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Many or all of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service for consumers. Compensation, along with hours of in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. Advertiser Disclosure

Many or all of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service for consumers. Advertiser Disclosure

Debt collection can be a stressful and overwhelming process, both for the debtor and the creditor. In North Carolina, there are specific laws and regulations that govern debt collection practices. Understanding these laws can help debtors protect their rights and prevent abusive practices by creditors.

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In this article, we will discuss North Carolina’s debt collection laws in detail, including the types of debts that can be collected, the statutes of limitations, and the collection methods allowed under state law, comparing the two options debt settlement vs bankruptcy can also help you through this.

Types of Debts Covered by North Carolina Debt Collection Laws

North Carolina debt collection laws apply to consumer debts, which are debts incurred for personal, family, or household purposes. Examples of consumer debts include credit card bills, medical bills, and personal loans.

North Carolina law does not cover debts incurred for business purposes, such as commercial loans or business credit cards. Business creditors are generally not subject to the same restrictions as consumer creditors when it comes to debt collection.

Statutes of Limitations for Debt Collection










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Under North Carolina law, there is a statute of limitations for debt collection. A statute of limitations is the time period during which a creditor can legally sue a debtor for an unpaid debt.

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for most consumer debts is three years. This means that if a creditor does not sue a debtor within three years of the date the debt became delinquent, they are no longer legally allowed to do so.

It is important to note that making a payment on a debt can restart the statute of limitations. For example, if a debtor makes a payment on a debt that is two years old, the clock would reset, and the creditor would have three more years to sue the debtor.

Collection Methods Allowed Under North Carolina Law

In North Carolina, debt collectors are subject to certain restrictions on how they can collect debts. These restrictions are designed to protect debtors from abusive and harassing practices.

Debt collectors in North Carolina are prohibited from:

  • Contacting debtors at unusual or inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
  • Contacting debtors at their place of employment if they have been instructed not to do so.
  • Using profane or obscene language when communicating with debtors.
  • Threatening to take legal action that they do not intend to take or that is not legally allowed.
  • Misrepresenting the amount owed, the nature of the debt, or the identity of the creditor.

Debt collectors in North Carolina are also required to provide certain information to debtors, including:

  • The name and address of the creditor.
  • The amount of the debt.
  • A statement that the debtor has the right to dispute the debt.
  • A statement that the debtor has the right to request verification of the debt.

What to Do If You Are Being Harassed by a Debt Collector

If you are being harassed by a debt collector, it is important to take action to protect your rights. The first step is to request that the debt collector stop contacting you. Under North Carolina law, once a debtor makes this request in writing, the creditor is prohibited from contacting them again except to:

  • Provide notification that they will no longer be contacting the debtor.
  • Notify the debtor that legal action will be taken.
  • Respond to a request for verification of the debt.

If a debt collector continues to harass a debtor after being asked to stop, the debtor can file a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office or sue the collector for violating state and federal debt collection laws.

Conclusion

North Carolina debt collection laws provide important protections for consumers who are dealing with debt. Understanding these laws and your rights under them can help you navigate the collection process and protect yourself from abusive and harassing practices by creditors.

If you are being harassed by a debt collector or have questions about North Carolina debt collection laws, it is important to seek the advice of a qualified attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.

FAQs

North Carolina Debt Collection Laws: What You Need to Know

What is the statute of limitations for debt collection in North Carolina?

The statute of limitations for most types of debt in North Carolina is three years. This means that creditors or debt collectors cannot file a lawsuit to collect a debt after three years from the date of your last payment or activity on the account.

Can creditors garnish wages in North Carolina?

Yes, creditors can garnish wages in North Carolina, but only after obtaining a court judgment. 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.

Are there any exemptions to wage garnishment in North Carolina?

Yes, certain types of income are exempt from wage garnishment in North Carolina, including Social Security benefits, disability benefits, and public assistance benefits.

Can debt collectors contact me at work in North Carolina?

Debt collectors are generally allowed to contact you at work unless you inform them in writing that your employer prohibits such communication or if they have reason to know that your employer disapproves of such communication.

Can debt collectors sue me for debt in North Carolina?

Yes, debt collectors can sue you for a debt in North Carolina. However, they must follow the proper legal procedures and obtain a court judgment before they can take any legal action against you.

Can a debt collector add interest or fees to the original debt amount in North Carolina?

Yes, debt collectors can add interest and certain fees to the original debt amount in North Carolina, as long as those fees are stated in the original credit agreement or are allowed by state law.

Are there any restrictions on debt collectors’ communication methods in North Carolina?

Yes, debt collectors in North Carolina are prohibited from using harassing, oppressive, or abusive methods to collect debt. They are also required to provide certain disclosures and information in their communication with you.

Can debt collectors re-age or restart the statute of limitations on debt in North Carolina?

No, debt collectors cannot re-age or restart the statute of limitations on debt in North Carolina. If the debt is beyond the statute of limitations, it is considered time-barred, and you can raise this as a defense if they file a lawsuit.

Can I dispute a debt in North Carolina?

Yes, you have the right to dispute a debt in North Carolina. If you believe the debt is not yours or the amount is incorrect, you can send a written dispute letter to the debt collector requesting validation of the debt.

Are there any consumer protection laws in North Carolina to help me with debt collection issues?

Yes, North Carolina has the North Carolina Debt Collection Act (NCDCA), which provides additional consumer protections beyond the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The NCDCA prohibits unfair or deceptive practices by debt collectors and allows consumers to sue for damages.

Glossary

  • Debt Collection: The process of pursuing unpaid debts from individuals or businesses.
  • Creditor: The person or entity that is owed money by a debtor.
  • Debtor: The person or entity that owes money to a creditor.
  • Statute of Limitations: The legal time frame within which a creditor can file a lawsuit to collect a debt.
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): A federal law that regulates debt collection practices and protects consumers from harassment or abusive behavior by debt collectors.
  • North Carolina Debt Collection Laws: Specific laws and regulations governing debt collection activities within the state of North Carolina.
  • Original Creditor: The initial creditor to whom the debt was originally owed.
  • Collection Agency: A company or agency hired by creditors to collect outstanding debts on their behalf.
  • Debt Validation: The process of verifying the accuracy and legitimacy of a debt before pursuing collection activities.
  • Creditor’s Rights: The legal protections and remedies available to a creditor when attempting to collect a debt.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): A government agency responsible for enforcing federal consumer protection laws, including those related to debt collection.
  • Garnishment: A legal process in which a portion of a debtor’s wages or assets are seized to satisfy a debt.
  • Repossession: The legal act of taking possession of collateral or secured property by a creditor due to non-payment.
  • Bankruptcy: A legal process by which an individual or business declares inability to pay debts and seeks protection from creditors.
  • Debt Settlement: The negotiation and agreement between a creditor and debtor to settle a debt for a reduced amount.
  • Interest Rate: The percentage charged by a creditor on the outstanding balance of a debt as compensation for lending money.
  • Usury Laws: Laws that regulate the maximum interest rates that can be charged on debts.
  • Credit Reporting: The process of documenting and reporting a debtor’s payment history to credit bureaus, which affects their credit score.
  • Wage Exemption: The portion of a debtor’s wages that is legally protected from being garnished by creditors.
  • Dispute Resolution: The process of resolving conflicts or disagreements between creditors and debtors through negotiation, mediation, or legal means.
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Paola Ponce is a skilled writer who specializes in tax-related topics. Her expertise and knowledge in the field have made her a valuable contributor to several leading tax publications. Paola earned her bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. She started her career as a tax consultant for a mid-sized accounting firm, where she advised clients on tax planning, compliance, and audit defense. Paola's passion for writing eventually led her to pursue a career in journalism. She began working as a freelance writer for various tax publications, covering topics such as tax reform, tax planning for small businesses, and tax implications of cryptocurrency. Paola's writing skills and expertise in tax matters soon caught the attention of a prominent tax relief website, where she now works as a staff writer. Her work involves producing informative articles on a variety of tax-related topics, including tax relief programs, tax scams, and tax preparation tips. Paola is known for her ability to translate complex tax concepts into easily understandable language, making tax information accessible to a broader audience. Her work has been recognized for its accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness. Paola believes that it is important for individuals and businesses to be informed about their tax obligations and to take advantage of the various tax relief options available to them. She is committed to helping her readers navigate the complex world of taxes and make informed decisions that benefit their financial well-being.  

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