South Carolina Debt Collection Laws

The number of Americans in debt is continuing to rise. And because of this, The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act are more important than ever. These acts were passed by the federal government in 1978 to help guide debt collection, debt settlements, and lawsuits involving debtors. Many states since have passed additional laws. They attempt to deter increasingly aggressive debt collectors from improper debt collection practices and debt harassment.

Debt Collection in South Carolina

In addition to the federally created protection through The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, South Carolina adds many similar laws with their state regulations, specifically Title 37, Consumer Protection Code. The limit for interest rates in South Carolina is 8.75%, and the interest rate on judgment penalties is set at 14%. However, there is no interest limit for personal transaction, a transaction between two individuals outside of any business or loaning service.

South Carolina Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations outlines the period of time an individual or organization has to bring charges against another party for any given proposed infraction. Debtors should be aware that this time period begins with the first missed payment, not the most recently completed one. In addition, the statute applicable to any given loan is determined by the contract’s state of origin, as these vary from state to state. South Carolina is on the lower end of what states commonly hold for their debt collection statute of limitations with:

  • 3 years: Oral Agreements
  • 3 years: Written Contracts
  • 3 years: Promissory Notes
  • 3 years: Open Accounts (credit cards)

Collections Practices and Rules for South Carolina

Individuals or business which practice any form of property loaning in South Carolina are required to file a notification to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs. This also includes a $90 filing fee. Wage protection is full in South Carolina. No percentage of one’s wages can be garnished, unless for child support, certain student loans or unpaid taxes. Penalties for improper collection practices follow the federal regulations of up to $10,000 per violation and possible court and legal charges.

Legal

  • Reasonable additional charges for benefits received by the debtor
  • Deferrals made to begin at any point within a payment period
  • Communications to a debtor made through their employer, if no home address or phone number is available

Illegal

  • Wage garnishment except in specific cases
  • Multiple delinquency charges for a single unpaid payment
  • Refusing or adding fees to a debt’s full payment by the debtor at any point in time

Laws for Debt Harassment in South Carolina

Debt Harassment in South Carolina is regulated by the federal standards of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Meticulously outlining the proper and improper practices associated with debt collection, these acts provide sufficient protection for individuals and businesses. Charges debt harassment varies with severity. Each violation can incur a charge of up to $1,000, along with possible legal fees.

South Carolina Debt Negotiation and Settlement Rules

Debt negotiation and settlement are governed by all existing laws relating to debt, rather than carrying their own set of regulations. The process of debt negotiation and settlement is highly dependent on each individual case, and the preferences of those involved. Generally, a debt settlement will take place either through a debt settlement company or through direct negotiations with the creditor, and often with a legal professional aid. Results are commonly reduced payments with one or more lump sum payments, but can truly be anything that both sides agree to. One should be careful with debt settlement companies, as they can sometimes produce more debt than one had initially. This process is very helpful to many of those in debt in a few ways.

  • Lessens the stress of outstanding debts
  • Deferrals can be negotiated for recovery from financial complications
  • Direct negotiations can be tailored to match one’s probable financial future

Help from a South Carolina Debt Collection Attorney

Debt settlement lawyers can prove to be irreplaceable, depending on the specific circumstances of one’s debt and financial status. For those with a large debt or multiple debts, a debt settlement lawyer is extremely useful. These lawyers are experts in assessing financial situations, enabling them to determine the best options available for any given debtor. Furthermore, these lawyers bridge the gap between debtors and creditors, before and during actual negotiations. When one hires a debt lawyer they become a liaison for the debtor, and the creditor must communicate through this lawyer. No direct contact to the debtor can be made any longer. In general, they will ease the process, reduce stress, work to achieve the best results and take care of debt harassment when and if it becomes a problem.

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