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Debt Collection Laws in North Dakota

Patrick Austin, J.D. | October 05, 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: North Dakota residents being hounded by debt collectors have legal protections and rights under both state and federal law, including North Dakota Century Code Title 13-05 and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

In North Dakota, creditors and debt collection agencies are allowed to pursue the collection of unpaid debts and delinquent accounts that have gone into default. Nevertheless, there are statutory limits in place governing what debt collection agencies can, and cannot, do in their pursuit to recover on a debt.

State and federal laws restrict debt collectors from relying on harassment, deceptive tactics, and unethical behavior to try and obtain repayment for a debt from consumers inNorth Dakota. The relevant federal laws include the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Let’s take a look at each and how they apply to governing debt collection in the Roughrider State.

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North Dakota debt collection laws protect you

Debt collection laws in North Dakota provide a legal framework for the collection of debts and ensure fair and lawful practices. It is essential for both debtors and creditors to have an overview of these laws to navigate the debt collection process effectively.

North Dakota Century Code Title 13-05: The primary source of debt collection laws in North Dakota is the North Dakota Century Code. This code outlines the rules and regulations that govern debt collection activities in the state, including:

  • Prohibited Practices: Debt collection laws in North Dakota prohibit certain practices that are considered unfair, deceptive, or abusive. These practices include harassment, threats, false representation, and misleading statements. Debt collectors are also prohibited from contacting debtors at inconvenient times or at their workplace if it is known to be prohibited by the employer.
  • Validation of Debts: Under North Dakota debt collection laws, debtors have the right to request validation of their debts. Upon receiving a written request from a debtor, the debt collector must provide certain information, including the amount of the debt, the name of the original creditor, and verification of the debt.
  • Legal Remedies: If debt collection laws are violated, debtors have the right to take legal action against the debt collector. They can file a complaint with the North Dakota Attorney General's Office or seek legal representation to pursue a lawsuit. Violations of debt collection laws can result in penalties, fines, and even a revocation of the debt collector's license.

North Dakota debt collection laws were designed with the consumer in mind, with the goal of protecting consumers, like you, from harmful, deceptive, and abusive debt collection practices. You should feel empowered to know that your rights can protect you from debt collector harassment.

North Dakota debt collectors must be licensed

North Dakota's debt collection laws generally align with the FDCPA. In addition, the Flickertail State also requires every debt collection agent and agency to apply for, and obtain, an active license to operate lawfully in the state. In addition, debt collection agents and agencies must be bonded with the state government. If a debt collector, or agency, is found to be noncompliant with these requirements, they could be subject to a felony charge.

North Dakota’s statute of limitations on debt prevents old debt lawsuits

North Dakota has a statute of limitations that limits the time within which creditors can legally pursue debts. The statute of limitations for most types of debts in North Dakota is six years, according to N.D. CENT. CODE §§ 28-01-16; 41-03-18. After this period, creditors cannot file a lawsuit to collect the debt. It is important for debtors to be aware of the statute of limitations to avoid being pursued for debts that are too old to be legally collected.

The table below further outlines the statute of limitations on different types of debt in North Dakota:

Statute of Limitations on Debt in North Dakota

Debt Type Deadline
Credit Card 6 years
Medical 6 years
Auto Loan 6 years
Student Loan 6 years
Mortgage 6 years
Personal Loan 6 years
Judgment 10 years
Source: N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-15 and § 28-01-16

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides federal protection

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that regulates debt collection practices across the United States, including in North Dakota. It provides additional protections for consumers and sets standards for debt collection agencies. Debt collectors must comply with the provisions of the FDCPA when collecting debts from North Dakota residents.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enforces other regulations for North Dakota debt collectors

In addition to the legal protections afforded under the FDCPA, North Dakota residents (and residents across the country) can seek assistance when being harassed by a debt collector from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is a federal agency that focuses on consumer financial protection and oversees the enforcement of federal consumer protection laws. For example, in 2021, the CFPB issued a Debt Collection Rule clarifying how debt collectors can communicate with people, including what information they are required to provide at the outset of collection about the debt, legal rights of consumers in debt collection, and how consumers can exercise those rights.

Follow these steps if you think your rights were violated by a North Dakota debt collector

If you believe that your rights as a consumer have been violated by a debt collector in North Dakota, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and seek resolution. Here are some actions you can consider:

  • Gather evidence: Collect any documentation or evidence that supports your claim, such as letters, emails, phone call records, or voicemails from the debt collector. This evidence will be important if you decide to take legal action or file a complaint.
  • Review your rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights as a consumer under the FDCPA and other applicable laws. Understanding your rights will help you assess whether they have been violated and guide your next steps.
  • Contact the debt collector: If you feel comfortable doing so, reach out to the debt collector in question to address your concerns. Clearly communicate your grievances and ask for an explanation or resolution. Keep a record of any conversations or correspondence.
  • File a complaint: If your attempts to resolve the issue directly with the debt collector are unsuccessful or if you do not feel comfortable contacting them directly, you can file a complaint with the North Dakota Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), or any other relevant regulatory agency. Provide them with all the necessary details and evidence to support your complaint.
  • Keep records: Throughout the process, make sure to keep detailed records of all communication, including dates, times, and the names of individuals you spoke with. This documentation will be valuable if you need to prove your case later on.

If you’ve been sued for debt in North Dakota, you should stand up for your rights by filing an Answer to the debt lawsuit. If you know you owe the money, you may also consider debt settlement to resolve the debt and move on with life.

Settle your debt in North Dakota

If you know you owe the debt, and the debt is still within the statute of limitations, another option to resolve your debt lawsuit is debt 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.

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 North Dakota, 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 North Dakota

Key Takeaways

  • Creditors and debt collection agencies can pursue unpaid debts in North Dakota, but there are limits on their collection practices.
  • Federal laws such as the FDCPA and Fair Credit Reporting Act curb harassment and deceptive practices by debt collectors.
  • The North Dakota Century Code Title 13-05 defines debt collection rules, including prohibited practices, debt validation, and legal remedies for violations.
  • Debt collectors in North Dakota must be licensed and bonded; noncompliance can result in felony charges.
  • North Dakota imposes a six-year statute of limitations on most debts, preventing legal action beyond this period.
  • If you’ve been sued for debt in North Dakota, SoloSuit can help you respond to the debt lawsuit, stand up for your rights, and settle your debt before your court date.

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