Summary: Residents of Kansas being pursued by an overly aggressive debt collector can seek refuge in the legal rights and protections afforded under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Debt Collection Rule.
Being subjected to countless phone calls, threatening letters, and other forms of intimidation by an unscrupulous debt collector is a nerve wracking and generally unpleasant experience for most people, including residents of Kansas. If you find yourself being pursued by a debt collection agent or agency, there are legal provisions under both state and federal law designed to protect you while engaging with a debt collector about a delinquent account.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of debt collection laws in Kansas, including laws pertaining to the statute of limitations.
Legal Protections under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act
Kansas consumers are protected by a number of different state statutes. Kansas laws cover creditors and the extensions of consumer credit. Specifically, Kansas debt law prohibits “extortionate” extensions of credit whereby it is understood if repayment is delayed, it may result in acts of violence and physical harm to the individual who took out the loan.
Kansas also has enacted the Kansas Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). The KCPA prohibits conduct which would be deemed an “unconscionable” debt collection practice. If a Kansas resident has evidence that a debt collector violated the provisions of the KCPA, they may have grounds to file a civil action to obtain injunctive relief and statutory damages of up to $10,000, in addition to reimbursement for attorneys fees.
Kansas also requires debt collectors and collection agencies to be licensed by the state. This helps ensure that they meet certain legal and ethical standards when collecting debts. Consumers should always verify that a debt collector is properly licensed before engaging with them.
Along with the protections afforded under the KCPA and state licensing requirements, there are wage garnishment laws in Kansas. For context, wage garnishment is a legal process that allows a creditor to collect a debt by deducting a portion of a debtor's wages directly from their paycheck.
According to Kansas law, wage garnishment is allowed, but there are limits on the amount that can be garnished. Generally, the maximum amount that can be garnished is 25% of disposable earnings, or the amount by which disposable earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is less.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
In addition to the protection afforded to Kansas residents under the KCPA, there are additional rights and protections under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices. In addition, the FDCPA establishes guidelines and rules of the road for communication, harassment, and the collection of debts.
Basically, the statute of limitations is three years for oral contracts and five years for written contracts, meaning for most types of consumer debt (e.g., credit cards, auto loans, etc.) the applicable statute of limitations is five years.
It is important to understand the applicable statute of limitations since an older debt could be time-barred from a debt collector attempting to seek repayment via a debt collection lawsuit.
Navigating the Debt Collection Process Step by Step
Navigating the debt collection process can be overwhelming, but understanding the steps involved can help debtors and creditors navigate the process with confidence. Here, we provide a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the debt collection process in Kansas:
Review your debt: Start by reviewing the details of your debt. Gather all relevant documents, including loan agreements, contracts, and correspondence related to the debt. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the amount owed, the creditor, and any applicable interest or fees.
Validate the debt: Debtors have the right to request validation of a debt. This means you can ask the debt collector to provide proof that the debt is valid and that they have the legal right to collect it. Send a written request for validation within 30 days of receiving the initial communication from the debt collector. Keep a copy of your request for your records.
Communicate in writing: It is important to communicate with the debt collector in writing to maintain a clear record of all correspondences. Send any disputes or requests for information in writing, and keep copies of all letters or emails sent and received.
Understand your rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights under federal and state debt collection laws. As discussed, the FDCPA and KCPA provide important protections for consumers. These laws prohibit debt collectors from engaging in abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices. They also establish guidelines for communication, harassment, and the collection of debts.
Debt collection laws in Kansas, and at the federal level passed by Congress, are available to help level the playing field when a consumer is being hounded by an unscrupulous debt collector. Here are some key takeaways on this article on debt collection laws in Kansas:
If you are contacted by a debt collection agent or agency, do not fret. You have legal rights and protections under both federal law and Kansas law.
If you are being subjected to harassment by a debt collector, you may have grounds to file a legal action under the KCPA and/or the federal FDCPA to potentially recover compensatory damages and injunctive relief.
Debt collectors can only contact you between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm. They are also legally prohibited from calling you multiple times per day.
If you’ve been sued for a debt in Kansas, respond to the case with SoloSuit’s Debt Answer form and increase your chances of winning by 7x. Check out this video to learn more:
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