dakota. Complaints about such actions should be referred to the state Attorney General's office.

North Dakota Debt Negotiation and Settlement Rules

When a consumer is several months behind in loan or debt payments, there are additional options that a creditor may accept. Rather than have to write off the entire debt, some creditors may accept a partial, lump sum payment, especially if negotiated in good faith by a reputable representative. However, there are those who would promise such representation and fraudulently accept high fees to do so, but fail to complete the process. Such fraud is against the law, and victims may find themselves in worse debt trouble than ever. They do have the option to consult a debt settlement attorney who may be able to help them file a claim against the fraudulent party or company and also represent them appropriately with their creditors.

In addition, appropriate debt settlement attorneys and companies can:

  • Ensure that credit bureaus receive the most accurate and up-to-date information, helping to restore the consumer's credit rating
  • Avoid illegal agreements that may result in additional, illegal interest payments or incur unnecessary tax payments for reduced debt incorrectly classified as income.

Help from a North Dakota Debt Collection Attorney

When complex legal and financial issues are involved, it can be essential to have a qualified attorney to advise consumers of their rights, responsibilities, and options. They can help their clients avoid the pitfalls and scams that may block their way, providing representation that aggressively pursues their interests throughout the legal and/or financial process.

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