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Debt Collection Laws in Wyoming

Dena Standley | September 13, 2023

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

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: Did you know Wyoming protects you from being harassed by debt collectors for a debt you owe? You can also take action against them by reporting them to various consumer protection institutions and filing a lawsuit against them. This article will explain these laws and the action to take after they violate your rights.

You’ve probably had enough of the annoying calls from debt collectors. Or maybe it's the endless emails or voicemails that you’re fed up with. Now, you are probably asking yourself how to stop them from contacting you. The good news is that Wyoming has laws that can protect you from debt collection harassment and other unfair practices.

Apart from the strict regulation on debt collection communications, Wyoming has other laws that protect consumers at various stages of the collection process. In this article, we’ll break down these laws in detail and explain steps to take against a debt collector who violates your rights.

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Wyoming debt collection laws protect consumers and clients

Wyoming Statutes 33-11-101 through 33-11-116 are state-specific laws that protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices. These laws also protect clients who have hired debt collection agencies to perform collection services on their behalf. Here are some of the most important Wyoming debt collection laws to know about:

Wyoming debt collectors must keep a record of collections

Under Debt collectors must give their clients a statement of all the money they've collected within 30 days of the end of the month it was collected. This statement must show when and how much was collected. If multiple accounts are against one debtor, the statement must show which account got the payment. Clients must be able to keep the statement, and it shouldn’t be part of a check to cash.

Wyoming debt collectors must validate a debt

Upon request, Wyoming debt collectors must provide consumers with a detailed written record of their debts. This record will list each debt, who it's owed to, the amount, any extra charges, payment details, and remaining balance. Note that you cannot request this information too frequently—specifically no more often than you make payments.

Wyoming debt collectors cannot add costs to the debt amount

Collectors can only sue or collect the actual owed amount plus any legal interest and court costs. If suing based on a legal document that allows attorney fees, those fees can be added, but only if a licensed attorney represents the collector. The attorney gets paid this fee, not the collector.

Wyoming debt collectors must be licensed

Wyoming debt collection laws clearly state that debt collection agencies that operate without a license will be penalized for participating collection activities, as outlined in WY Stat § 33-11-115. More specifically, any debt collector that operates without a valid collections in Wyoming is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined up to $750 or sent to jail for up to 6 months.

Wyoming wage garnishment laws

Wyoming still protects you even when a debt collector wins a garnishment order. The law limits how they conduct themselves and the amount they can take. WY Stat § 1-15-408 states that creditors can only take 25% of your disposable income for debt or an amount that surpasses thirty times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hr). Exemptions to garnishment include:

  • If you have other garnishment orders that are more important than debt garnishment, for example, child or spousal support.
  • If the garnishment will cause severe financial hardship to you and your household.
  • If the debt amount or the garnishment order amount is inaccurate

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also protects Wyoming consumers

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a nationwide debt collection law that supports state laws. Wyoming borrows heavily from these laws, and courts use them to make rulings regarding debt collection. Under the FDCPA, Wyoming debt collectors cannot:

  • Call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Call you at work when your employer prohibits such communication
  • Tell your family or friends that you owe a debt
  • Continue to contact you when you have explicitly asked them not to
  • Take actions considered harassment or abuse under the FDCPA
  • Claim they will sell your debt in order to coerce you to pay
  • Cause your phone to ring repeatedly with the intent to annoy
  • Fail to disclose that they are a debt collector
  • Make false claims about who they are
  • Threaten to seize your house or other property
  • Threaten to take legal action that they cannot, or do not plan to, take

Learn more about how the FDCPA protects you here.

Note that slight differences can be found between the FDCPA and state laws, but FDCPA refers consumers back to the state laws for clarification. Here is a quote regarding this matter found in the Act section 816:

"This subchapter does not annul, alter, or affect, or exempt any person subject to the provisions of this subchapter from complying with the laws of any State with respect to debt collection practices, except to the extent that those laws are inconsistent with any provision of this subchapter, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency. For purposes of this section, a State law is not inconsistent with this subchapter if the protection such law affords any consumer is greater than the protection provided by this subchapter—FDCPA."

Below are some other debt collection laws outlined by the FDCPA.

Wyoming debt collectors cannot discuss your debt with others

According to 15 U.S. Code § 1692b, a debt collector is expected to carefully measure how they communicate with someone else regarding your debt. Even though the law allows them to call a debtor’s friend or relative to ask where they are, the law prohibits them from:

  • Telling the person that they are calling about a debt.
  • Calling the same person more than once unless they want to correct the initial information given.
  • Communicating via postcard.
  • Using a symbol or language in written format that suggests the communication is debt related.

Debt collectors must validate your debt

In addition to regulations listed above, the FDCPA states that debt collectors must cease communications after receiving a Debt Validation Letter, which formally demands more information about the debt in question. If the debt cannot be validated, you may be off the hook. Learn more about how a Debt Validation letter can prevent a lawsuit and how to write one in the following video.

Follows these steps if a debt collector violates your rights

Once you know your consumer rights, you have the upper hand when debt collectors contact you. Ideally, they will tone down their unprofessionalism and use the proper methods to collect the debt. The following are the steps to take when they violate your rights:

  1. Keep track of all communications and record what they say and how they say it. Take note of the violations and have them at hand as evidence.
  2. Contact the debt collector and inform him of the violations. If possible, send them a copy of the instances they have gone against your rights. Ask them to stop the violation or adjust the inaccurate information. If they agree, stop the process at this point. If not, proceed to the next step.
  3. Submit a complaint to the Wyoming attorney general's office, the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, and Fair Trade Commission. They will require the creditor to respond to you and make amends.
  4. Dispute the debt with the three main credit bureaus—if the matter concerns inaccurate debt figures. These agencies will investigate the complaint and report to you within 30 days.
  5. File a lawsuit with your local court. If the above methods fail to yield results, open a lawsuit against the debt collector but make sure you have enough evidence to prove your case.

Another viable option is to settle the debt. When they realize you have evidence against them for consumer violation, they may be willing to accept a settlement offer. Use SoloSettle to increase your chances of resolving your debt at a lower rate.

Settle a debt in Wyoming

Debt collectors and creditors have the right to take legal action if you refuse to communicate with them about your debt. However, that doesn’t mean that all debt lawsuits have merit. Luckily, SoloSuit was created with this in mind.

SoloSuit can help you respond to a debt lawsuit in Wyoming, stand up for your rights, and buy yourself time to work out a debt settlement plan. The surest way to get debt collectors off your back is by paying what you owe. And if you go about this wisely, you can usually settle your debt for less than you originally owed.

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 Wyoming, 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 Wyoming

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