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South Carolina Debt Relief Laws

The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCP) and South Carolina Code Annotated Section 37-5-108 deal with debt collection agencies and are similar in nature. Some specifics include:

  • Debt collectors cannot use a postcard to contact you
  • When discussing your debt, collectors cannot threaten you or use offensive or obscene language
  • Collectors can only call you between the hours of 8am and 9pm
  • Debt collectors cannot mislead or misrepresent itself (i.e. saying it is a law firm or the police)
  • You cannot be charged additional fees (in addition to your debt) by collectors
  • If you’ve retained a lawyer, collectors must communicate with you through your attorney
  • You cannot be contacted at work by a collector unless you’ve indicated the collector could do so
  • Collectors cannot trick you into paying for a telegram or accepting communication via a collect phone call

Consumers in South Carolina can sue debt collection agencies if they the agency violates the law. A successful suit may result in the debtor being awarded damages anywhere from $100 to $1,000. Additionally, consumers can also pursue illegal debt collection actions through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

South Carolina Statue of Limitations (SOL)

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

In addition to Social Security, South Carolina offers protection of many areas of non-income wages. Wage garnishment exemptions include:

  • Pensions: South Carolina protects pensions such as public employee, police, firefighter pensions in addition to private retirement benefits
  • Public benefits/assistance-- protection is offered to workers’ compensation , crime victim compensation, general and local public assistance, aid to families with dependent children, veteran’s benefits and aid to the disabled
  • Insurance and annuity protection--depending upon the circumstances, protection is offered to disability, health, fraternal society benefits and life insurance

South Carolina 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

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