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Debt Collection Laws in Hawaii

Sarah Edwards | July 31, 2023

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Harris is a professional researcher and writer specializing in legal content. An Emerson College alumna, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the prestigious Boston institution.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Hawaii debt collectors must abide by federal laws and state laws when collecting a debt. We break down these laws in detail in this article. Additionally, most debts fall under a statute of limitations of six years in Hawaii. If you’ve been sued for debt in Hawaii, SoloSuit can help you respond, stand up for your rights, and settle your debts for good.

The first time the phone rang, it was an annoyance. But now you find yourself on pins and needles each time you check the caller ID. Debt collectors are nothing if not persistent, and in some cases, they can be downright aggressive, even in the relative paradise of Hawaii.

The good news is that you’re not alone. SoloSuit has helped countless individuals settle their debts and rebuild their credit. First, you need to learn about and take advantage of Hawaii laws that protect you from intimidation, harassment, and deceptive debt collection practices.

Sued for debt in Hawaii? Use SoloSuit to respond and settle your debt for good.

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First, understand federal debt collection laws

Every American is protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regardless of what state they live in. The FDCPA places specific limits on debt collection agencies, preventing them from engaging in certain practices. These include:

  • Calling you multiple times each day.
  • Calling you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
  • Telling your friends, family, or coworkers about your debt.
  • Calling you after receiving a Cease and Desist Letter.
  • Using vulgar or offensive language.
  • Threatening you with arrest if you fail to pay your debt.
  • Refusing to validate your debt.

You can report violations to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the FTC website or by calling 877-382-4357. Alternatively, you can report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) through its website or by calling 855-411-2372.

Hawaii state laws protect you from unfair debt collection

You have additional rights and protections from debt collectors under Hawaii law. More specifically, Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 443B-Collection Agencies outlines rules and regulations that Hawaii debt collectors must follow. Hawaii debt collectino laws include the following:

  • Debt collection agencies must be registered by the state in order to collect debts, and they must renew their registration each calendar year on June 30.
  • If a Hawaii debt collection agency plans to shut down its business, it must submit a statement to its clients indicating that it is closing down.
  • Any person who is not a registered debt collection agency in Hawaii cannot send you any paperwork that may lead you to believe they are a debt collector.
  • Hawaii debt collectors must keep a permanent record of all funds and forms collected by them.
  • No collection agency can use threat, coercion, or attempt to coerce in order to collect a debt. This includes threats of violence, harm to someone’s reputation, false accusations, threatening to arrest, profane language, and more.
  • Debt collectors cannot lie about who they are, the debt you owe, or any other information regarding their debt collection attempts.

These are some of the highlights of Hawaii debt collection laws. Any violation of these laws may be punished by a fine of up to $5,000 per violation, according to §443B-14.

What is the statute of limitations on debt in Hawaii?

What is the statute of limitations on debt in Hawaii? Like other states, the time frame depends on the type of debt in question. According to the Hawaii Revised Statutes § 657-1, the statute of limitations is as follows:

Statute of Limitations on Debt in Hawaii

Debt Type Deadline
Credit Card 6 years
Medical 6 years
Student Loan 6 years
Auto Loan 6 years
Mortgage 6 years
Personal Loan 6 years
Judgment 10 years
Source: Haw. Rev. Stat. § 657-1 and § 657-5

This table shows that most consumer debts — including credit cards, personal loans, home equity loans, and lines of credit — will carry a statute of limitations of six years.

Hawaii debt collection laws control how debt collectors can act

Hawaiian debt collectors must be registered with the Department of Commerce and are required to abide by the regulations spelled out in the FDCPA. This includes abiding by Hawaii’s statute of limitations on debt.

Hawaii state law attaches penalties to violations of the FDCPA. If the debtor is over 62 years of age or if the collector uses defamatory language, the debt collector can be penalized even further.

Additionally, Hawaii prohibits the garnishment of Social Security Disability income, Social Security Retirement income, unemployment benefits, or pension payments made to civil servants.

Stand up for your rights against debt collectors in Hawaii

For starters, know your rights. Is the debt collector calling frequently or sharing your debt with friends or family to try to embarrass you? It may be time to report the debt collector to the FTC or CFPB. To learn more about your rights as a consumer, read our guide on FDCPA Violations List.

What do you do if you’re on the receiving end of a persistent debt collector? You have several options. Keep reading to learn about them.

Validate your debt

Ask the debt collector to validate the debt to make sure that it’s legitimate. Request that the debt collector reveal the name and address of the debt collection agency that they represent.

You can use this address to send a Debt Validation Letter to confirm the debt. The collection agency must then provide you with a response that includes the name of the original creditor and the amount you owe.

For inspiration, check out this video on how to draft a Debt Validation Letter:

Send a Cease and Desist Letter

A Cease and Desist Letter is a document requesting that the debt collector stop contacting you regarding your debt. This request must be made in writing, and don’t forget that it may take a few days for your debt collector to receive the request.

Sending a Cease and Desist Letter doesn’t prevent your debt collector from contacting you via a lawsuit. It might even cause you to lose track of your debt, which increases the chances that the collector will attempt to take you to court. Still, a Cease and Desist Letter is a surefire way to put a stop to unwanted phone calls.

Use this template from SoloSuit to draft a Cease and Desist Letter.

Settle your debt and move on with your life

Putting your debt behind you will also eliminate frequent phone calls and allow you to start rebuilding your credit. The collection agency likely purchased your debt from a credit card company or a bank at a steep discount, and it may be willing to accept a lower settlement.

In a debt settlement, you offer your creditor a portion of the total amount due, usually at least 60% of the debt’s value. In exchange for a lump-sum payment, the creditor agrees to drop its legal claims against you and release you from the remaining balance.

SoloSettle, powered by SoloSuit, is a tech-based approach to debt settlement. Our software helps you send and receive settlement offers until you reach an agreement with the collector. Once an agreement is reached, we’ll help you manage the settlement documentation and transfer your payment to the creditor or debt collector, helping you keep your financial information private and secure.

To learn more about how to settle your debt in Hawaii, watch the following video:

Now, let’s look at an example of how to settle debt in Hawaii.

Example: Kai has been feeling anxious after receiving multiple phone calls from a debt collector. But Kai knows that the debt isn’t going away. He sends a Debt Validation Letter to the collector’s address to verify the debt. He also submits a Cease and Desist Letter to stop the unwanted phone calls. Once he verifies that the debt is legitimate, he uses SoloSettle to draft a settlement agreement, offering 40% of the original amount. His credit history takes a hit, but thankfully, he’s now on the road to financial stability.

Get help in the event of a lawsuit

Debt collectors are not above lawsuits to capture your unpaid debts. When this happens, you may have only days to file an Answer with the collector and with the court.

SoloSuit can help. Our app guides you through creating a legal Answer. We can even have an attorney review your Answer, then send the completed form to the collector and to the court.

What is SoloSuit?

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.

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

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