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Debt Collection Laws in Idaho

Sarah Edwards | August 07, 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: If a debt collector is chasing you for debt in Idaho, you might wonder what rights you have. Idaho adheres to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a federal law that protects consumers from abusive and deceptive debt collectors. However, there are a few other state-mandated laws that collection agencies must follow. SoloSuit explains your rights under Idaho debt collection laws.

No one likes dealing with debt collectors. Collection letters usually contain lots of confusing legal terminology that’s likely to make you feel guilty for owing money, and their phone calls can interrupt your busy day.

If a collection agency is pursuing you for debt in Idaho, it’s essential to understand what it can and cannot do. That way, you’ll know when a debt collector has infringed on your rights and how to handle it.

Sued for debt in Idaho? Use SoloSettle to settle your debts for good.

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Idaho abides by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is federal legislation that aims to protect consumers from unfair debt collection tactics. It sets standards that debt collectors must adhere to in all 50 states, including Idaho.

Some states have enacted additional legislation for debt collectors, but Idaho is not one of them. Idaho has a few other debt collection laws, but they mainly concern the licensing of debt collectors, not consumer protection.

Under the FDCPA, debt collectors cannot abuse or harass consumers with any of the following tactics:

  • Calling a consumer repeatedly throughout the day and letting the phone ring off the hook.
  • Using obscene or profane language to coerce a consumer into paying a debt.
  • Threatening to use physical violence against a consumer if they don’t pay a debt.
  • Telling the consumer they’ll harm their reputation if they don’t repay a debt.
  • Publishing the consumer’s name in a list of people who don’t pay their obligations.
  • Calling the consumer without telling the person who they are.

Let’s consider an example.

Example: Steve receives a phone call from Sweet Berry Collections concerning an old credit card debt. The debt collector tells him to stay on guard because if he doesn’t pay back the debt by Friday, they’ll start stalking him everywhere he goes. Steve feels uneasy and looks out his window. Parked outside his house is a truck with “Sweet Berry Collections” on the side. Steve calls the police and tells them what happened, then files a harassment complaint against Sweet Berry Collections with the FTC.

Debt collectors can’t use deceptive practices to pursue debts

The FDCPA stipulates that collection agencies can’t willfully mislead you or make false statements when trying to collect an obligation. Some examples of deceptive practices that the FDCPA prohibits include:

  • Claiming they’re a state or federal government representative when they’re not.
  • Telling you a debt is within the Statute of Limitations when it’s time-barred.
  • Implying that they’re an attorney or represent a law firm when that’s not the case.
  • Failing to disclose that a written or oral communication is an attempt to collect a debt.
  • Using the name of an unconnected business to try to collect a debt.
  • Implying or telling a consumer that their communications are legal process.

Let’s look at another example.

Example: Cody receives a collection notice from Red Hot Collections. The agency is trying to collect a credit card debt that’s 25 years old. There is no current judgment against Cody for the debt, and he’s long forgotten he ever had a credit card with the original creditor. Red Hot Collections tells Cody it will sue him if he doesn’t pay the bill. Red Hot Collections has used deceptive practices to collect the debt by claiming it can sue Cody for a time-barred debt since the Statute of Limitations for credit card debt in Idaho is five years.

Is an Idaho debt collector suing you for unpaid debt in Idaho? Learn how to file an Answer to your debt lawsuit in Idaho.

Idaho debt collectors must have a collection agency permit to collect debts

Under I.C. § 26-2223, all collection agencies, debt or credit counselors, and credit repair organizations must have an Idaho license granting them the right to engage in debt collection or similar activities.

Specific actions that Idaho prohibits without a collection agency permit include the following:

  • Collecting or receiving payments on behalf of another organization for outstanding bills or accounts.
  • Sending collection letters to anyone living in Idaho.
  • Implying or engaging in any activity as a third party attempting to collect a debt.

If you receive a collection letter in Idaho, it should include the collection agency’s permit number. You should ask for the debt collector’s license number in your Debt Validation Letter if it doesn't.

Always ask a collection agency to validate a debt before paying it

Under the FDCPA and Idaho Statutes 67-2358, debt collectors must provide the following information when contacting someone about a debt:

  • The amount of the debt;
  • That unless the debtor, within thirty (30) days after receipt of notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the public agency;
  • That if the debtor notifies the public agency in writing within the thirty (30) day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the public agency will obtain verification of the debt and a copy of such verification will be mailed to the consumer by the public agency; and
  • That the public agency may employ a debt collection agency to collect a debt, which may result in additional costs to the debtor if the debtor fails to pay the debt.

If this information was never provided, consumers can dispute a debt after receiving a collection notice by sending a Debt Validation Letter.

Even if you recognize a debt in a collection letter, you should always dispute it to ensure the collection agency is the proper owner of the obligation and has the legal right to collect money from you.

A Debt Validation Letter informs the collection agency that you will dispute the debt unless it can provide specific information about the obligation, like the amount you owe, the last transaction made, and the debt’s age. You should also ask the collection agency for its Idaho license number.

If a collection agency can’t provide you with the requested information, it must remove any adverse reporting on your credit report and stop its collection efforts.

Settle your debt in Idaho

The surest way to get debt collectors off your back is by paying what you owe. But if you go about this wisely, you can usually settle your debt for a steep discount.

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.

If you decide to settle your obligation, you’ll want to ensure you get the terms of your agreement in writing and pay the creditor before your court date. If you’ve never tried debt settlement before, consider working with a professional organization that will guide you through the process.

To learn more about how to settle a debt in Idaho, check out this video:

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.

Read also: How to Settle a Debt in Idaho

Don’t let debt collectors harass you in Idaho

Collection agencies are a real pain, but you have certain protections under the FDCPA and Idaho state law. If you believe a debt collector's actions break the law, file a complaint with the FTC and the Idaho Attorney General’s office.

Provide any evidence you have, like copies of collection letters. If the FTC or Idaho Attorney General finds that a collection agency is violating your rights, it can take further action against the agency.

Is a collection agency suing you for debt in Idaho? Don’t let it win the case — settle the claim with SoloSettle.

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