Summary: Oklahoma's debt collection laws, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), prevent unfair tactics by debt collectors, while also setting a five-year statute of limitations for most debts. Furthermore, with tools like SoloSuit and SoloSettle, Oklahomans can effectively respond to debt lawsuits and settle their debts while ensuring their rights are upheld.
Enduring constant phone calls at all hours and receiving menacing letters can be overwhelming, especially when they come from an unscrupulous debt collector. Most people, including those from the Sooner State, find this experience deeply distressing. However, if you're facing this, don't lose hope. Both state and federal laws offer legal safeguards and mandates to support you when dealing with debt collectors.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of debt collection laws in Oklahoma, including laws pertaining to the statute of limitations.
Oklahoma debt collection laws give rights and protections to consumers
Consumers in Oklahoma are protected by various laws and regulations when it comes to debt collection. These rights and protections ensure that individuals are not subjected to unfair or abusive practices by creditors or debt collectors. It is essential for both debtors and creditors to be aware of these rights to ensure a fair and lawful debt collection process. Here are some key rights and protections for consumers under Oklahoma law:
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
The FDCPA is a federal law that protects consumers from abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices. It applies to third-party debt collectors but not to original creditors. Under this law, Oklahoma debt collectors cannot:
Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
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
Oklahoma has a statute of limitations that sets a time limit within which a creditor can file a legal action to collect a debt. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for most types of debt is five years. Once the statute of limitations has expired, creditors cannot pursue legal action to collect the debt, although they can still attempt to collect it informally.
The table below further outlines the Oklahoma statute of limitations on different types of debt:
Debt collectors are required to provide written notification to consumers within five days of their initial communication. This notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor, and information on the consumer's right to dispute the debt. Consumers have the right to request validation of the debt and the creditor must provide this information upon request.
Prohibition of Harassment and Abuse
Debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in any form of harassment or abuse when attempting to collect a debt. They cannot use threats, obscenities, or profanities, and they cannot make repeated or excessive phone calls. Consumers have the right to request that debt collectors cease all communication, and the collectors must comply with this request, except to inform the consumer of legal action or other specified circumstances.
Debt Verification and Dispute Resolution
Consumers have the right to request verification of a debt, known as a Debt Validation Letter. Upon receiving a written request, the debt collector must provide evidence that the consumer owes the debt, such as a copy of the original contract or account statement. If a consumer disputes a debt, the debt collector must cease collection efforts until the debt has been verified. Consumers have the right to dispute the debt and request that the debt collector provide evidence of the debt's validity.
Watch the following video to learn more about how sending a Debt Validation letter can protect you:
Prohibition of False or Misleading Statements
Debt collectors cannot make false or misleading statements in an attempt to collect a debt. This includes misrepresenting the amount owed, falsely representing themselves as attorneys or government officials, or threatening legal action that they do not intend to take.
Along with the consumer protections contained within the FDCPA and within state law, there are additional protections available through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). For example, the CFPB issued its “Debt Collection Rule” in 2021 clarifying how debt collectors can communicate and engage with consumers when attempting to collect on a delinquent account.
Pursuant to the Debt Collection Rule, a debt collector is prohibited from contacting a consumer more than seven times within a seven-day period, or seven days after initially engaging in a phone conversation with a consumer concerning a delinquent account.
In addition, debt collectors must keep any social media messages sent to a consumer private and not viewable by the general public or by your friends, contacts, or followers on any particular social media platform.
Take these steps if you believe your rights have been violated
If you believe that your rights as a consumer have been violated by a debt collector in Oklahoma, it is important to take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and seek resolution. Follow these steps if you believe your rights have been violated:
Keep Detailed Records: Document all interactions with the debt collector, including dates, times, and a summary of the conversation. Keep copies of any written communication or documentation received from the debt collector.
Review Debt Collection Laws: Familiarize yourself with the debt collection laws in Oklahoma (hey, you’re doing this right now!) to understand your rights and protections as a consumer. Understanding the regulations can help you identify any violations.
File a Complaint: If the debt collector does not rectify the situation or continues to engage in illegal practices, file a complaint with the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office or the CFPB. Provide all relevant documentation and evidence to support your claim.
Dispute the Debt: If you believe the debt itself is not valid or has already been paid, you have the right to dispute it. Write a letter to the debt collector requesting verification of the debt and providing any evidence you have to support your claim. Debt collectors must provide proper validation within 30 days.
Monitor Your Credit Report: Regularly check your credit report for any inaccurate or false information related to the debt. If inaccurate information is present, dispute it with the credit reporting agencies and provide them with the necessary documentation to support your claim.
Debt collection laws in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma:
Oklahoma Debt Collection Laws: Consumers in Oklahoma are protected from unfair practices by debt collectors. Laws include the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which prevents abusive behaviors by third-party collectors.
Oklahoma Statute of Limitations: Creditors and debt collectors typically have a five-year legal time limit to sue someone for a debt owed.
Debt Collection Protocols: Collectors must provide written debt details within five days of initial contact. Harassment is prohibited, and consumers can demand communication cessation.
Consumer Rights: Debtors can request a Debt Validation Letter and dispute the claimed amount. Collectors must halt collections until verification if disputed. Misleading or false statements by collectors are prohibited.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Rule: Introduced in 2021, the rule restricts the frequency of contact by a collector and mandates privacy in any social media communications. If rights are believed to be violated, consumers should keep records, understand their rights, file complaints, dispute invalid debts, and monitor credit reports.
If you’ve been sued for a debt in Oklahoma, respond to the case with SoloSuit’s Debt Answer form and increase your chances of winning.
Settle your debt in Oklahoma
If you avoid communicating with debt collectors and creditors, they are entitled to pursue legal measures. Nonetheless, not every debt lawsuit is justified. Fortunately, SoloSuit was developed to address this very issue.
SoloSuit can help you respond to a debt lawsuit in Oklahoma, 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 to pay your creditor a fraction of the total owed, typically around 60% or more of the debt's worth. By providing a one-time payment, the creditor consents to waive any legal actions against you and absolve you of the outstanding 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 Oklahoma, 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.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.
"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" - Heather