According to the Alaska Administrative Code, Chapter1, Article 3, Sections 210 and 220, consumers have rights against debt collectors who violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as it applies to Alaska law:
- If the debtor tells the creditor he is being represented by an attorney the creditor can only communicate with the attorney
- The creditor cannot contact you at work unless your employer permits the call
- The creditor cannot threaten to take your property unless you’ve leveraged it as collateral
- A collection agency or creditor cannot force or deceive you into signing a confession of judgment
- No debt collector or creditor can represent him or herself as a government official
- Additional fees or charges cannot be compiled onto the original debt by the creditor
If a creditor violates any of these rules, you can sue the collections agency or creditor in state court for three times your monetary damages or up to $500 (whichever is more), in addition to covering your costs and attorney fees.
Also, although general federal standards apply to Alaska debt collection, the state requires that all debt collectors and agencies be bonded and licensed. Failure to adhere to this standard can result in a misdemeanor, which includes a fine or possibly jail time.
The Alaska Exemptions Act
While wage garnishment and bank levies are one way creditors can recover debt, Alaska has a specific set of regulations pertaining to which areas creditors have an do not have access to possess. Areas considered to be exempt from garnishment include:
- State and local pensions--public employees, judges, state employees and teachers
- Public forms of assistance or benefits: workers compensation, unemployment, family aid with dependent children and even up to 45% of an individuals permanent fund dividends
- Insurance benefits: disability payments, life insurance proceeds, medical benefits, personal injury or wrongful death proceeds
- Alimony: up to the wage or salary total and child support
Alaska Statutes of Limitations
Alaska debt relief law allows for up to three years to collect credit card debts, according to State Statute 9.10.053. Both the action on a sealed instruction and to recover real property have an SOL of 10 years, falling under A.S. 09-10-40 and 09-10-30, respectively. The SOL for contracts for sale is four years, however agreement limitations can be reduced but not less than one year.
Alaska Credit Card Debt Relief Act of 2010
The Credit Card Debt Relief Act of 2010 has streamlined the methods for repaying debt and regulated how collectors work with debtors. The Act has impacted debt relief collections several ways:
- The number of fraudulent or weak performing credit card companies are gone
- Reduces the chances of falling victim to fraudulent debt settlement companies due to new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reforms
- Increased, open communication from creditors--more information is provided to help you eliminate your loans
- Debt settlement companies cannot request upfront fees from clients