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Kansas Collection Laws

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

I live in Kansas, and a collection agent is trying to collect a debt from me. What rights are involved?

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(18 Votes) | Find Learn Save

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 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.

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 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 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 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:
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.
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.



(18 Votes)
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  • 35x35
    Dec, 2019
    MD Charles

    I had a car repossessed in 2013. I was contacted for payment recently. How long can they "chase" for payment and garnish your wages?

    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2019

      Auto loans are written contracts. In Kansas, it is my understanding that the statute of limitations on debt for a written contract is 6 years. That means the creditor has six years from the date you first went delinquent  to file suit against you. It is not from the date of repossession. 

      It is not clear from your question whether they are garnishing your wages or if you are simply concerned that a garnishment could hit you. A garnishment can't happen for this kind of debt without a court ordering a judgment against you. Were you sued?

      If you were sued and have a judgment against you, then the debt collection can go on indefinitely, in Kansas. The creditor can have a judgment renewed over and over.

      If you were not sued, determine the date you went delinquent. Use the day after the date of the first payment that you missed. If six years pass from that date and suit was not filed against you, you want to use the statute of limitatons on debt as an affirmative defense if you are sued. It is crucial you go to court to make that defense as the judge won't do it in your absence.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2019

    I just received a notice of garnishment that looks like a scam from an attorney in Topeka. It says they are trying to collect on a judgement from 5/28/1998. Is this even possible?

    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2019

      Yes, it is possible. Judgments can be renewed over and over, if the renewal is done before the judgment expires. The fact that it is from 1998 doesn't mean it is so old that collecting on it is illegitimate., 

      What seems odd to me about this is that if the judgment were real, it would make more sense to try and find your bank and then move to levy the bank account than it does to contact you, alerting you to a threat you probably forgot about and giving you a chance to take funds from the bank account before the collector pounces.

      If I were you, I would contact the court clerk in the county in which the judgment was recorded and see if the judgment has been properly renewed.


      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2019

    My ex-wife wrote a hot check back in the mid 90's, I was on the account and was sued as well. I would say judgement was awarded in the late 90's, they just recently contacted my employer, in 2019, and garnished my check until judgement was paid. Is this even legal? Isn't there some type of statute of limitations on this type of judgement?

    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2019

      I can't give legal advice, as only an attorney can properly do so. Here are a couple of thoughts, with the understanding that I am not giving you legal advice.

      My understanding is that a judgment in Kansas is good for 5 years, afte which it becomes dormant. Dormant judgments can be revived, but only until 15 years after the original judgment. It appears the key question is when they revived the dormant judgment. If it was at the last possible moment, at the 15 year mark, and it ran for five years at that point, then it could be valid up to 20 years.

      You said "the late 90's," which is not specific enough for me to assess whether it fits the test described above. If you feel that the original judgment is from 1998 or earlier, it seems you have solid grounds for contesting it. In any case, you have nothing to lose, other than time, effort, and possible expense, by trying to stop it.

      A quick route may be to speak with a lawyer who handles violations of the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). This type of attorney doesn't charge you a fee but will take the case if he or she feels you have a solid basis to win. In that case the lawyer collects from the creditor or collection agent. You should be able to get a free consultation. Search online for "FDCPA attorney" and the name of the city in which you live.

      Please report back on how it goes for you. Good luck!

      0 Votes

  • RH
    Aug, 2018

    hi. I have been disabled for almost 19 years now (which did not happen in the state of Kansas which i presently live in). I have, in the past few years, accrued approximately $5,000 or therebouts in credit card debt, the majority of which is already (right now) enrolled in a Credit Counseling and Debt Consolidation program. OTHER DEBT (about $1,000 or so) i have is NOT in that program (yet). Can Kansas or creditors elsewhere garnish my Federal SSD Disability Check? Also, are they allowed to forcibly take money from my credit union checking account? How "vulnerable" or "safe" am i to at least maintain some sort of livable income while also trying to responsibly pay off my debt the best i can? what options are available to creditors in any judgments against me, or what other options are available to me, other than just paying my debt off directly? I am doing the best i can. Could I end up in jail over this or what could happen to a disabled / poor person, if that even matters? I want to be doing my best to be responsible. Thanks.

    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2018

      Standard creditors will not be able to garnish your disability income. Deposit your disability income by direct deposit so the source of the funds is clear to the bank. Up to two times your monthly disability award should be exempt from garnishment by standard creditors, and a  creditor would need to sue you and obtain a judgment before trying to levy a bank account or go after another asset.

      You won't go to jail for owing a debt, though in some jurisdictions a person can have a bench warrant issued for failing to appear in court when summonsed to do so. 

      0 Votes

  • AK
    Apr, 2014
    Kansas City, MO
    My grandpa passed away less than a month ago. When my grandma and him got divorced 11 years ago, the divorce decree stated that he was to pay my aunt and uncle $3,000. They are saying I have to pay it since I'm his executor of estate. He didn't have anything but his life insurance policy, which he left that to me. Can they take me to court and sure me for the money?
    0 Votes

    • BA
      Apr, 2014
      Because you asked your question on a page related to Kansas law, I will assume you reside in Kansas, or your grandfather did.

      You mentioned you are the executor of your grandfather's estate. You need to learn about your duties under probate law in general, and Kansas probate law in particular. Accordingly, consult with a lawyer who has Kansas probate law experience to learn how to handle the claim made by your aunt and uncle. Do not automatically assume they are owed anything from your grandfather's estate or from you personally.
      1 Votes