Economically, Iowa seems to be doing well for itself – it was ranked as one of the top states (sixth) to own a business in back in 2010. This was due to the low cost of doing business here. It also received recognition as being ranked 17th for cost of living and quality of life. Even their workforce was ranked at 20th. This seems all good and dandy, but the credit card debt per household here is creeping on the higher end of the scale. In 2011, the average credit card debt for households in Iowa was $6,957. The per capita income in 2006 was only $23,340.
Protection for Iowans in Debt
As the debt here continues to increase, Iowans have special regulations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that safeguard them from abusive tactics commonly used by debt collectors. Some of the Iowa debt relief laws that protect consumers include:
- All creditors and collection agencies must comply with FDCPA provisions for required disclosures.
- Creditors and debt collectors are not allowed to give away debt information to unauthorized third parties.
- Creditors and debt collectors are not allowed to place debtors on a “deadbeat” list.
- Debt collector must state the business name and address of the original creditor that the debtor owes.
- Debt collectors cannot claim that husband and wife are liable for a debt, if only one of them is.
- Debt collectors cannot try and get a debtor to pay a debt that was discharged via bankruptcy without clearly stating that the debtor is no longer legally obligated to pay for the debt.
- Debt collectors cannot collect interest or other fees unless it was written within the signed contract or authorized by law.
- The max interest rate a debt collector can charge is 5% in Iowa.
- No less than 90% of Iowan’s annual wages are protected under FDCPA, unless the debtor earns less than $12,000 per year. More could be protected, depending on how much the debtor owes.
The Iowa statute of limitations places maximums on how long a debt collector can pursue a delinquent debt:
- Five years for oral agreements
- Ten years for written contracts
- Ten years for promissory notes
- Five years for open credit card accounts
Debt Relief in Iowa
The debt relief options in Iowa are the same as in any other state in the U.S. Finding the one that best suits your situation all comes down to analyzing your finances. If you don’t want to attempt to negotiate with creditors and collectors or even deal with the debt accounts, you can use debt settlement and debt management services instead.
With debt management companies, you will be assigned a financial manager who will go over your debts and begin contacting the collectors to negotiate deals for you. All of your debt accounts are handled by the debt manager, so that you don’t have to worry about it.Debt settlement agencies negotiate small lump sum payments for you, so that you can pay off the debt in full as quickly as possible. There are other debt relief options that you can use, including debt consolidation loans, debt counseling and bankruptcy filings.