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