What are the Georgia Debt Collection Laws?
Georgia Debt Collection Laws are designed to protect debtors from creditors. The laws define the possible ways and limitations for the creditors to ask for their credit recovery from debtors within a specified period of time.
Though the creditors can still proceed with legal actions against the debtors and can recover their unpaid debt through wage garnishment and account seizures, with the help of debt collection laws in Georgia, you can protect your rights as a debtor.
Dealing with debt collection agencies on your own could be challenging. Consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Marietta, GA, to make better financial decisions.
Many people in Georgia are under significant debt, including but not limited to student loans, mortgage loans, bank loans, wellness or medical loans, and utility bills. Because of this, a significant population is haunted by creditors.
Moreover, if someone has a considerable sum of debt, they are more likely to be haunted, harassed, and threatened by the creditors or the debt collectors hired by the creditors. The debtor will start receiving phone calls and un-invited visits, and sometimes the creditors start following the debtor around.
If you are being approached by any debt-collecting entity rather than the original creditor, you should endeavor to understand your rights before taking things on your nerves.
Georgia has advanced rulings regarding debt collection, which is popular as the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This statute is designed to protect people from the unfair, abusive, deceptive, and unwarranted harassing behavior of debt collectors.
According to FDCPA, debt collection activities may not.
Use any threat, violence, or criminal means to harm the reputation, property, or person.
Use obscene, profane, or any disrespecting language.
May not repeatedly call from different or unidentified phone numbers. Moreover, they aren’t allowed to call before 8 am and after 9 pm.
Threaten to change or increase the initial or actual amount of debt.
If you are working with a lawyer, the debt collector must contact the lawyer.
They must submit written notice within five days with complete details of what is owed, and they were supposed to get it back. Moreover, the notice should be free from false information. Otherwise, it will be invalid for consideration.
Though the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you from tormenting behavior and treatment from debt collectors, it can not restrict the original debt collector. A debt collector can file a lawsuit and take legal action against the debtor.
If you do not appear in court, you could be considered responsible for the debt. If you are being contacted by a debt collector and want to protect your reputation, mental peace, and rights in court, consulting with a Smyrna bankruptcy lawyer is a good option to consider.
Your attorney will help you understand your legal options and the actions you could take against the debt collection agencies to preserve your reputation.
What is a Debt Collector?
According to FDCPA, a debt collector is a person who regularly collects or attempts to collect the consumer debt for other individuals and institutions and uses some name rather than his own when collecting consumer debt. The definition includes any institutions that regularly collect debt for unrelated institutions or individuals.
Debt collectors could be annoying, disrespectful, and stressful, but you can lead the situation rationally if you know your rights. The circumstances of being in debt are already stressful and tough to manage. If the creditor becomes disrespectful, you may find yourself on the verge of losing hope.
However, understanding your legal options is always a great decision. You can turn to an experienced Kennesaw bankruptcy lawyer with proven experience in managing debt collection and bankruptcy cases.
How Long Can a Debt Be Collected?
The statute of limitations in Georgia has timelines depending on the type of debt. If the creditor or collector doesn’t collect their debt in the predefined time period, they won’t remain eligible or have any right to take it back.
Usually, the timeline of debt collection for creditors lies anywhere between three years to 20 years, depending on the type and sometimes amount of debt. For example, the timeline for debt consolidation loans, including credit card debt, and student loan debt, would be different from other types.
Can You Go to Jail for Debt in Georgia?
There is no statute or law in Georgia according to which you have to serve in jail for debt. You will not go to prison and wouldn’t be held liable for owing money to anyone in Georgia unless the debt is because of any sort of criminal, fraudulent scheme, or involving any sort of damage or bodily injury to anyone for which you would have additional charges.
If you or your loved ones are being falsely accused of causing bodily harm or injuries, including any other sort of damages, it is best to consult with a lawyer. Your lawyer will assist you in preparing evidence, meeting with witnesses, and preparing facts to represent your case in court. Whether it is medical debt or an unsecured loan, consult with experienced lawyers to assist you during these tough times.
Can a Collection Agency Garnish Wages in Georgia?
In Georgia, there are legal limitations on how much your paycheck can be garnished through wage garnishments.
A creditor can garnish the lesser of 25% of your disposable income. Disposable income or earnings are wages left after your employer has made deductions as per law. However, if your disposable income is less than 30 times the minimum wage, it can’t be garnished at all. But there are some state exceptions that would apply.
If you are concerned about wage garnishment, it is best to consult with a lawyer who can help you understand the details of wage garnishment law and its limitations.
What is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Georgia?
The statute of limitations is the period when you can take legal actions against a debtor of your unpaid debt. Here are the timelines for different types of debts in Georgia.
Oral Contract: four years
Promissory Notes: four years
Written Contracts: six years
Auto Loan Debt: four years
Credit Cards: six years
State Tax: seven years
Judgments: five years
Though time-barred debt can’t be claimed in court by the creditor, it will remain in the history of your credit report for up to seven years. Moreover, the creditor may still try different ways to collect the debt.
What Can You Do if a Creditor Starts Harassing You?
If a creditor starts annoying or harassing you in any possible way, you can reach out to the court to protect your well-being and rights.
However, a creditor may also take legal actions against you. He can proceed with a debt collection lawsuit that could result in implementing the federal reserve prime rate and an additional 3% or by the rate agreed upon when entering into the contract. The case could result in wage garnishment and transactions frozen from bank accounts.
Contact Cherney Law Firm, where you can consult with helpful, responsive Alpharetta bankruptcy attorneys. They may be able to help you better understand Georgia law and federal law to discuss your case, understand your legal rights and options, and prepare a ground strategy to face these hard times with courage.
An experienced attorney or law firm can help you determine your case’s direction, better understand the Georgia Debt Relief Programs and bankruptcy process, and maintain a trustworthy attorney-client relationship to help you protect your rights against the debt collection agency.