Sarah Edwards | July 25, 2023
Edited by Hannah Locklear
Summary: Alaska state law and federal law protect consumers from unfair debt collection methods. More specifically, the Alaska Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act both prevent debt collectors from using abuse, harassment, or other questionable tactics to persuade consumers to pay. If you’ve been contacted by a collection agency about a debt, SoloSuit can help you stand up for your rights in court and increase your chances of winning.
As a resident of Alaska, you need to understand your rights if a debt collector is chasing you for money. Collection agencies aren’t known for being the most reputable businesses, and if an old account of yours ends up in a collection agency’s hands, you’ll probably start receiving lots of phone calls and letters.
Fortunately, both the federal and state government offer protections from debt collectors for Alaska residents. This guide will discuss Alaska debt collection laws and how to handle violations.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Alaska Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act prohibit debt collectors from using unfair and deceptive practices to pursue consumer debts. A few practices that are against the law include:
Additionally, the FDCPA prevents debt collectors from harassing or abusing you. Examples of harassment and abuse include the following:
If the FTC finds that a debt collector violated your rights, it may fine them up to $1,000 per violation and potentially take further legal action. Under AS § 45.50.551, the Alaska attorney general can penalize the collection agency between $1K and $25K for each violation of a consumer’s rights.
In addition to Alaska’ debt collection laws, wage garnishment laws exist to prevent your income from being taken away unfairly in order to pay off debt.
Under Alaskan law, creditors can garnish your wages according to federal guidelines in 15 U.S.C. § 1673. The maximum amount of the garnishment is the lesser of these two numbers:
To learn more about Alaska’s wage garnishment laws and how to stop or prevent wage garnishment from happening there, check out our guide on how to Stop Wage Garnishment in Alaska.
If you’re receiving letters from a debt collection agency, the worst thing you can do is ignore them. Instead, keep an objective mindset and read the letter. Your initial communication from a debt collector should include some basic information, like the original creditor’s name, your account number, and the outstanding amount due.
Your next step is to make the collector validate the debt. A Debt Validation Letter requests that the debt collection agency prove you owe the debt and that it has the right to collect it from you. You can request other things in your Debt Validation Letter, like a comparison of the debt’s age against the Alaska statute of limitations.
Watch our video to learn the importance of Debt Validation Letters — and how to write one:
If the collection agency doesn’t respond to your letter, it doesn’t have the requisite proof that you owe the debt. Unless it provides the requested evidence, it must cease all collection efforts against you.
If you don’t hear back from the collection agency, check your credit report to ensure there’s no adverse information from the debt collector. If there is, you can dispute it and provide a copy of your debt validation letter as evidence.
At some point, a collection agency that knows it has a valid legal claim against you may decide to take its case to court. You’ll receive a court summons with a Complaint attached if it does.
A Complaint lists the creditor’s claims against you, such as unpaid debt. It will include the amount you owe and any pertinent information concerning your account.
Receiving a court Summons is scary, especially when you’ve never been the subject of a debt lawsuit. You’ll want to carefully review the documents you receive to know the date of your hearing and the amount the collection agency says you owe.
It’s important to file a response to the collection agency’s Complaint — this response is known as an Answer. List any defenses you have against the collection agency’s claims. Your Answer will show the collection agency it can’t push you around, and you don’t intend to let it win a default judgment without the court hearing from you first.
If you’re unlikely to win the lawsuit (even with your gallant efforts to protect yourself), it’s best to resolve the matter before your hearing. You can either repay or try to settle the debt.
Repaying the debt stops any further legal activity against you. The debt collector must drop its claim. A settlement may work if you don’t have the money to fully repay the debt. In a settlement, you pay a portion of the obligation in exchange for the agency dropping the lawsuit against you.
Let’s consider an example.
Example: Mary has an outstanding credit card debt of $3,000. Purple Debt Collections purchases her debt and sues Mary for the amount she owes. Mary uses SoloSuit to respond to Purple Debt Collections’ Complaint, and then decides to try debt settlement. She uses SoloSettle to send an email to Purple Debt Collections, asking if it would be willing to drop the lawsuit in exchange for a $1,500 lump-sum payment. Purple Debt Collections agrees to Mary’s offer. Once it receives the money, it drops the case.
Once a collection agency purchases a debt you owe, it will likely start trying to contact you. Pay attention to its methods and don’t accept any abuse or harassment. Instead, report it to the FTC and the Alaska State Attorney General’s office. If your collection item turns into a debt lawsuit, resolve the matter before it becomes a judgment.
Is a debt collector suing you in Alaska? Use SoloSettle to settle your debt today.
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now are are just look for support, we're here for you.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.
Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.
"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" - Heather