Kansas Collection Laws

I owe money to a creditor in Kansas. What can the creditor do to try to collect the account from me?

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Bill's Answer: Answered by Mark Cappel

A collection agent or law firm that owns a collection account is a creditor. A creditor has several legal means of collecting a debt. But before the creditor can start, the creditor must go to court to receive a judgment. See the Bills.com resource Served Summons and Complaint to learn more about this process.

The court may decide to grant a judgment to the creditor. A judgment is a declaration by a court that the creditor has the legal right to demand a wage garnishment, a levy on the debtor's bank accounts, and a lien on the debtor's property. A creditor that is granted a judgment is called a "judgment-creditor." Which of these tools the creditor will use depends on the circumstances. We discuss each of these remedies below.

Kansas Wage Garnishment

The most common method used by judgment-creditors to enforce judgments is wage garnishment. A judgment-creditor contacts your employer and requires the employer to deduct a certain portion of your wages each pay period and send the money to the creditor.

Wise Advice In most states, creditors may garnish between 10% and 25% of your wages, with the percentage allowed determined by state law. Garnishment of Social Security benefits or pensions for consumer debt is not allowed under federal or Kansas law (Kansas 60-2308), but may be allowed for child support. See the Bills.com Wage Garnishment article to learn more.

Kansas garnishment rules are found in Kansas Chapter 60 Article 7. In Kansas law, "Garnishment is a procedure whereby the wages, money or intangible property of a person can be seized or attached pursuant to an order of garnishment issued by the court under the conditions set forth in the order." Kansas follows federal limits for garnishment (60-734). See the Dept. of Labor's Employment Law Guide - Wage Garnishment and the Dept. of the Treasury's Answers About Garnishments. Municipal and state employees may be garnished.

Kansas Wage Garnishment Exemptions

Kansas restricts wage garnishment for collection agents. Under K.S.A. 60-2310(d), "If any person, firm or corporation sells or assigns an account to any person or collecting agency, that person, firm or corporation or their assignees shall not have or be entitled to the benefits of wage garnishment." This exemption does not apply to:

  • Support payments (K.S.A. 39-709 and 39-756 and 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.)
  • Taxes receivable (K.S.A. 75-3728b)
  • Debts owed to courts or restitution owed under an order of restitution (K.S.A. 75-719)

Levy Bank Accounts

A levy means that the creditor has the right to take whatever money in a debtor's account and apply the funds to the balance of the judgment. Again, the procedure for levying bank accounts, as well as what amount, if any, a debtor can claim as exempt from the levy, is governed by state law. Many states exempt certain amounts and certain types of funds from bank levies, so a debtor should review his or her state's laws to find if a bank account can be levied. In some states levy is called attachment or account garnishment. The names may vary but the concept is the same.

In Kansas, levy law is intertwined with garnishment law. Property can be attached (garnished) in Kansas under Kansas Chapter 60 Article 7. Intangible property, such as accounts receivables, can be garnished (60-732). Funds held by a financial institution can be garnished as well (60-733).

In most states, including Kansas, 401(K) and other retirement funds are exempt from levy/account garnishment (K.S.A. 60-2308). It is advisable to have those funds deposited into a separate bank account to ensure financial accounting if you are concerned about garnishment on those payments.

If you reside in another state, see the Bills.com Account Levy resource to learn more about the general rules for this remedy.


A lien is an encumbrance -- a claim -- on a property. For example, if the debtor owns a home, a creditor with a judgment has the right to place a lien on the home, meaning that if the debtor sells or refinance the home, the debtor will be required to pay the judgment out of the proceeds of the sale or refinance. If the amount of the judgment is more than the amount of equity in your home, then the lien may prevent the debtor from selling or refinancing until the debtor can pay off the judgment.

Kansas laws governing liens are found in Kansas Revised Statute Chapter 58 Article 2. Liens are allowed on real property. Liens are also allowed on building materials, crops, and livestock if the plaintiff is the defendant's supplier. Liens are allowed for labor and materials. Liens are allowed for judgments under Kansas 60-2202 and become a lien on the real property of the judgment debtor.

Succinctly, liens are allowed for contractors and farm suppliers. Judgments can be enforced as a lien on the defendant's real property.

If you reside in another state, see the Bills.com Liens & How to Resolve Them article to learn more.

Kansas Statutes of Limitations

Statute of Limitations for most Kansas consumer debt issues are found in Chapter 60, Article 5 K.S.A. 60-512.

Account/Type Years Statute
Kansas statutes of limitations. Source: Bills.com
Credit card 3 or 5*  
Spoken contract 3 K.S.A. 60-512(1)
Written contract 5 K.S.A. 60-511(1)
Promissory note 6 K.S.A. 84-3-118
Check 6 K.S.A. 84-3-118
Certified check 3 K.S.A. 84-3-118
Judgment** 5 K.S.A 60-2403a(a)(1)
*Internet commentators argue if the credit card issuer cannot produce a contract signed by the the consumer, Kansas' oral contract statute of limitations applies. We cannot find Kansas case law supporting that argument. Consult with a Kansas lawyer for advice.
**Can be revived if less than 2 years has passed since judgment became dormant. Kansas domestic judgments for child support never become dormant.
Wise Advice Collection agents violate the FDCPA if they file a debt collection lawsuit against a consumer after the statute of limitation expired (Kimber v. Federal Financial Corp. 668 F.Supp. 1480 (1987) and Basile v. Blatt, Hasenmiller, Liebsker & Moore LLC, 632 F. Supp. 2d 842, 845 (2009)). Unscrupulous collection agents sue in hopes the consumer will not know this rule.


Consult with an Kansas attorney experienced in civil litigation to get precise answers to your questions about liens, levies, and garnishment in Kansas.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.




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Comments (38)

Smolan, KS  |  March 13, 2014
I am curious about debt collector contacts. Does a lawyer or debt collector have to try to make and maintain contact with you about the debt? If a lawyer is trying to collect on a debt, even has an award on it from a court, should they not be trying to make and maintain some type of an attempt to collect?

As I do debt collections through my job, we have to call people have outstanding debt every day to get into contact with them. Doesn't a debt collector/lawyer have to do the same?
March 14, 2014
Don't confuse your employer's policy to attempt frequent debtor contacts with what the law requires.

I assume you reside in Kansas, the lawyer you speak of filed a breach of contract lawsuit against you, and won. If so, the victory resulted in a judgment. Judgments have their own statute of limitations. In Kansas, the judgment statute of limitations is 5 years, but it can be revived after the 5-year clock runs out. In Kansas, the judgment-creditor can attempt to use the judgment to collect from the judgment-debtor at any time while the judgment is valid. No state requires the judgment-creditor to pester the judgment-debtor while the judgment is valid.

If you can afford to negotiate a settlement to the debt, by all means open a negotiation with the judgment-creditor and put this matter behind you.
Lucifer S.
March 05, 2014
According to the Kansas Statutes, a credit card company can sell off your debt to 2nd party and that 2nd party isn't allowed to garnish your wages. My question: If you can prove money deposited into your bank account is from wages, can they still take money from your account ?
March 10, 2014
Your observation about K.S.A. 60-2310 outlawing wage garnishment for collection agents appears to be correct.

I cannot find if the garnishment prohibition applies to account levy (sometimes called account garnishment). Consult with a Kansas lawyer who has consumer law experience to learn if it does.
Kelli M.
Wichita, KS  |  February 10, 2014
Today I received a copy of an order for garnishment from my employer. I live out of state, but the order of garnishment is dated Jan 21st, 2014. It has a case number from 2009 and it is for a debt that was put on my credit report in Dec 2008. According to the statute of limitations on a written contract in Kansas (5 years on a written contract) this is outside of the statute. Does it make a difference that the court order was from 2009? Or can I petition the court because it is outside of the SOL?
February 10, 2014
The timeline you shared is confusing to me, and I cannot offer meaningful answers to your questions. If you're a Kansas resident, your best source of advice is a Kansas lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, contact Kansas Legal Services or another Kansas pro bono program to find no-cost legal advice.
Eric B.
Kansas City, MO  |  January 15, 2014
In 2008, a collection agent obtained a judgment against me in Sedwich Co, KS. Being unaware and unable to attend due to being in the middle of a relocation to K.C.K., I didn't appear. Now after this time and research I've learned the SOL for open ended accounts is 3 years. I'm almost positive at that time the debt would have been outside that. I called the attorney's office and settled and they informed me they would notify the court and have the judgement removed. I'm still paying on the account even though is was ~$2k. but the judgment still is on my C.R. basically they didn't do what they agreed upon in the settlement nor did I receive notice that they informed the court of the agreement. Has too much time passed to get the judgment vacated or removed from my record? Should I approach the Credit Bureaus? File a motion to vacate based on breach of agreement? Or that it was outside the SOL and no validation was given?
January 23, 2014
Consult with a lawyer in your state who has civil litigation experience to learn if you have a cause of action against the collection agent's lawyer for breach of contract. Also ask about filing a motion to vacate the judgment. It might be too late to file such a motion, but it never hurts to ask.
Severy, KS  |  October 05, 2013
I was recently arrested for failure to appear (FTA) in a civil court proceeding I never knew existed and it was for a $22 check I had written in 1990. During that year, I moved to AZ and live there for 2 yrs and returned to KS in 1992. The summons said I was served when I didn't live here. And since I have been back in KS, NO ATTEMPTS have been made to locate of inform me of any of this. My husband was pulled over and after checking my DL, I was arrested on a FTA warrant issued 22 years ago. What is the SOL of this? What type of process would they have had to go through to renew their judgment? How can I access any of the court records over the years for my case (orders, judgments, filings, motions made)?
October 05, 2013
You have the right to represent yourself in any civil or criminal matter. But I wouldn't do so, were I you, because you're really asking to learn for one or two semester's worth of Kansas's criminal procedure and appellate law.

Consult with a lawyer who has criminal law experience. He or she will review the facts in your case, sic his or her paralegal on the court that filed the warrant, and dig out the files on your case. Then your lawyer will file a motion to vacate the judgment based on a defective service of process.
Megan B.
Osawatomie, KS  |  May 20, 2013
My husband had a street bike repoed back before we were married. It has been about 4 years since he last made a payment and he let them come get the bike. I got a call from a collection agency. They asked for me using my maiden name and I never said I was his wife. They told me everything about the debt and asked me for a credit card to put the debt on. They told me how much he had left on his credit card, and they told me if I gave them a post dated check or bank account number that day, they wouldn't sue us. They never asked who I was, they just assumed. I asked them for something in writing and they said no but they could e-mail me how much he owed. Don't they have to send us something in the mail? Can they give me all that information without knowing who I am? If they won't send us anything in the mail, how can we take it to our lawyer?
May 20, 2013
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a collection agent is not allowed to disclose any facts about a consumer's debt to a third party. § 805 (d) carves out an exception for spouses and parents of minor children who are in debt. Here, you are, in fact, a spouse of the debtor, so even though you did not identify yourself as such, your spouse has no cause of action (legal reason to sue) under § 805.

As you pointed out, the collection agent made a huge assumption when it started blabbing about the collection account. In this case, however, it lucked out when you did not turn out to be a baby sitter, house cleaner, or friend who happened to pick up the telephone.

You asked if the collection agent must give you written statement as to the total amount due. It does. A collection agent must, under § 809, give the consumer a written notice containing the following five pieces of information:
  1. "the amount of the debt
  2. "the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed
  3. "a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector
  4. "a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
  5. "a statement that, upon the consumer's written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor." [15 USC 1692g]

Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience or, even better, experience litigating FDCPA violations. He or she will advise you if the collection agent's failure to follow § 809 gives you a legal reason to file a lawsuit against the collection agent.

Amy R.
Arkansas City, KS  |  March 28, 2013
My husband currently pays $400 a month through the state for child support which is about 40% of his disposable income. He just got sued for his ex wifes medical debt from when they were separated. They refused us anything less than $200 a month or us paying the total. Can they garnish anymore of his wages? And his name isn't on anything not on the house or our 2 vehicles, or my checking account. So can they come after these things? We are in the process of filing for bankruptcy simply because including this debt we have made over 12000 in medical debt but we need to wait 2 months for personal reasons.
March 28, 2013
You answered your first question in the first sentence of your comment. Kansas follows federal limits for wage garnishment. The maximum a judgment-creditor may garnish is 25% of disposable income. Here, you mentioned your spouse is already paying 40% of his disposable income for child support. (Exceeding the federal 25% limit is allowed for child support.) Any other creditors who have the legal claim to garnish your spouse's wages will need to wait in line until the child support garnishment order expires.

You asked about any liability you may have for your spouse's debts. You asked this question on a Kansas-related page, so I will assume you reside in Kansas. Kansas is a common law state when it comes to family law. It is not a community property state. Therefore, spouses generally do not have liability for each other's separate debts. You mentioned your vehicles and house are not in your spouse's name. If so, then your spouse's creditors will have no claim to those properties.

You mentioned filing bankruptcy. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has bankruptcy experience. Most lawyer-filed bankruptcy cases succeed. By contrast, most self-filed bankruptcy cases fail. Be sure to raise your questions here to your bankruptcy lawyer because my answers are based on a very tiny window into your circumstances.
Chelsey S.
Pittsburg, KS  |  February 29, 2012
Back in 2007, I was charged a fee for using a debit card which took me into the negative, and before I knew it I was negative over $200 not because of my own spending, but because of the fee. I refused to pay because I had not spent any money that would have taken me into the negative. The bank passed my account over to an attorney who I have not had any contact with since 2008 and now out of nowhere I received an order to appear to answer questions about income, assets etc. Upon recieving this notice I got on the court website and noticed that when i was employed the past 9 months my wages had been garnished without any notification. My question is, was the garnishment legal without my being notified? Also, why has this attorney gone almost 4 years without contacting me, and how do I get this to stop?
March 01, 2012
Apparently, a judgment was entered against you, likely a default judgment. Your not receiving notice did not stop the judge from issuing the garnishment. Perhaps the creditor made a reasonable effort to notify you? Maybe the attorney waited, for any of a variety of reasons, but decided to sue you due to the debt nearing the statute of limitations. Post-judgment, it is hard to get a garnishment stopped. Hopefully, you will have the debt paid off soon and put the matter behind you.
Jessyca C.
Olathe, KS  |  January 30, 2012
Are payday loan companies or any other companies that are required to do collections allowed to come to their clients job to attempt to collect debts. This goes for a store in the state of KS collections will be done in both KS and MO
January 31, 2012
I know of no state that prohibits in-person collection of debt. However, this is a rare occurrence for several reasons, including the high cost of person-to-person collections, and the risk of persistent collectors being arrested for trespassing. Consult with a lawyer who has consumer law experience in your state to learn the precise rules that govern the practice of debt collection in your state.
A A.
Junction City, KS  |  January 06, 2012
With no disrespect to Bill who is clearly educated on the subject, I just wanted to clear up the misinformation about open-ended accounts. The statute of limitations is 3 years.
January 06, 2012
Thank you for your message. We updated the page above with this information and corrected the link the relevant Kansas statute.

This is a good opportunity to remind readers that Bills.com makes reasonable efforts to publish accurate information, but we make mistakes. The information here is intended to help people understand their rights and liabilities, and it is not intended to replace consultation with a lawyer.
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