Mississippi Collection Laws

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  • Mississippi's statute of limitations on credit card debt is 3 years.
  • Mississippi allows you to file an objection to a wage or account garnishment.
  • Mississippi does not allow collections after the statute of limitations expires

Mississippi's Rules For Garnishment, Liens, Foreclosure & More

If you owe debt and reside in Mississippi, it’s important to understand your rights and liabilities. It is even more important if a creditor threatens to file a lawsuit against you.

A lender, collection agent or law firm that owns a collection account is a creditor. Mississippi law gives creditors several means of collecting delinquent debt from you.

Before a creditor may use these legal tools in Mississippi, the creditor must go to court to receive a judgment against you. See the Bills.com article to learn more about this process, and how to fight a lawsuit.

A court will hold a hearing after a creditor files a lawsuit. A hearing may result in a judgment awarded to the creditor. A judgment is a court’s declaration the creditor has the legal right to demand:

The laws calls these remedies. A creditor granted a judgment is called a judgment-creditor. Which tool a judgment-creditor may use depends on the circumstances and Mississippi law. We discuss each of these remedies below.

Mississippi Wage Garnishment Rules

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.

Mississippi law limits the amount of money that your creditors can take from your wages to pay a debt. Under federal and Mississippi law, most creditors with judgments can take up to 25% of your wages. Mississippi law prevents creditors from garnishing wages for the first 30 days after a court orders a garnishment.

Some creditors, such as the IRS and state authorities collecting child support, can garnish more than 25%. The state-allowed maximum for child support is 65% (MCA § 85-3-4(3)(b)). The IRS and US Dept. of Education can garnish your wages administratively, which means they can do so without obtaining a judgment against you first.

You may be able to claim an exemption from a garnishment in Mississippi (MCA § 11-35-33 and § 85-3). Mississippi wage garnishment laws are found in MCA § 11-35 and § 85-3-4(2)(a)(i-ii).

Levy Bank Accounts in Mississippi

Mississippi law calls account levy "bank garnishment." A bank garnishment seizes all funds available to the bank as long as it is clear that the funds belong to the consumer and are not Social Security or a similar federal benefit. Your bank or credit union that receives a bank garnishment will freeze the account for 30 days from the date they receive the garnishment.

Some funds deposited in a bank or credit union may be exempt from bank garnishment. For example, residents over the age of 70 may exempt up to $50,000 in any financial account. See for a list of exemptions.

Mississippi Lien

In Mississippi, a judgment lien can be attached to the real estate the debtor owns, including a house, condo, land, or similar kind of property interest. Miussissippi also allow judgment liens on the debtor’s personal property, including jewelry, art, antiques, and other valuables. (See MCA § 11-7-189 to 197 and § 15-1-43)

Liens are subject to Mississippi’s many exemptions. See for a list of exemptions.

A Mississippi judgment lien remains attached to the debtor’s property (even if the property changes hands) for 7 years.

Wisconsin and Mississippi outlaw lawsuits against consumers in cases where those state statutes of limitation have passed. Wisconsin and Mississippi are the only exceptions to the “lawsuits are allowed for original creditors even if the statute of limitations expired” rule.

Mississippi Statute of Limitations

Each state has its own statute of limitations on civil matters. Here are Mississippi’s statutes of limitations for consumer-related issues:

Account/Type Years Statute
Mississippi statutes of limitations. Source: Bills.com
Credit card 3* MCA 15-1-29 & MCA 15-1-31
Spoken contract 3 MCA 15-1-29
Written contract 3 (non-UCC) or 6 (sale of goods under UCC) MCA 75-3-118, 75-2-725, and 15-1-49
Judgment 7 ** (domestic) 3 (foreign) MCA 15-1-43 & MCA 15-1-45
Judgment Lien 7 ** MCA 15-1-47
* See Walter Del Cox, Jr. vs Howard, Weil, Labouisse, Friedrichs, Inc., 619 So.2d 908 (1993). 3 years from the date at which time the items on the account became due and payable.
** Can be renewed by filing suit to renew judgment prior to expiration of 7th year,

The statute of limitation clock starts when the contract is breached. Typically, this means 30 days after the date of the last full payment.

In Mississippi, a creditor loses the right to file a lawsuit upon expiration of the statute of limitations clock. “The completion of the period of limitation prescribed to bar any action shall defeat and extinguish the right as well as the remedy.” MCA § 15-1-3. Furthermore, collection agents violate the federal 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.

If you reside in Mississippi and a collection agent files a lawsuit against you on expired debt, consult with a lawyer immediately because the collection agent is in violation of Mississippi and federal law.

Mississippi Foreclosure

The most common type of foreclosure in Mississippi is non-judicial. This means the foreclosure timeline can be relatively short — 90 days is the minimum in Mississippi.

Mississippi law allows the lender to file a lawsuit to collect any deficiency balance. It must file for judgment within 1 year of foreclosure. If the lender bids at the foreclosure sale, the bid must be reasonable (see MCA § 89-1-305).

Learn more about Mississippi foreclosure law by reading the state statutes at MCA § 89-1-55 to 89-1-59.

Mississippi Collection Laws Recommendation

Consult with a Mississippi lawyer who is experienced in civil litigation to get precise answers to your questions about liens, levies, garnishment, and foreclosure. If you cannot afford a lawyer, contact or another to find no- or low-cost legal service.

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  • M
    Dec, 2020

    My mother is 75, owns her home, and is likely to default, due to can't work anymore, on credit card debt, to one company, in the amount of (approx.), $18,000. (Discover). She is still paying $50.00 a month, although this is not the minimum. They are, apparently, accepting this amount. At least, for now. Can they attach a lien against her home, if they seek, and receive, a default judgment? Could this be avoided, if her home is deeded over to me? Is there a time restriction on this transfer?

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2020

      Thank you, Mike, for sharing your question. I am not a lawyer, so please don't consider this legal advice.

      While it is possible that a credit card company might legally be able to place a lien on a home, that is not common practice. If you want to transfer the title, then speak to a local attorney.

      If your mother has debt problems, has she looked at various debt consolidation solutions? 

  • D
    Oct, 2020

    If there is a judgment against you that was issued in 1991 (it doesn't show that it was renewed) and it pops up on a title search for a Real Estate application, am I (the creditor) required to pay it off or since it's expired it's null and void? Thank you

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2020

      Danielle, you wrote that you are the creditor, but I think you meant that you are the debtor against whom a judgment was issued in 1991. I am not sure what kind of Real Estate application you wish to submit. If you are looking to refinance your current mortgage, sell the property, or change how the title is listed, you will have to show that the lien was satisfied or no longer enforceable. 

      A good first step is to contact the Clerk's Office at the County Court in which the judgment was entered. If you don't get a clear path from the clerk, you should consult with an attorney.

  • R
    Sep, 2020

    I gave my boyfriend a loan of 10,000.00. He have paid it down to 3811.00 we have broken up and he refuses to pay the loan off. The loan was in December 2016....his last payment was in December 2019. Can I take him to court. I stay in the state of Mississippi.

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2020

      Rena, yes, you can sue your ex-boyfriend. I don't know what proof you have of the agreement you made or what record of the payments he made. If you don't have a written agreement he could claim he has paid you back all he owed.

      In Mississippi, cases involving $3,500 or less are handled in Justice Court. Above $3,500, I believe you would sue in County Court. Before you sue him, even if you have solid proof, assess your ability to collect from him. Does he have income or a bank account you could go after? If not, it may not be worth the time and effort to sue him.

  • K
    Kay Dougherty,
    Feb, 2020

    Defaulted on a signature loan with a credit union due to hardship. Judgement was filed and garnishment occurred as ordered. Total on loan was not recovered due to limit set by state. Also had auto loan that was paid through completion several years later. Credit union attached auto for remaining total from signature loan and unwilling to make reasonable arrangements after vehicle payoff in 2011. Still holding the title. What can I do?

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2020

      Thank you, Kay, for sharing your question. I am not a lawyer so please don't consider this legal advice.

      Many agreements wtih a financial instititution include a "right of offset." If you go delinquent on your account it can affect any other account you have with the same institution. A late car payment can be snagged from a checking account, for example. The withholding of the title is due to the defaulted signature loan. Clearing out what you owe them is the only way I know to get the title released.

  • P
    Feb, 2020

    If my employer receives a garnishment on me, do they have to give me notice before withholding the garnishment? What notice does my employer have to give before withholding the first garnishment.

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2020

      I just searched for an authoritative answer specific to Mississippi and can't find the rule that governs notice from the empployer. I do believe they are required to notify you in a timely manner once they receive the garnishment order. 

      My understanding is that the employer should wait 30 days before taking anything from your paycheck, giving you time to appeal or work out another solution. Federal law protects you from punishment by your employer for being garnished (as it can be a pain for them to deal with the paperwork and making sure the amount garnished is proper, etc.) if you have one garnishment, but if a second garnishment hits you, an employer could fire you if it wishes.

      In your position, I would contact the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and ask them what are the requirements for your employer notifying you. If you do that, please report back what you find.