Call Us

877-792-2655 707-792-7600

Laws

SUMMARY OF COLLECTION LAWS

Bad check law: Alternately, UCC article 3 section 806 provides recovery of all reasonable costs & expenses.

Federal Garnishment Exemption: Federal Law exempts from garnishment 75% of disposable earnings per week, or an amount equal to 30 x federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is greater. Some states laws still on the books are listed below, but where federal law provides larger exemption, it supersedes the state law.

* Denotes States having community property laws.

STATE: ALABAMA *

INTEREST RATE: Legal: 6%          Judgment: 12%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 20                     Foreign Judgment: 20

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Greater of $10 or Actual Bank Charges.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 75% of wages are exempt from garnishment.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: Privilege License, State & County

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Business License not required for out-of- state agency (per Secretary of State).

STATE: ALASKA

INTEREST RATE: Legal: 6%          Judgment: 5% or contractual.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Sale of Goods: 4                                  Written Contract: 3

Domestic Judgment: 10                     Foreign Judgment: 10

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Damages in the amount equal to $100 or triple the amount of the check whichever is greater, but no more than $1000 over the amount of the check.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 75% of employee’s weekly net income or $420.00 whichever is more.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5000  License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for Out-of-state collectors: No exemption in statute.

STATE: ARIZONA *

INTEREST RATE Legal: 10%        Judgment: 10% or contractual.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Written Contract: 6 in AZ – 4 outside AZ

Domestic Judgment: 5 (additional 5 upon request indefinitely.)                Foreign Judgment: 4

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Twice the amount of the check plus costs of suit and reasonable attorney fees.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $10,000 to $35,000           License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: License not required if an out-of-state agency’s state has requirements substantially similar to AZ and allows reciprocity.

STATE: ARKANSAS

INTEREST RATE Prejudgment: If none indicated, 6% prejudgment; if provided in contract in writing and AR law applies, then no more than 5 points above the federal discount rate at the time the contract is entered into.

Judgment: 5 points above the federal discount rate at the time of judgment.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3 (except Med. 2 yrs.) Written Contract: 5 (partial payment stops the statute from running).

Sale of Goods (UCC-2): 4 Domestic Judgment: 10- Renewable               Foreign Judgment: 10- Renewable

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Twice amount of check — prior to double charge — can start out with $15 charge per NSF check after 30 days.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: $500 head of family; $200 single (includes personal property except clothing.) Homestead Exemptions: 40 acres plus home in city and 80 acres plus home in country.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000 to $25,000             License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

STATE: CALIFORNIA *

INTEREST RATE Legal: 10%        Judgment: 10% (Unless otherwise contracted).

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: Reduced to writing – 4  Open Acct: No writing – 2 Written Contract: 4

Domestic Judgment: 10 (renewable at 10)     Foreign Judgment: 10 (judgment debtors commencing of CA residence).

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount due, Treble damages-minimum $100 maximum $1,500 per check.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law. Exemptions for necessaries of life.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE: No license or bond required.

STATE: COLORADO

INTEREST RATE Legal: 8%           Judgment: 8% (or higher if specified in statute, contract or note).

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Written Contract: 6 (signed promissory note),

Written Contract Goods Services: 3 Domestic Judgment: District Court: 20 (renewable every 20); County Court:  6 (renewable every 6)                 Foreign Judgment: 6 in CO.

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Treble Damages & Reasonable Attorney Fees.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $12,000 to $20,000           License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out of state collectors are exempt if 1) collecting only by interstate means (phone, fax, mail); 2) have no Colorado client; and 3) are located in a state that regulates and licenses collection agencies, but does not require Colorado agencies to obtain a license when they collect debts in the same manner

STATE: CONNECTICUT

INTEREST RATE Legal: 10%        Judgment: 10%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Written Contract: 6             Oral Contract: 6

Sale of Goods (UCC): 6                     Domestic Judgment: 20/25 Small Claims Judgment: 10/15

Foreign Judgment: No provision

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Personal liability of signatory on corporate claims unless signed in corporate capacity.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 25% you may garnish disposable earnings each week or 40x federal minimum hourly wage whichever is less.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5000  License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

STATE: DELAWARE

INTEREST RATE: Pre or Post judgment interest at legal rate (6% as ct 12/2003) or contract rate.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Sale of Goods (UCC): 4                     Open Acct: 4                        Written Contract: 3

Promissory Notes: 6                            Personal Injury and             Damage to Personal Property: 2

Judgments: 10 Justice of the Peace Court: 2 years (unless execution attempted)                   Superior Court: 10

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): N/A

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: Wage garnishment may not exceed 15% of disposable earnings or reduce disposable earnings to less than $150 a week.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No                         License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

PROVINCE: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 3%                           Judgment: 70% of interest rates on taxes of IRS.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Written Contract: 3

Domestic Judgment: 12                     Foreign Judgment: Foreign Statute

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount Due and  Protest Fees.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law. D.C. Government employees are now garnish able.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No                         License or Registration: No

STATE: FLORIDA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 6%                           Judgment: 6% or up to 18% if contractual.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 4                                        Written Contract: 5

Domestic Judgment: 20 year duration, if recorded acts as lien on non-homestead real property for 10 yrs; may be recorded for an additional 10 yrs.                                 Foreign Judgment: Same duration as domestic if under F.S. §55.50 et seq.

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Initially face value of check plus $25.00 or 5% of value, whichever is greater. If suit is required, after 30-day demand, treble amount in addition to amount owed, bank, court costs and reasonable attorney fees.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: FL has opted out of federal bankruptcy exemptions. 100% head of household; Liberal Homestead Exemption; Life insurance proceeds; and/or cash value of policy, disability income, pension monies and retirement funds are exempt.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No-Consumer Collections; Yes- Commercial Collections

License or Registration: Solicit/Collect for in-state creditor.

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Registration is required for out-of-state collectors if 1) soliciting accounts; 2) if client (creditor, its affiliate, or subsidiary) has an office in Florida.

STATE: GEORGIA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 7%                           Judgment: Prime + 3           Commercial Accounts: 18%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 4                                        Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 7                        Foreign Judgment: 5

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): After 10 day written demand double damages up to $500 and service charge of $25 or 5%, whichever is greater.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law. City, County & State employees may be garnished.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No                         License or Registration: No

STATE: HAWAII

INTEREST RATE Legal: 10%        Judgment: 10% (no written contract).

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Sale of Goods: 4                                  Open Acct: 6                        Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 10                     Foreign Judgment: 6 for Regis./10 after Regis.

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Damages equal to $100 or triple amount of check, not to exceed $500.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 95% of 1st $100, 90% of 2nd $100, 80% net wages in excess of $200 per mo. or federal limits whichever is greater

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $25,000/$15,000 each branch. License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

STATE: IDAHO *

INTEREST RATE Legal: 12%        Judgment:             6%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 4                                        Oral Contract: 4                   Written Contract: 5

Domestic Judgment: 6 renewable    Foreign Judgment: 6 renewable

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Triple amount of check up to $500 over the check amount.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $2,000 initial      License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collectors may quality for a special license if licensed, bonded by any state; solicit no ID clients; contact ID residents only by interstate communications; have no instate agents, locations, maintain books, records according to accepted accounting practices.

STATE: ILLINOIS

INTEREST RATE Legal: 5%           Judgment: 9%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Sales (UCC): 4                                     Open Acct: 5                        Written Contract: 10

Domestic Judgment: 20                     Foreign Judgment: 5

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Triple check amount up to $1,500, attorney tees & court costs.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 15% of gross wages or disposable earnings for workweek up to 45 x federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is greater.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $25,000                               License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collectors may be exempt if 1) they are licensed in another state; 2) their state of residence has laws which provide similar reciprocity (allow out-of-state agencies to collect only by means of interstate communications); and 3) the state in which he non-Illinois agency resides extends the same privileges to out-of- state agencies.

STATE: INDIANA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 8% (unless agreement between the parties)                    Judgment: 5%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                        Written Contract for payment of money (executed before 9/1/82): 10 (after 8/31/82): 6

Written Contract other than payment of money (executed before 9/1/82): 20 after 8/31/82: 10

Written Contract for sale of goods: 4              Domestic Judgment: 10 on real estate, 20 against the person

Foreign Judgment: 20

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Triple check amount up to $500 over check amount, plus attorney fees and interest up to 18% per annum or triple check amount plus attorney fees and interest at judgment rate.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 75% of disposable earnings for work week or he amount of 30 x federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is greater.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect for in-state creditor.

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collectors are exempt from licensing if 1) collecting for a non-resident creditor; and 2) collection activities limited to interstate communications (phone, fax, and mail).

STATE: IOWA

INTEREST RATE Legal & Judgment: legal floating rate per T-Bill rate.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 5                                        Written Contract: 10

Domestic Judgment: 10 can be renewed in the 9th year               Foreign Judgment: 10 can be renewed in the 9th year.

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): 537.2501G allows 5% of the check or $20, whichever is greater. 625.22 allows for reasonable attorney fees.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: Iowa has its own exemptions. See Iowa Code Chapter 627.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Send: No                         License or Registration: If collect $25,000 or more.

STATE: KANSAS

INTEREST RATE Legal: 10%        Judgment: 6%

District Court: Discount Rate + 4% Limited Actions: 12%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 2                                        Sale of Goods: 4                  Written Contract: 5

Domestic Judgment: 5 renewable    Foreign Judgment: 5 renewable

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Three times check amount not exceeding the check amount by $500 or $100 whichever is greater plus attorney fees and court costs plus amount of check.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See Federal Law.  Plus other personal property, benefit exemptions, and homestead.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: No

STATE: KENTUCKY

INTEREST RATE Legal: 8%                           Judgment: 12%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 5                                        Sale of Goods: 4                  Promissory Notes: 6

Written Contract: 15                           Oral Contract: 5                  

Domestic Judgment: 15                     Foreign Judgment: 15

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): N/A

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 75% of disposable income or 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage (whichever is greater).

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No                         License or Registration: No

STATE: LOUISIANA *

INTEREST RATE Legal: 5.25%     Judgment: 6.25%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Written Contract: 10           Promissory Notes: 5

Domestic Judgment: 10                     Foreign Judgment: 10

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): After 30 day written demand (certified or registered), twice check amount, attorney fees & court costs.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 75% disposable earnings per work week, but not less than 30 x federal minimum hourly wage.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $10,000               License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Only if they are collecting debts from Louisiana residents on behalf of creditors that are not physically located in the state or are not licensed as a foreign corporation to conduct business in the state.

STATE: MAINE

INTEREST RATE Legal: 8%           Pre Judgment: T-Bill rate + 3            Post Judgment: T-Bill rate + 6

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Sale of Goods: 4                  Written Contract: 6 + 20 (with attestment).

Judgments (Domestic & Foreign): Rebuttal presumption that judgment has been paid after 20 years.

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount due, court costs, service costs and collection costs.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS:  You may garnish 25% of disposable income or the amount by which a debtor’s income exceeds the minimum wage (whichever is less), after judgment only.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: Yes $20,000 to $50,000   License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-slate collectors: Contact state authority. Licensing authority is allowing some exemptions to out-of-state agencies that collect, not solicit, for nonresident creditors, it debt incurred outside the state. Based on strict interpretation of state law, all in-state and out-of-state collection agencies must obtain a license before conducting any collection activity in the state unless the debtor resides in the state, the creditor is out-of-state and the collection agency is also out of the state.

STATE: MARYLAND

INTEREST RATE Legal: 6%                           Judgment: 10% or contractual

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3 (UCC): 4                      Specialty: 12 (contract under seal)   Written Contract: 3

Domestic Judgment: 12                     Foreign Judgment: 12

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): After 30 day written notice, amount due, $25 fee, twice check amount up to $1,000 (at the discretion of the court). Applies to COD sales only.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: Federal minimum wage takes priority over State Law; exemption is greater of 75% of net wage or 30 times the Federal minimum wage.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

STATE: MASSACHUSETTS

INTEREST RATE Legal: 12% Judgment: 12% Contract: 12% unless agreed to a higher rate in writing by debtor.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct on Contract: 6                  Sales (UCC) Contract: 4                    Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 20 (presumed satisfied after 20 years) can be extended for 20-year periods

Foreign Judgment: 20                         Contracts Under Seal: 20

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount due, costs of suit, protest fees, and additional damages of $100- $500 can be assessed.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: $125 week.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $10,000 -$25,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

STATE: MICHIGAN

INTEREST RATE Legal: 5% (7% in writing)               Usury limit: 25%

Judgment: 1% over US Treasury Note

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Written Contract: 6                             Sales (UCC) Contract: 4

Domestic Judgment: 10 renewable  Foreign Judgment: 10

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Twice the amount of check, not to exceed $500. Retail Claims-Notice Requirements apply

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE (RETAIL ONLY) Bond: $5,000 -$50,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect for in-state creditor. Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collectors are exempt if collecting by interstate means (phones, fax, mail).

STATE: MINNESOTA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 6%                           Judgment: 4% (Changes Yearly)

Business or Agricultural Loan: 4.5% over federal discount rate.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Goods sold and delivered (UCC): 4 Open Acct: 6                        Written Contract: 6

Transportation Service: 3                   Domestic Judgment: 10     Foreign Judgment: 10

Contract For Sale: 4                            Lease Contract: 4                Note Payable: 6

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): $100 or up to 100% of the value of the check, whichever is greater, plus interest at the rate payable on judgments on the face amount of check, plus reasonable attorney fees if aggregate amount of checks within 6 month period is over $1,250.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: Greater of 75% or amount equal 40 x federal minimum hourly wage.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000-$20,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

STATE: MISSISSIPPI

INTEREST RATE Legal: 8%           Judgment: amount in contract, if no contract amount court decides

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Written Contract: 3                             UCC: 6

Domestic Judgment: 7                        Foreign Judgment: 7 (3 it resident) Deficiency Suit: 1 year from date of sale.

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): On checks up to and including $25, additional damages would be 100% of check amount. On checks from $25 to $200, additional damages would be 50% of check amount but not less than $25. On checks over $200 additional damages would be 25% of check amount.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: Certificate of Authority

STATE:                MISSOURI

INTEREST RATE Legal: 9%           Judgment: 9%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Sale of Goods: 4                                  Open Acct: 5        Written Contract: 10 (Money & Property)

Domestic Judgment: 10 (Revived every 3 years)          Foreign Judgment: 10 (Revived every 3 years).

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Three limes face amount owed or $100 whichever is greater not to exceed $500 (exclusive of attorney fees).

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS:  See federal law; exempt 90% of week’s net pay, head of household, single person without dependents equal 75%.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: No

STATE: MONTANA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 10%        Judgment: 10%

A binding written agreement may provide for interest of 15% or 6% above prime (whichever is more).

Exception to Interest Law: Short Term Lenders (90 days or less) can receive high interest of 300-400% APR.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Contract not in Writing: 5                  Written Contract: 8

Domestic Judgment: 10 (District Court)         (Realty lien for only 6)      Justice of Peace Judge: 6

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): $100 minimum or 3 times face value up to $500 plus face value of check under UCC plus $30 service charge per check.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: No

Caveats: Foreign corporations should register with MT SOS prior to any suit in MT Courts or risk stay or dismissal (cost $120). Attorney fees only if provided by a signed written agreement or provided by statute.

STATE: NEBRASKA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 12% per written instrument or contract rate.

Judgment: 2% above bend equivalent yield as published by US Treasury.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 4                                                        Written Contract: 5

Domestic Judgment: 5 renewable every 5      Foreign Judgment: 5 non-renewable

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount due, costs, and protest fees.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: Greater of 75% disposable earnings (85% if head of household), or 30 x federal minimum hourly wage.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000 to $15,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collectors are exempt if 1) communicating by interstate means (phone, fax, and mail); and 2) are regulated by the laws of another state.

STATE: NEVADA *

INTEREST RATE Contract rate always prevails, if no contract: Legal: 2% Over Prime     Judgment: 2% Over Prime

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 4                                        Written Contract: 6                                             Lease: 4

Domestic Judgment: 6                        Foreign Judgment: 6

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount due, protest fees three times check amount not more than $500, or less than $100.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: Garnish only 25% of Disposable earnings for each week or 30-x federal minimum hourly wage whichever is less.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $25,000 -$60,000              License or Registration: Solicit/Collect for in-state creditor.  Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collectors are exempt if 1) collecting by interstate means phone, fax, mail); and 2) collecting for an out-of-state client.

STATE: NEW HAMPSHIRE

INTEREST RATE Judgment:          2004 = 3%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        For Goods: 4                        Written Contract: 3

Domestic Judgment: 20                     Foreign Judgment: 20

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY):  Amount due, interest, court costs, reasonable costs of collection and $10 per day up to a maximum of $500.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 50 x federal minimum hourly wage.  All future wages are exempt so that the court cannot issue an ongoing order.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: No

STATE: NEW JERSEY

INTEREST RATE Legal: 5%           Judgment: Changes yearly 2004: 2% up to $15,000

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Sale of Goods: 4                  Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 20                     Foreign Judgment: 20

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): N/A

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: $154.50 week minimum; 10% of gross earnings $154.50 and over.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $500     License or Registration: Certificate of Authority

STATE: NEW MEXICO *

INTEREST RATE Judgment: 8.75% (in the absence of a written contract)

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 4                                        Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 14                     Foreign Judgment: 14

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount due, triple damages up to $500 per check. Complex requirements need to be met.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: Greater of 76% or amount each week equal to 40 x federal min. hourly wage.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000 minimum- based on volume.

License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

STATE: NEW YORK

INTEREST RATE Legal: 16%        Judgment: 9%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Sale of Goods: 4                  Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 20(10 yr. renewable lien)              Foreign Judgment: 20(10 yr. renewable lien).

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Face value of check plus two times check amount up to a maximum of $400 on NSF or $750 on “no account” (demand prescribed by law). GEN. OB.: 1.1-104 provision

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 90% of earnings, except 1st  $154.50 week wholly exempt.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: NYC- No (Buffalo-$5,000) License or Registration (NY State): Yes

License or Registration (NYC): Solicit/Collect

STATE: NORTH CAROLINA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 8%           Judgment: 8%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Sale of Goods: 4                  Written Contract: 3

Domestic Judgment: 10                     Foreign Judgment: 10

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): 30 day written demand lesser of $500 or 3 x check amount, but not less than $100.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 100% of last 60 days’ earnings for family support. Garnishment only by political subdivisions for taxes, ambulance fees, etc.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000 to $50,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-slate collectors: Contact stale authorities. Licensing authorities may allow out- of-state agencies to bypass requirements if they do not solicit in state and/or work for in-state clients.

STATE: NORTH DAKOTA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 6%           Judgment:             12%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct. for services: 6                 Sale of Goods: 4                  Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 10 renewable  Foreign Judgment: 10 renewable

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount due, collection fees of $25, and $100 or 3 x check whichever is less.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: Greater of 75% or amount each week equal to 40 x federal min. hourly wage, plus $20.00 each household dependent.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $20,000               License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: A person may not be considered to be engaged in collection activity within this state if that person’s activities are limited to collecting debts from debtors located in this state by means of interstate communications, including phone, mail or facsimile transmission from the person’s location in another state if the person is licensed and bonded in that state and the state has enacted similar legislation.

STATE: OHIO

INTEREST RATE Legal: 10%        Judgment: 10% (unless written contract)

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Written Contract: 15

Domestic Judgment: 21 renew every 5           Foreign Judgment: 15 renew every 5

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): The greatest of $200 or three times the amount of check and attorney fees (no maximum).

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: No

STATE: OKLAHOMA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 6% unless specified in contract                         Judgment: 5.63% varies every year

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Sale of goods by UCC: 5   Written Contract: 5

Domestic Judgment: 5 renewable    Foreign Judgment: 6 renewable

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): N/A

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: State law: 75% of earnings exempted, more if hardship established. All federal exemptions apply.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: No

STATE: OREGON

INTEREST RATE Statutory + Judgment: 9% simple interest per annum (unless specified by contract)

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Select Goods: 6 (4 yrs UCC Transaction)      Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 10 Renewable at 10       Foreign Judgment: 10

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Can recover reasonable attorney fees and statutory damages of three times the amount of the NSF check plus $500 if demand letter is sent to debtor 30 days before suit is filed.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 75% of disposable earnings or 40 x federal min. hourly wage.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $10,000               License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Contact slate authorities. Out-of-state agencies may be exempt if 1) collecting for out-of-state client; 2) the debt was incurred by an Oregonian outside the state; and 3) the state where the collection agency is headquartered has a registration program comparable to Oregon’s law.

STATE: PENNSYLVANIA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 6%           Judgment:             6%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 4                                        Written Contract: 4

Domestic Judgment: 5 (writ of revival within 5 yrs.)   Lien against real estate: 5 (writ of revival within 6 years to maintain current lien position for another 4 year period.  If not revived in the 4 year period judgment continues to act as a lien against real estate but will lose its priority position compared to other judicial lien creditors.)

Personal property Ex: 20 yrs.                            Foreign Judgment: 4

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): N/A

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 100% of wages, certain pensions, retirement accounts & Keogh plan under certain circumstances, and $300.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: Yes       License or Registration: Yes

STATE: RHODE ISLAND

INTEREST RATE Legal: 12%        Judgment: 12%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 10                                      Written Contract: 10

Domestic Judgment: 20                     Foreign Judgment: 20

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount of check, $25 fee and treble damage up to $1,000

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: No

STATE:                SOUTH CAROLINA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 8.75%     Judgment: 12%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Written Contract: 3

Domestic Judgment: 10                     Foreign Judgment: 10         Written Contract Under Seal: 20

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Reasonable court costs, amount of check and damages up to $500 or 3 x check amount whichever is smaller.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 100% wage

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: Business License

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: License required for in-state agency only.

STATE: SOUTH DAKOTA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 12%        Judgment: 10%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Safe of Goods: 4                  Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 10 renewable for 10      Foreign Judgment: 10

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): N/A

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 20% of the individual’s disposable earnings for a 60-day period, 180 days if garnishee summons indicates ‘Continuing Lien’.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: No

STATE: TENNESSEE

INTEREST RATE Legal: 10%        Judgment: 10% (or contract rate, whichever is greater).

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 10                     Foreign Judgment: 10

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Treble damages up to $500 plus 10% interest and reasonable service charges, attorney’s fees, and court costs.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law. Add $2.50 per wk. for dependent child under 16.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $15,000 to $25,000           License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Contact state licensing authority. Out-of-slate agencies may be exempt if they 1) maintain office in another state; 2) resides in a state that provides reciprocity; and 3) comply with provisions of licensing.

STATE: TEXAS *

INTEREST RATE Legal: 18% with agreement: can charge up to 6% without agreement-statutory interest of 6% begins to run the 30th day after debt become due.                        Judgment: 6%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 4                                        Written Contract: 4                             Promissory Note: 6

Domestic Judgment: 10 (renewable)                Foreign Judgment: 10 (renewable)

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): N/A

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 100% of Wages.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $10,000                               License or Registration: No

**Always consult counsel to charge interest; Texas has very onerous usury law & penalties.

STATE: UTAH

INTEREST RATE Legal: 10%        Judgment: 3.28%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 4                                        Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 8                        Foreign Judgment: 8

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Certified statutory bad check notice must be sent. Amount due, interest court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, plus damage equal to greater of $100 or three x check amount (not to exceed check plus $500).

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: $142.50 of disposable earnings for wages paid weekly.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $10,000               License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

STATE: VERMONT

INTEREST RATE Legal: 12%        Judgment: 12%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 8                        Foreign Judgment: 8

Retail Security Agreements: 4          Witnessed Promissory Notes: 14

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Court costs, amount of check, attorney’s fees, damage of $50. (Notices required.)

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 75% of earning above minimum wage or what is necessary to live, 85% if person, family or house held debt.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No                         License or Registration: No

STATE: VIRGINIA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 8%           Judgment: 9% or contract rate whichever is higher.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3 from last charge or payment    Written Contract: 5

Domestic Judgment: 20                     Foreign Judgment: 10 Sales of goods under article 2 is 4 years.

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Lesser of $250 or three times check amount.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: No         License or Registration: No

STATE: WASHINGTON

INTEREST RATE Legal: 12%        Judgment:             12%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Written Contract: 8

Domestic Judgment: 10, renewable Foreign Judgment: 10, renewable

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Interest at rate specified in instrument or, if no specified rate, 12% interest plus collection costs up to $40. If taken to court, reasonable attorney’s fees, 3 x face value, or up to $300. Now have 6 years to enforce a bad check.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: Greater of 75% or $206 wk. (30 x state min. hourly wage).

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Contact state authorities. Out-of-state agencies may qualify for lesser licensing fees. Out-of-stale collectors are no longer required to have resident office and in-state trust accounts if they don’t have in-state client.  Bond is not required if held in home state.

STATE: WEST VIRGINIA

INTEREST RATE Legal: 6% (Contract rate prevails. Contract rate can vary between 18% and 31% max)

Judgment: 10%

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 6                                        Written Contract: 10

Domestic Judgment: 10                     Foreign Judgment: 10

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount due, service charge up to $10. If check is under $500.00 it is a misdemeanor. Over $600.00 it is a felony.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See West Va. Code 38-5A-3.  Employees withhold 20% of disposable income or 30 x the minimum hourly rate whichever is less. Other exemptions apply.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000                 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect

Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Contact state authorities. Some out-of-state agencies maybe exempt if they are only collecting for out-of-state clients.

STATE: WISCONSIN *

INTEREST RATE Legal:  5%          Judgment:             12

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open boot: 6                                         Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 20                     Foreign Judgment: 20

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Amount of check plus actual damages plus exemplary damages up to three times value of check. Limited to $300.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 80% of net pay.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $25,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect for in-state creditor.  Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state agencies do not need to be licensed if 1) collecting by interstate means (phone, fax, and mail); and 2) collecting for an out-of-state client.

STATE: WYOMING

INTEREST RATE Legal: 7%           Judgment: contract rate or 10% judgment rate.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 8                                        Written Contract: 10

Domestic Judgment: 5                        Foreign Judgment: 5

BAD CHECK LAWS (CIVIL PENALTY): Three times amount of check but less than $100 plus collection fee of $30.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: See federal law for consumer credit sale, lease or loan. Up to 66% for child support arrearage.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $10,000 License or Registration: Solicit/Collect for in-state creditor.  Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state agencies may bypass licensing if 1) they are not soliciting clients for Wyoming creditors and 2) The debt was incurred outside the state.

PROVINCE: PUERTO RICO

INTEREST RATE Legal: 5% changes every 6 months (1/1/2004-6/30/2004)

Judgment: The Commissioner of the Board of Financial institutions every 6 months regulates it.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct: 3                                        Merchandise Open Acct: 3                Written Contract: 15

Mortgage: 20                                        Domestic Judgment: 15                     Foreign Judgment: 15

BAD CHECK LAWS (MISDEMEANOR): See articles 1851-1856 of the Puerto Rico Penal Code regarding bad check laws.

GENERAL GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS: 75% of last 30 days’ earnings for family support.

COLLECTION AGENCY BOND & LICENSE Bond: $5,000                 License or Registration: Yes