Arkansas Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The U.S. Congress found that the deb t collection industry was loaded with abuse and companies that use harassment as a means to collect money.  The practices of many of these debt collectors can lead to despair and household instability.  As such, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted.  States have the right to enact statutes that also cover unfair debt collection practices.

For consumers in Arkansas, there is a statute that protects consumers which covers debt collectors.  The law, however, excludes the original creditors. Ark. Code. Ann. §§17-24-101 to 17-24-404.The Arkansas statute also excludes lawyers collecting in their own names and not operating a collection agency managed by a non-lawyer.  That is, if a lawyer truly is using the legal system to collect debts, he or she will not be covered under this law in Arkansas.  However, if the lawyer is just renting out his name to a debt collection agency, that lawyer will be controlled by the Arkansas law.  Also, the statute does not apply to real estate foreclosure actions.

The statute is a licensing statute – requiring the collector to be licensed to collect debt in Arkansas.  Also, the Arkansas law limits the amounts of collection charges that can be added to a debt.  Finally, this law covers certain misleading or unfair acts such as the publication of a deadbeat list, providing simulated legal process, or the use of obscene or profane language.