BizLaw 101 Blog

Collecting A Debt? Make Sure You Comply with Debt Collection Laws

Posted April 15, 2015 by Jamie Kent Hamelburg in BizLaw 101 Blog, Business Publications

In Maryland, a person collecting a debt arising out of a consumer transaction must follow rules established by federal and state consumer debt collection laws.  For example, a debt collector may not: 

  • Use grossly abusive or obscene language;
  • Use or threaten violence;
  • Send consumer letters that are designed to be mistaken for legal documents;
  • Hurt a consumer’s credit by spreading false information about the consumer; or
  • Contact a consumer’s employer or make a claim against a consumer’s wages unless through a court order

Debt collectors may write letters demanding payment, so long as they include certain notifications in their correspondence.  They can telephone a consumer at a reasonable time of day or night, and even visit a consumer at home at a reasonable hour to demand payment. 

 

Because this area is highly regulated, businesses in Maryland looking to hire a debt collector should check the credentials of debt collectors and also make sure their debt collector is acting in accordance with Maryland and federal law.  Businesses should also take note that, unlike federal laws governing debt collection, the Maryland laws apply both to creditors and debt collectors hired by creditors. More information about Maryland debt collection laws can be found here.