Federal laws governing fair debt collection apply to those in Delaware, however the only coverage for debt collection is for the state government. Delaware has no state specific protection for debt collection pertaining to individuals or businesses.
Unique to Delaware debt relief law is that the garnishment limit is set at 15% net income as opposed to the disposable income, used by the federal limits. Also, other states allow for bank account garnishment, whereas Delaware does not.
Any other debt collection violations are assessed by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act--both warrant fines of $1,000 per violation, which also covers legal fee recovery.
Under the Fair Debt Collections Act, creditors must follow specific guidelines which includes:
- Contacting the debtor between the hours of 8am and 9pm
- Disclosing debt information to debtor or debtor’s spouse
- Not misrepresenting the collector or agency in any way or making threats against the debtor or family
- Accepting debt payments in full at any time
No provisions are made for creditor harassment under Delaware code, however debtors can pursue options through the federal government.
Delaware Statue of Limitations (SOL)
In the state of Delaware, the statue of limitations (SOL) begins with the first incomplete payment and not with the last fulfilled payment as in other states. Limitations include:
- Open accounts such as credit cards is up to four years
- Written contract is up to three years
- Promissory notes is up to six years
- Sale of goods is up to three years
Delaware 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