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Missouri Collection Laws

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Daniel Cohen
UpdatedJul 9, 2024

What rights do creditors have under Missouri law to collect debts from consumers?

I need to learn how a collection agent can get a judgment from me. I live in Missouri.

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.

Receiving Calls from Debt Collectors?

Receiving collection calls is unpleasant, whether from the original creditor or from collection agency. Call 800-998-7497 to speak with a Money Coach and discuss what to say and not to say in a phone call with a debt collector, and also what kind of financial plan you need to avoid this happening again.

Missouri 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.

Learn the Limits of a Wage Garnishment

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 law, but may be allowed for child support. See the Wage Garnishment article to learn more.

Know Your Rights - Stop Unscrupulous Debt Collectors

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.

Missouri Payday Loan

See the resource Missouri Payday Loan to learn more about the rights consumers in Missouri have regarding payday loans, and options for resolving them.


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

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



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Struggling with debt?

Mortgages, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, and auto loans are common types of debts. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q1 2024 was $17.69 trillion. Housing debt totaled $12.82 trillion and non-housing debt was $4.88 trillion.

According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1,739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 8% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.

The amount of debt and debt in collections vary by state. For example, in Idaho, 20% have any kind of debt in collections and the median debt in collections is $1965. Medical debt is common and 11% have that in collections. The median medical debt in collections is $809.

While many households can comfortably pay off their debt, it is clear that many people are struggling with debt. Make sure that you analyze your situation and find the best debt payoff solutions to match your situation.



AAngela Lambert, Nov, 2022
I have an auto loan I thought was paid off, a few years later I find out it was not and placed for collections. fast forward about to 15 years, this is no longer on my credit. A company called me today said a lien has been placed on my property and they are going to garnish my wages and that of my husband, who this debt does not belong to and basically said that my ex, who is also responsible is off scott free. Statute of limitations is 4 years in auto loans. Can they still do this? I have not received anything in writing.
TTed, Nov, 2022
Hello Angela, Please do not take my answer to be legal advice, as I am not an attorney and only attorneys can offer legal advice. They should not be going after you. Recall this paragraph, " Know Your Rights - Stop Unscrupulous Debt Collectors 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." I would speak to an attorney and get their assistance on this matter. Let them know the details. The attorney may know something more as to why this may be happening. I wish you and your family the best. Regards, Josh
kkim archer, Jan, 2021

I have been paying on a judgment and i am 11 payments away from being done. today i got in the mail a garnisment on the same judgment wanting to garnish my check for POST JUDGMNT INTEREST, i was not notified of any court date. and i was told when the judgment was ordered that the amount on the judgment was all i owed that it would not grow or change. i am in missouri

JJosh, Aug, 2021

Hello Kim Archer. 

Thank you for reaching out to us today. Please, do not take my answer to be legal advice as I am not an attorney. Only attorneys can offer legal advice. 

Based on my understanding you could have several judgments against you. If you did not receive a summons and complaint there could be an issue that would require you to speak with your HR team and if you are not satisfied with the results. You should speak to an attorney to make sure your right has not been violated. 

I also recommend reading this article,

It might be of use as you navigate through your situation. 

Regards, Josh 

CChris, Nov, 2020

I have a vehicle that was sold to me for cheap from a family member years ago, and said family member signed the title over to me in full and paid off the loan on his side with a signature loan. He seeks to recover payments on his end, but for 13 months refused to cash any checks I sent, but now wants to resume payments months after the fact (I now have my own insurance/registration/plates ). Legally the vehicle is mine now, and the debt is between him and his bank (I appear nowhere on his side of paperwork), what options are available as far as collections and court issues if an agreement cannot be met?

BBetsalel Cohen, Dec, 2020

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

From what you described, it sounds like the problem is between you and your family member, and the bank is not involved. Do you have a written agreement? If so, what are the terms?  Is the family member seeking to take you to court?

If you need legal advice, I recommend that you speak to a local attorney.

CChris, Dec, 2020

There is no written agreement and I receive threatening voice messages weekly from said relative. I tried talking things out on the phone but was dismissed and threatened with being taken to court. I was considering a retraining order to stop the threatening phone calls, and am not opposed to paying again, but I'm interested in my options as far as what can be done in a court of law or how if any action taken on either end would play out. I've owned the vehicle for 3 years now, paid in full personal property tax/registration/plates and carry insurance

BBetsalel Cohen, Dec, 2020

I think the best action is to speak to a local attorney about your rights and how to avoid harassment. The lawyer may also be able to help to create a legal document that makes clear your obligations.

LLinda Krauss, Aug, 2020

What does it mean to be judgement proof in Missouri?

DDaniel Cohen, Sep, 2020

Linda, judgment proof is not a formal legal description, but is a way of describing an individual who, at the present time, has assets and income out of the reach of creditors who possess a judgment. Because in each state the income and assets that are exempt from collection, beyond the reach of a judgment creditor, what makes one "judgment proof" in one state is not the same as in another. To be clear, being "judgment proof" does not prevent a creditor from suing you or a court from granting a judgment against you.

In the Show Me State, my understanding of the collection laws (and I am not a lawyer and not giving you legal advice) is that these are the current limits that protect you from creditor collections: 8,000 in home equity, $1,000 in vehicle equity,$1,250 in a bank account, and 75% of your income. Some sources of income are protected and income below a certain level is protected. If you had no assets that a creditor could reach, then you are currently judgment proof. That could change in a day, were you to inherit money win the lottery, strike oil on property you own and have rights to the oil, or find $30,000 in a bag on the street and get it after no one claims it.