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Debt Collection Laws in Minnesota

Patrick Austin, J.D. | November 15, 2023

Patrick Austin
Attorney from George Mason
Patrick Austin, JD

Patrick Austin is a licensed attorney with a background in data privacy and information security law. Patrick received his law degree at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief for the National Security Law Journal.

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: There are debt collection laws in Minnesota enacted with the intent to help protect consumers residing in the North Star State from being subjected to inappropriate and harassing debt collection practices. These rights and protections are codified under Minnesota law and federal law.

Suffering through numerous phone calls that seem to occur at all times of the day and night, receiving threatening letters in the mail, and other forms of intimidation and harassment by an unethical debt collector is generally considered to be awful by most people, including residents of the North Star State. If you find yourself being pursued by such a debt collection agent or agency, there are legal protections under both Minnesota law 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 Minnesota, including laws pertaining to the statute of limitations.

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Minnesota debt collection laws

When it comes to debt collection agents and agencies operating in Minnesota, they must adhere to the statutory mandates and requirements set forth in the Minnesota Collection Agency Act (i.e. Minn. Stat. §§332.31 to 332.45). This state law requires debt collectors to be licensed to engage in debt collection activities in the State of Minnesota. In addition, the law prohibits the following actions by a debt collector when engaging with a Minnesota resident:

  • Misleading or deceptive communications
  • Making misrepresentations that they are an attorney or credit bureau
  • Levying threats or using coercive collection practices to try and pressure a consumer into repayment
  • Making misrepresentations that the debt collector is a government agency, using fictitious names
  • Failing to provide full agency name when collecting a debt, enlisting the aid of neighbors, failure to report monies collected.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Along with the protections afforded under Minnesota Collection Agency Act, there are legal protections and rights available under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a landmark law governing the practices of debt collectors. In addition, the FDCA provides consumers with notable legal protections against certain predatory and harassing practices. The FDCPA also sets forth prohibitions on debt collectors from utilizing any misleading or deceptive representation in an effort to collect a debt.

Statute of limitations for debt in Minnesota

The statute of limitations for most types of debt in Minnesota is six years. The six-year statute of limitations period applies to open accounts and written contracts, which typically includes credit cards and other forms of consumer debt.

Creditors and debt collectors are able to file a lawsuit for breach of contract under Minnesota law within this period to hold you legally responsible for an unpaid debt. After six years lapse, a Minnesota court can toss out such a debt collection lawsuit on the grounds that the debt is time-barred.

Obligations and responsibilities of debt collectors in Minnesota

In addition to understanding the rights and protections afforded to debtors in Minnesota, it is equally important to familiarize yourself with the obligations and responsibilities of debt collectors operating within the state. Debt collectors are required to adhere to specific guidelines and regulations to ensure fair and ethical practices. By knowing what debt collectors are obligated to do, you can better protect yourself and handle any potential violations.

Minnesota debt collectors must identify themselves

Debt collectors in Minnesota must identify themselves accurately and clearly state the purpose of their communication when contacting you about a debt. They are required to provide their name and the name of the collection agency they represent. If requested, they must also provide their physical address.

Minnesota debt collectors must validate your debt upon request

Upon request, debt collectors must provide written validation of the debt being collected. This validation should include details such as the amount owed, the name of the original creditor, and any relevant documentation supporting the debt. Debt collectors are not allowed to continue collection efforts until they have provided this written validation.

Debt collectors can only call at certain times in Minnesota

Debt collectors in Minnesota are prohibited from communicating with debtors at inconvenient times or places. They cannot contact you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. unless you have given them permission to do so. Additionally, if you inform the debt collector that you are represented by an attorney, they must direct their communication to your attorney rather than contacting you directly.

Minnesota debt collectors cannot harass you

Debt collectors in Minnesota are strictly prohibited from engaging in any form of harassment, abuse, or misleading conduct. They cannot use threats, obscene or profane language, or engage in any practices intended to embarrass or intimidate you. If you believe a debt collector has violated these provisions, you have the right to take legal action against them.

Debt collectors must report only accurate information to the credit bureaus

Debt collectors have the responsibility to accurately report any debts to credit bureaus. However, they must ensure that the information they report is true and correct. If you dispute the accuracy of the reported debt, the debt collector must investigate the matter and correct any errors.

Minnesota debt collectors must follow federal and state laws

Debt collectors in Minnesota must comply with all applicable state and federal laws governing debt collection practices. This includes adhering to the provisions outlined in the aforementioned FDCPA and the Minnesota Collection Agency Act.

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Key takeaways

Debt collection laws in Minnesota afford residents with statutory protections and rights to help even the playing field between everyday consumers and large debt collection companies. Here are some key takeaways on this article on debt collection laws in Minnesota:

  • If you are contacted by a debt collection agent or agency, do not throw your hands up in despair. You have legal rights and protections under both federal law and Minnesota law.
  • If you are being subjected to harassment by a debt collector, you may have grounds to file a legal action under 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.

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