When to Call a Lawyer to Protect Your Rights as a Creditor or Debtor

Consumer debt is so prevalent in American society that most people just accept it as a fact of life. You make monthly payments on home mortgages, student loans, car loans, and credit card debt and look forward to the day when you can finally pay off one of the debts. If you can pay anything above the minimum payment on your debts, you are the lucky few. Therefore, it is not hard for most people to imagine themselves receiving dreaded phone calls and letters from collection agencies. If you have operated a small business, you might also have felt vulnerable as a debtor, worrying about paying back your small business loan or debt on any of the equipment your business has bought on credit. Rather than searching online for gimmicks to reverse the financial fortunes of your business quickly, you should consult a small business lawyer like Stephen Welle about your rights as a debtor.

Of course, it would also be a nightmare if someone had borrowed money from you and you could not get them to pay it back. Like debtors, creditors have legal rights. North Dakota law sets limits on the measures that creditors can take to collect debts owed to them, as well as on the control that people have over their own money, even when they have promised to repay a debt.

The Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

The statute of limitations for collecting an overdue debt is six years. North Dakota has the same statute of limitations for open accounts, such as credit card debt, as it does for written contracts.  The period of six years begins when the debtor stops making payments. The exceptions to the six-year statute of limitations include contracts for sale, which have a four-year statute of limitations, and domestic judgments, which have a 10-year statute of limitations. If you are within the statute of limitations, a business attorney can help you obtain a judgment to collect a debt that is owed to you.

Garnishment of Wages and Bank Accounts 

Garnishment of wages is when the court takes a portion of the money owed from a debtor’s paycheck and pays it to a creditor who has obtained a judgment against a debtor. Meanwhile, garnishment of bank accounts allows the court to take money directly from the debtor’s bank account. The most common instance in which courts garnish people’s wages is when they are late on child support payments, but North Dakota also allows both types of garnishment when a judgment has been made against a debtor for consumer debt.

Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss About Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

If you are owed money and your debtors refuse to pay, a business attorney like Stephen Welle can help you collect the money owed to you. Likewise, if you are in debt, you should contact an him rather than being intimidated by threats from creditors. Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss in Fargo, North Dakota to discuss your case or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.

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