Collection Laws & Exemptions

Highlights

  • Find out your state's consumer debt protection laws and exemptions.
  • Review FDCPA rules and collection exemptions for homesteads, autos, bank accounts, and wages.
  • Find links to learn more about your state's rules.
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Collection Laws & Exemptions by State

Below find consumer protection laws and exemptions by state. See the Bills.com page to find consumer statutes of limitations laws for the 50 US states and the District of Columbia. Use this information as a starting point for your research — it is not legal advice. Consult an attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

If debt is causing you distress, go to the Bills.com to get a no-cost quote from a pre-screened debt resolution service provider.

  Collection Laws & Exemptions
  FDCPA Applies to
Original Creditors
Homestead Exemption Vehicle Exemption Bank Account Wages
State-by-state collection laws. Source: Bills.com
  $5,000 (can double) None $3,000 75%
Alaska   $70,200 $3,900 $1,820 or $2,860 $456-7161
  $150,000 $5,000 $150 75%
Arkansas   Unlimited (<1/4 acre) $1,200 $800 or $1250 75%
Yes $50,0004 $5,000 (2x) $0 75%
  $30,000 $5,000 None 75%
  $75,000 (2x if married) $1,500 $1,000 75%
Delaware   None (if both owe $) None $500 85%5
D.C. Yes Unlimited $2,575 $850 75%
Yes Unlimited $1,000 None 100%2
  $10,000 (can double) $3,500 (2x) $600 75%
Hawaii Yes $30,000 $2,575 None 80%
Idaho   $50,000 $5,000 $800 75%
  $15,000 (can double) $1,200 $2,000 85%6
  $7500 (can double) None $4,000 75%
Yes Unlimited $5,000 $100 75%3
  Unlimited $20,000 None 75%
  $5,000 $2,500 $1,000 75%
  $25,000 None None 75%
Maine   $25,000 (ask) $5,000 $400 75%
Yes None (if both owe $) $5,000 $6,000 75%
Yes $300,000 $700 $425 75%
Yes $35,300 or $52,925 if elderly or disabled $3,250 None 75%
  $200,000 $3,600 None 75%
Mississippi   $75,000 $10,000 None 75%
  $8,000 $1,000 $1,250 75%
Montana   $60,000 $2,500 None 75%
Nebraska   $12,500 $2,500 wildcard 85%
  $125,000 $4,500 None 75%
New Hampshire Yes $30,000 $4,000 $8,000 75%
  None (if both owe $) $1,000 $1,000 90%7
New Mexico Yes $30,000 (may double) $4,000 $2,000 75%
Yes Varies by county
See
$4,000 $2,5008 90%
Yes $10,000 (may double) $1,500 $500 100%
North Dakota   $80,000 $1,200 $7,500 75%
  $25,000 $3,225 $425 (2x) 75%
  Unlimited $3,000 None 75%
Yes $25,000 ($30K couple) $1,700 (2x) $400 75%
Yes None (if both owe $) None $300 100%
Rhode Island   $150,000 $12,000 None 75%
Yes $50,000 (can double) $5,000 $5,000 100%
South Dakota   Unlimited $6,000 6k-Auto 75%
  $5,000 ($7.5K cpl) $4,000 wildcard9 75%
Yes Unlimited Unlimited None 100%
  $20,000 (can double) $2,500 or $3,500 None 75%
Yes $75,000 (can double) $2,500 $1,100 75%
  $5,000 (+$500/kid 2x) $2,000 None 75%
  $40,000 $2,500 $500 75%
West Virginia Yes $25,000 (can double) $2,400 $800+ 75%
Yes $40,000 $1,200+ $1,000 75%
Wyoming   $10,000 (can double) $2,400 None 75%
Notes

1. Alaska: $716/wk (head of family) or $456/wk (non-head of family)
2. Florida: 100% (head of family only) or 75% for non-head of household
3. Iowa: 75%, but yearly total limited
4. California: $50k (single), $75k (married), $125K (65 or disabled)
5. Delaware: 85% of disposable
6. Illinois: 85% of gross
7. New Jersey: 90% of gross, unless judgment-debtor earns more that 250% of federal poverty level, then court has discretion to use federal 25% exemption.
8. New York: Account contains directly deposited exempt benefits, including Social Security, SSI, Veterans benefits, disability, pensions, child support, spousal maintenance, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, Public Assistance, Railroad Retirement benefits, and Black Lung benefits. Otherwise, $1,740 on all other accounts. See the for more information.
9. Tennessee: Up to $4,000 of any personal property, including a financial account, can be exempted. See for details.

The amounts listed in the chart’s columns are what is protected from collection, what you will be left with should a collector pursue a particular asset or your income. Pay attention to the footnotes, where listed.

FDCPA Applies refers to the , which customarily applies to collection agents/debt collectors. In the states indicated, the FDCPA applies to original creditors, too.

The Homestead Exemption shows the amount of equity in your primary residence that even a judgment-creditors cannot pursue. The exact amount you can protect depends on the exemption in your state of residence. Some states have no exemption whatsoever. Some states have unlimited exemptions, where all the equity in an expensive mansion is completely protected.

The Vehicle Exemption protects equity in one vehicle up to the amount listed for your state. If you owe money on the vehicle, subtract what you owe from what it is worth, to see if your vehicle is totally exempt or not. In some states, a vehicle that is worth more than the exempt amount can be seized and sold, with the exempt amount returned to the owner.

The Bank Account Exemption lists how much is safe from a judgment-creditor’s collection efforts. Some states offer no protections; anything in your account can be .

The Wage Exemption shows what part of your wages are protected from , and is the amount that most creditors cannot pursue.

Although we believe this information to be accurate as of the date of its posting, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. Consult with an attorney in your state for specific information regarding the laws and exemptions that apply to you in your circumstances.

4.5
/5.0
(63 Votes)
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