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Kansas debt collection laws: Statute of limitations and how to get out of debt

A person is considered to be in debt whenever they owe someone money. Most people in Kansas who are in debt owe money on a mortgage, a credit card, a car, or another significant purchase. Most creditors will transfer the debtor's file to a collection agency if the debt goes unpaid (or underpaid) for an extended period of time. 

Collection agencies have a long history of intimidating and even threatening debtors. To prevent harassment of debtors, the U.S. Congress created the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1977. FDCPA, along with the collection laws of the debtor’s state, protect debtors from harmful debt collection practices.

Kansas debt collection laws

FDCPA is not supplemented by any state laws or statutes in Kansas. To help consumers with these and other similar issues, the state attorney general's office does maintain a Consumer Protection Division office.

A debt collection agency is only permitted by law to contact the debtor from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. They can get in touch with them by mail, phone, fax, or email. Then, within five days, they must send a letter to the debtor confirming the details of the conversation, including the creditor's name, the agent's name, and the amount owed. Numerous regulations regulate the legitimate and prohibited methods that debt collection firms may or may not use when making an effort to recover an unpaid debt.

Debt collection actions permitted by law

  • Legal collection actions are normally started by letter or phone call, but the law also allows other means of contact, such as email, faxes, and even in-person visits.
  • A debt collection agency is required to give proof of the debts they claim are owed after initial contact, including the full amount owed, the original creditor's name, and other details.

Collection actions prohibited by debt collection laws in Kansas

  • Collectors who have received a letter from a client asking for no more contact may not follow up with the client unless to report their activities on a particular debt or inform the client that the debt has been discharged.
  • When speaking with a customer, debt collectors are not permitted to use obscene, harassing, or threatening language.
  • The use of threats or implied intents to pursue legal action, such as liens or wage garnishments, by debt collection businesses is forbidden by law unless such activities are clearly intended.
  • Laws prohibit debt collection agencies from implying they are lawyers, government officials, or serving in any other official capacities except that of debt collectors.
  • Consumer victims may launch a civil lawsuit against debt collection businesses in state and federal court for debt collection law violations if they do so within a year.

Make sure a debt collection service follows specific rules if you get a call, email, letter, or fax from them alleging you owe money. Some of them are as follows:

  • They have to call between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm; they can't be rude, obscene, threatening, or otherwise intimidating;
  • They must not call you at your place of employment if they are aware that your boss does not permit you to take personal calls;
  • They must call your attorney instead of you if you let them know that you have one.

There may be grounds for debt harassment claims if any of these rules and a few others are broken. Consumers in Kansas who believe that they’ve become victims of debt harassment have a legal right to submit complaints to the Kansas Attorney General.

Statute of limitations in Kansas

After a specific amount of time, you might no longer be subject to legal action if you have a long-standing debt. The creditor or debt collectors cannot file a lawsuit against you or attempt to seize your wages once the debt's statute of limitations expires. However, they may still make an effort to collect the loan outside of court.

According to debt collection laws in Kansas, for medical debt and credit card debt in Kansas, the statute of limitations is five and three years, respectively. For auto loan debt, the statute of limitations is four years, and for state tax debt, it is ten years. 

Be mindful that if you recognize the debt as your own or make a payment on it, the statute of limitations resets. Therefore, if a debt collector offers you a payment plan after the statute of limitations has expired and you accept it, they will be able to file a lawsuit once more to collect the debt.

Wage garnishment laws in Kansas

Suppose you have fallen behind on your payments and have not taken anything to address the situation through debt management or repayment agreements. In that case, courts may occasionally grant petitions by debt collectors or creditors to garnish your earnings. Debt collectors are only permitted to deduct a certain amount from your paycheck. 

Under federal law, they are limited to taking 25% of your disposable income per workweek, and they are prohibited from taking any money if your disposable income is below a particular threshold. Your wages are not subject to garnishment if your weekly income is not greater than 30 times the federal minimum wage per hour. 

According to Kansas debt collection laws, creditors or debt collectors may not garnish your pay if you or a family member becomes ill and is unable to work for more than two weeks as a result of the illness until two months following recovery.

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How you should respond to debt collection letters

There are several appropriate methods to respond to debt collectors. When a debt collector contacts you, find out the following

  • The debt collector's name, contact information, and phone number
  • The total amount of the debt, including any interest or other fees, and the cost of collection
  • Why the debt was incurred and when it was incurred
  • Identifier of the initial creditor
  • Find out if it is you or anyone else who owes the debt

A debt collector must give you a written notice with certain, legally needed information whenever it approaches you about a debt for the first time in writing. Demand written communication from the collection agency if they call you first. Give the caller no financial or personal information until you are certain they are an authorized debt collector. 

In some circumstances, you only have 30 days from the time you're contacted to request specific information, but even if more time has passed, it's still a good idea to make your request. Contact a lawyer if you're being sued or you believe you will be.

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Getting out of debt with debt settlement

Suppose you’re struggling with debt in Kansas. Through debt settlement, you pay a lower amount than what you are currently required to pay while maintaining the commitment that you will pay the reduced amount in full, and the rest of the amount is written off. 

The settlement and negotiation stages of debt settlement are far less regulated, even while debt collection rules are clear regarding the lawful and illegal tactics accessible to debt collection organizations. Typically, a person who wants to settle a debt should speak with a lawyer to handle all the details of the debt settlement agreement, which would include the following

  • Negotiating reduced original repayment amounts, whether as a single payment or to be paid over a period of time.
  • Determining how credit reporting agencies will see the debt's resolution
  • Making sure a debt settlement arrangement is legitimate includes demonstrating a debt collector's legitimacy and their connection to the original creditor.

Laws governing debt settlement and recovery are intricate. In rare circumstances, the legality of numerous debt collection firms or debt purchasers may even be questioned. It is crucial to have a lawyer check into debt collectors' collecting efforts. An attorney can evaluate the validity of their claims and choose the best course of action for resolving unpaid debts. 

Debts are frequently bought and sold multiple times at drastically reduced prices, which gives consumers the opportunity to settle outstanding debts at deeply discounted rates. It is crucial to have legal representation while negotiating these settlements so that the agreed-upon terms can be upheld in court and credit reporting measures may be taken.

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People in Kansas with financial difficulties should be aware of the resources accessible to them to combat debt and harmful debt collection practices. Maintain your composure in the face of rising debts so that you can comprehend your legal obligations and make the decisions that are best for your financial condition. 

Knowing the debt collection laws in Kansas will help you overcome any problems you might face if your debt goes to collections. Debt settlement can be an excellent way out if you’re struggling with a huge amount of debt.

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