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MS debt laws: Understanding rights & debt relief

Mississippi debt collection laws provide collectors with a number of options for recovering past-due debt from you. In Mississippi, a creditor must go to court to obtain a judgment against you before using these remedies. After a creditor files a case, a court will schedule a hearing. After a hearing, the creditor can receive a judgment.

A judgment may give the collector the rights to:

  • Garnishment of wages.
  • Levy on accounts.
  • Lien against real estate.
  • Your personal property can be seized.

Laws refer to these as remedies. A judgment creditor is a creditor who has been awarded a judgment, and the situation and Mississippi law govern a judgment creditor's options.

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Mississippi debt collection laws

1. Laws about collection calls

Most debt collection agencies in Mississippi will try to contact a debtor by phone. You should be aware that Mississippi is a one-party consent state when it comes to recording phone conversations, so you won't always have the choice to say no. Don't expect confidentiality on your answering machine or voicemail because there are no laws regulating accountability for third-party disclosures through voice messages.

2. Mississippi debt collection laws allow family members to be served

A debt can become a lawsuit if it is neglected for a long enough period of time. If this occurs, it must be handled in your county. According to laws in Mississippi for debt collection, If a family member who resides with you is 16 years old or older and ready to receive it, they may also be served directly.

3. Types of judgment according to Mississippi law

A process server or the county sheriff can serve you a judgment. There are three types of decisions: default, consent, and summary. When a defendant doesn't react in 30 days or more, a default judgment is rendered, but a consent judgment is caused when the defendant contacts the collector to reach an agreement. In a court of law, summary decisions are made.

4. Garnishment laws

There are two sorts of garnishment: wage and bank. A bank garnishment seizes all accessible cash as long as it is evident that the funds belong to the consumer, while a wage garnishment only allows for the seizure of up to 25% of a customer's take-home pay. For the first 30 days after a judge imposes a garnishment, Mississippi debt collection laws prohibit creditors from deducting earnings from employees' paychecks.

5. Lien in Mississippi

In Mississippi, a judgment lien can be placed against the debtor's real estate, including a home, apartment, piece of land, or other similar property. Mississippi also permits judgment liens to be placed on the debtor's expensive personal property, including jewelry, works of art, antiques, and other items. There are also quite a few exemptions in this case.

Despite ownership changes, a Mississippi judgment lien is kept on the debtor's property for seven years. Mississippi prohibits consumer lawsuits in situations where the state's statute of limitations has expired.

The only states that don't follow the general norm that original creditors can file claims even after the statute of limitations expires are Wisconsin and Mississippi.

6. FDCPA laws

Debt collectors are prohibited from the following under the Mississippi Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

  • Making a call before 8 am or after 9 pm.
  • Abuse or harassment.
  • Using a fake identity to get information.
  • Notifying anyone of your debt.
  • Threatening to press criminal charges against you.
  • They can’t call you at your workplace if you tell them not to.
  • Sending paperwork posing as official government documentation.

7. Statute of limitations in Mississippi

Debts do not remain forever on your account, and different types of debt have different periods within which they must be collected. The statute of limitations on debt determines the time a debt collection agency has to file a lawsuit against you for an unpaid debt. When that window closes, so does their opportunity to file a lawsuit.

They can still make additional attempts to get their hands on the money, such as sending letters and making phone calls.

It's crucial to avoid paying or even promising to pay a debt that has passed its statute of limitations since doing so could reset the clock and provide creditors another opportunity to file a lawsuit.

Depending on the type of debt and the state in which it was incurred, different states have different statutes of limitations.

According to laws in Mississippi for debt collection, for medical debt, and credit card debt, the statute of limitations is three years. For auto loan debt, it is six years, and for state tax debt, it is seven years.

8. Foreclosure in Mississippi

In Mississippi, non-judicial foreclosures are the most prevalent kind. This implies that the process could be completed quickly; in Mississippi, 90 days is the minimum. According to Mississippi law, the lender is free to sue for unpaid debts. Within a year following the foreclosure, the lender must seek justice, and the lender has to place a fair bid during the foreclosure auction.

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How you should respond to debt collection letters:

Receiving a letter from a collection agency could be upsetting. The statute of limitations outlined above should be kept in mind when you choose how to react to these notices. Here are some things to remember:

1. Ask for a debt verification letter.

Make sure to acquire the contact person's name, the name of the business they work for, and the phone number and address of that business. Ask for the original creditor’s name, the sum owed, and the procedure you can use to challenge the debt or prove that it belongs to you.

2. Don’t ignore the collection letters.

If you owe money, delaying will just make matters worse because debt collection agencies will only intensify their attempts as time goes on. You have 30 days in Mississippi to reply to a lawsuit for debt collection, and the clock starts ticking as soon as you receive the summons.

It is crucial to remember that the 30-day window may also include days when the court is closed, such as weekends or federal holidays. The deadline will be moved forward to the following business day the court is open if it falls on any of those days.

You must submit a formal complaint form if you want to voice an objection to collection procedures. Call the Consumer Protection Division to request the form. You can also find it online on the attorney general's website.

A consumer protection mediator will notify the collection agency of your complaint and demand a written response from them. There may be a requirement for further information from either you or the company.

Remember that the attorney general can only bring a lawsuit when deceptive business activities damage numerous customers or the entire state. The division will attempt to direct you to other resources if it is unable to assist you.

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Strategies to deal with debt

You can manage your debt if you owe money to creditors. Two of the best ways to deal with debt are debt consolidation and debt settlement. Here are further specifics on these tactics:

1. Debt settlement

The debt settlement process involves negotiating with creditors to obtain a repayment arrangement less than the due amount. Instead of just lowering the interest rate, like with debt consolidation and credit counseling, this reduces the total amount of debt. In Mississippi, debt settlement can offer a far speedier way to manage your debt.

The majority of lending institutions accept a reduced payment as it is preferable to losing the entire debt amount in a bankruptcy proceeding. If you are struggling, you might apply for debt forgiveness or a settlement.

If you're willing to attempt, you can choose to speak for yourself when contacting credit providers, but it is recommended that you seek assistance from a reputed debt relief firm.

2. Debt consolidation

This can be a suitable alternative if you have multiple debts that need to be combined in order to make repayment easier, such as personal loans, medical bills, credit card debt, or other debts. Less stress, financial savings, and credit growth are some of the benefits of consolidating debt; on the other hand, having bad credit can result in being denied a consolidation loan.

Paying one company that offers debt consolidation services instead of having to make numerous payments to numerous lenders is another debt consolidation method. Multiple businesses and services offer debt consolidation services.

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There's no reason to give up if you have too much debt or are neck deep in it. Remember that taking action is preferable to nothing. Make sure to assess how you got into debt and create a strategy for the future to avoid it.

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