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Rhode Island Debt Relief Laws

Rhode Island fair debt law, Rhode Island General Laws Sections 19-14.9-1 to 19-14.9-14 addresses how debt collection agencies should practice and closely resembles the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCP). Highlights of this Act include:

  • Collectors cannot use inappropriate or obscene language or make threats
  • Calls must be made between 8am and 9pm unless you specify otherwise
  • Calls made to you at work cannot be made if your employer disapproves
  • Debt collectors cannot correspond with debtors via postcard or use an envelop that indicates its from a collections agency
  • If you send a cease and desist letter via mail, the collector cannot contact you again except to tell you they are taking legal action against you
  • During communication (whether in person or by phone) creditors must state his name and not misrepresent who he works for (i.e. cannot say he is a cop or an attorney)
  • The debt collection agency cannot imply that you’ve committed a crime or threaten to sell your debt in an attempt to collect
  • You cannot be contacted by a debt collector if you are being represented by an attorney

Rhode Island consumers who have been victimized by a debt collection agency can seek retribution and be awarded damages up to $1,000. Rhode Island consumers can also pursue illegal debt collection actions through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Rhode Island Statue of Limitations (SOL)

Rhode Island has a 10-year statue of limitation (SOL) on open accounts such as credit cards, meaning that the creditor can contact you for up to 10 years. For written contracts creditors can also pursue you for up to 10 years. Consumers can consider Rhode Island debt settlement during the time the account remains open.

Because Rhode Island is more protective of consumers who are financially compromised, it provides for more for a broad range of exemptions on non wage garnishment including:

  • Pensions: such as state and municipal worker pensions, as well as public sector workers
  • Public benefits/assistance-- both public and private benefits are offered protection in Rhode Island. Rhode Island protects IRAs and income from public assistance including workers’ compensation, unemployment, aid to families with dependent children, aid to the blind, disable and veteran’s benefits
  • Insurance and annuity protection--consumers in Rhode Island are urged to check their individual policy to determine whether it is exempt, however accident, sickness, fraternal society benefits and life insurance are protected

Rhode Island 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) reform
  • Increased, open communication from creditors--more information is provided to help you eliminate your loans
  • Debt settlement companies cannot request upfront fees from clients

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