Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

North Carolina Law Protects You From Debt Collectors

There are two separate statutes. One applies to creditors and the other applies to collection agencies and debt buyers. In NC, you can sue a creditor for much of the same illegal conduct which violates the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (which applies to third-party debt collectors, but not to creditors).

The law that covers creditors is commonly referred to as the North Carolina Debt Collection Act. The law that covers collection agencies and debt buyers is commonly referred to as the North Carolina Collection Agency Act.

These laws were amended in 2009, in part to increase the penalties which debt collectors and creditors have to pay for their violations. Consumers can recover, in addition to any actual damages they have incurred, a penalty of between $500 and $4000 for each violation by the debt collector or creditor. Courts also have the authority to require the debt collector or creditor to pay the consumer’s attorneys’ fees.

Stop Debt Collectors

Contact Us Today

Get A Free Case Review
(free instant download)

Debt collectors and creditors are breaking the law if they are doing the following:

  • Using any unfair threat, coercion, or attempt to coerce
  • Threatening to take any action not permitted by law (including false threats of legal action, garnishment or seizure of property)
  • Engaging in harassing, oppressive or abusive conduct
  • Placing telephone calls or attempting to communicate with you, contrary to your instructions, at your place of employment
  • Communicating with any person other than you about the matter
  • Using any fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation
  • Failing to disclose in all communications that the purpose of the communication is to collect a debt
  • Falsely representing the character, extent, or amount of a debt or its status in any legal proceeding
  • Communicating with you if your attorney has notified the debt collector of the attorney’s representation
  • Bringing suit against a consumer in a county other than the county in which the debt was incurred or in which the debtor resides, if the distances and amounts involved would make it impractical for the consumer to defend the claim

The 2009 amendments to these laws also added rules specific to “debt buyers,” companies that buy charged-off accounts from the original creditors. This is sometimes referred to as junk debt or zombie debt. Debt buyers cannot bring a lawsuit against a consumer without meeting the following requirements.

  • The debt must not be past the applicable statute of limitations
  • The debt buyer must possess valid documentation to prove that it owns the debt
  • The debt buyer must possess valid documentation to reasonably verify the amount of the debt, including the name of the original creditor, the name and address of the debtor as appearing on the original creditor’s records, the original consumer account number, a copy of the contract evidencing the debt, and an itemized accounting of the amount claimed to be owed
  • The debt buyer must first provide the consumer with written notice of its intent to file the lawsuit at least 30 days before filing. The notice must include the name, address, and telephone number of the debt buyer, the name of the original creditor and the debtor’s original account number, a copy of the contract or other document evidencing the consumer debt, and an itemized accounting of all amounts claimed to be owed.
  • If a lawsuit is filed, a copy of the contract or other writing evidencing the original debt must be attached and it must contain a signature of the consumer, if one exists.
  • If a lawsuit is filed, proof of ownership of the debt must be attached, including each step in the chain of ownership if the debt has been sold more than once.

The laws described on this page are set forth in full in the North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 58, Article 70, Sections 90-155 and Chapter 75, Article 2, Sections 50-56.

Have you been contacted by a debt collector?
Call us at (877) 846-1209 for a free case review!

In addition to rules covering the actions of creditors and collection agencies under your state’s laws, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides rules protecting consumers from illegal actions of debt collectors, and it applies equally in every state. This means that even if your state laws cannot help you, the FDCPA applies in many more situations.

In fact, certain sections of the laws listed in the available download may have been redacted for brevity.

If you want to find out more about how these laws pertain to your specific situation, please call us at (877) 846-1209 for a free case review with an experienced consumer law attorney. If you prefer, fill out our free case review form and we will contact you.