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New York fair debt collection statute

New York Fair Debt Collection Practices Act § 600.


  1. Consumer claim: This means any obligation of an individual for the payment of money alleged to be in default , which comes out of a transaction where credit has been offered to the individual, and the property or service that was subject of the transaction and was chiefly for personal, family or household purposes.
  2. Debtor: A debtor is any individual who owes to someone or who has been asserted to owe a consumer claim.
  3. Principal creditor: A principal creditor is any individual, firm, corporation or organization who has a claim against a debtor, which is far greater than the debt owed to any other creditor and in some cases, to all other creditors combined.
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Prohibited practices by the New York fair debt collection practices act § 601

According to the New York state fair debt collection laws, no principal creditor or his/ her agent is allowed to:

  1. Act, in any way, as a law enforcement officer, a representative of any govt. agency of the state of NY or any of its political subdivisions;
  2. Collect, attempt to collect, or assert a right to any collection fee, attorney fee, court expense, that were not agreed upon in the original loan agreement;
  3. Reveal or threaten to reveal information about the debtor that could harm the debtor’s reputation or creditworthiness even though knowing that the information is false;
  4. Communicate or threaten to communicate the nature of the debt to the debtor’s employer prior to the final court orders. However, this provision shall not prohibit a principal creditor from communicating with the debtor’s employer to perform a wage garnishment agreement if the debtor has agreed in writing (in the agreement);
  5. Reveal or threaten to reveal information regarding the existence of a debt though the debtor has already disputed the same;
  6. Communicate repeatedly or at unusual hours with the debtor or any of the family members and moreover in a harassing or abusive manner;
  7. Threaten the debtor with initiating any action that the principal creditor cannot legally do or is not intending to do;
  8. Use such a way of communication that appears in any manner as legal or judicial process gives the appearance of something authorized by the government, or attorney at law when it is not.
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Violations and penalties (New York fair debt collection practices act § 602.)

  1. If not otherwise said by law, any individual found violating these prohibited terms shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and each violation shall be deemed a separate offense.
  2. The attorney general or the district attorney of any county may prosecute the perpetrators violating the prohibited acts in order to restrain or prevent any such violation that may happen in future.
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Severability (New York fair debt collection practices act § 603.)

If any provision or application of this article is held invalid, the invalidity thereof shall not in any way affect the other provisions or applications of this article, and to this and the provisions of this article are severable.

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