United States Collection Laws

Your state’s laws for legal interest rates, judgment interest rates, your states statute of limitations for open accounts, written contracts, domestic judgments, foreign judgments, bad check laws, and to see if the collection agency in your state needs to be licensed or bonded before being able to collect.

The below laws are a very important tool if you are served by an agency.

Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming




Alabama Collection Laws


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
  • Greater of $10.00 or Actual Bank Charges

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 75% of wages are exempt from garnishment

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $25.00 – Population under 20,000
    $100.00 – Population over 20,000

  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Business License not required for out-of-state agency.







Alaska Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 10.5%
  • Judgment: 10.5%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Sale of Goods: 4
  • Written Contract: 6
  • Domestic Judgment: 10
  • Foreign Judgment: 10

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Damages in amount equal to $100.00 or triple the amount of the check whichever is greater. But no more than $1,000.00 over the amount of the check.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 75% of employee’s weekly net income or $402.50 whichever is more

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $100.00- Application
    $200.00 – PAgency Biennially








Arizona Collection Laws


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 check, costs of suit, reasonable attorney fees

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $10,000.00 minimum (based on gross income)
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $1,500.00 Application Fee
    $600.00 Annual Fee
    $23.00 per Officers/Managers








Arkansas Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 6% or 5 points above the Fed. discount rate
  • Judgment: Contract rate or 10% per annum whichever is greater

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 3
  • Written Contract: 5 (partial payment stops the statute from running)
  • Sale of Goods: (UCC-2) – 4
  • Domestic Judgment: 10 – Renewable
  • Foreign Judgment: 10

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

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00 to $25,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee: $125.00 – $5.00 each employee







California Collection Laws


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 (commencing with judgment debtor’s commencement of CA. residence.)

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Amount due, treble damages – minimum $100.00 maximum $1,500.00 per check.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law. Exemptions for necessities of life.

Collection agency bond & license
  • No license or bond required







Colorado Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 8%
  • Judgment: 8% (or higher if specified in 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 Fees

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $12,000.00 – $20,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee: Determined by collection agency board
  • 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 regulated and licensed in the state in which they reside.







Connecticut Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 8%
  • Judgment: 10%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 6
  • Written Contract: 6
  • Oral Contract: 3
  • Domestic Judgment: 20/25
  • Small Claims Judgment: 10/15
  • Foreign Judgment: 20

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 40 x fed. min. hourly wage, which ever is less.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $200.00 Yearly
    $50.00 Investigation








Delaware Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal + Judgment ?
  • Federal Reserve Discount Rate Plus 5% Points

Statute of limitations in years
  • Sale of Goods: 4
  • Open Acct.: 4
  • Written Contract: 3
  • Domestic Judgment: No provision
  • Foreign Judgment: No provision

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Amount due, cost of suit, protest fees

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 85% of disposable earnings or disposable earnings minus $150.00 weekly according to schedule.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: Merc. License
  • Fee: $50.00 Yearly







Florida Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 10%
  • Judgment: 10% or up to 18% if contractual

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 4
  • Written Contract: 5
  • Domestic Judgment: 7 Renewable
  • Foreign Judgment: 5 if not recorded instate

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • After 30 day demand-treble amount in addition to amount owed, bank & court costs & reasonable attorney fees.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law except 100% head of household.
  • Liberal Homestead Exemption – 1st $1,000.00 of automobile

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: Yes – $50,000.00 (Commercial)
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $200.00 – Registration
    $50.00 – Investigation
    $200.00 – Renewal

  • 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.







Georgia Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 7%
  • Judgment: 12%
  • 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 $500.00 and service charge of $20.00 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: No
  • Fee: No







Hawaii Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 10% (no written contract)
  • Judgment: 10% (no written contract)

Statute of limitations in years
  • Sale of Goods: 6
  • 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 $100.00 or triple amount of check, not to exceed $500.00

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 95% of 1st $100.00
  • 90% of 2nd $100.00
  • 80% net wages in excess of $200.00 per mo.
  • or federal limits whichever is greater

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $25,000.00/$15,000.00 each branch
  • License: Registration with ‘DCCA’ required for consumer, not commercial, collections
  • Fee:

    $25.00 – Application
    $80.00 – Registration
    $50.00 – Compliance
    $155.00 for 2 years








Idaho Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 12%
  • Judgment: 10.875% plus the base rate

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 4
  • Oral Contract: 4
  • Written Contract: 5
  • Domestic Judgment: 5 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: $5,000.00 initial
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $100.00 – permit fee
    $50.00 – renewal

  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collectors may qualify for a special license if [1] only collecting for client; and [2] are licensed and bonded by any state.







Illinois Collection Laws


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: Same as foreign jurisdiction

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Triple check amount up to $500.00, attorney fees & court costs.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 15% of gross wages or disposable earnings for workweek up to 45 x fed. min. hourly wage, whichever is greater.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $750.00 – Original
    $750.00 – Renewal

  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collectors may be exempt if [1] not soliciting accounts in Illinois; [2] their state of residence has laws which provide similar reciprocity (allow out-of-state agencies to collect only); and [3] the state in which the non-Illinois agency resides extends the same privileges to out-of-state agencies.







Indiana Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 8%
  • Judgment: 8%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 6
  • Written Contract for payment of money
  • (executed before 9/l/82): 10
    (executed after 8/31/82): 6

  • Written Contract (other than payment of money): 10
  • Written Contract for sale of goods: 4
  • Domestic Judgment:

    10 on real estate
    20 against the person

  • Foreign Judgment: 10

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Triple check amount up to $500.00 over check amount, + attorney fees & interest up to 18% per annum or triple check amount + attorney fees and interest at 8% per annum.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 75% of disposable earnings for work week or the amount of 30 x fed. min. hourly wage, whichever is greater.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00 each office
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $100.00 plus $5.00 per annum, each unlicensed employee
    $30.00 branch office
    $80.00 – Renewal

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







Iowa Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 5%
  • Judgment: 10%

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)
  • Triple check up to $500.00 over check amount

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







Kansas Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 10%
  • Judgment: 12%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 3
  • 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

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See Federal Law
  • Plus other personal property, benefit exemptions, and homestead

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







Kentucky Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 8%
  • Judgment: 12%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 5
  • 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: No
  • Fee: No







Louisiana Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 9.75%
  • Judgment: 9.75%

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 fed. min. hourly wage.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $10,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $200.00 Initial
    $200.00 Investigation
    $200.00 Renewal
    $100.00 Branch
    $100.00 Branch Renewal








Maine Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 8%
  • Post Judgment: 15% annual (less than $30,000.00) T-Bill rate over $30,000.00

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 6
  • Written Contract: 6 + 20 (with attestment) Domestic Judgment: 20
  • Foreign Judgment: 20

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Amount due, court costs, service costs & collection costs

General Garnishment exemptions
  • You may garnish 25% of disposable income or 40 times the federal minimum wages per week (whichever is less) After judgment only.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $25,000.00 to $50,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee: $400.00 Yearly
  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Contact state authority. Licensing authority is allowing some exemptions to out-of-state agencies that collect for nonresident creditors and are not soliciting.







Maryland Collection Laws


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, $25.00 fee, twice check amount up to $1000.00. (At the discretion of the court.) Applies to COD sales only.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • Greater of 75% or amount = to $145.00 x no. of weeks. in which wages due were earned; except in Caroline, Worchester, Kent & Queen Anne’s Counties, see federal law. Exemption is up to $3,0005.00 in cash and/or property for non-wage property exemption.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee: $200.00 each office







Massachusetts Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 6%
  • Judgment: 12%
  • Contract: 12%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct. on Contract: 6
  • Contract: 6
  • Sales (UCC) Contract: 4
  • Domestic Judgment: 20 (presumed satisfied after 20 years)
  • Foreign Judgment: 20
  • Contracts Under Seal: 20

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Amount due, costs of suit, protest fees
  • Additional damages $100.00 – $500.00 can be assessed.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • $125.00 week

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $10,000.00 – $25,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee: Determined by commissioner







Michigan Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 5%
  • Judgment: 7.162% changes semiannually
  • Usury limit 25%

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 $500.00
  • Retail Claims – Notice Requirements.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00 – $50,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $150.00 – Investigation
    $225.00 – Initial
    $125.00 – Annually

  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collector are exempt if [1] collecting by interstate means; and [2] have no clients in the state of Michigan.







Minnesota Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 6%
  • Judgment: 5% (Changes Yearly)
  • Business or Agricultural Loan: 4.5% over federal discount rate

Statute of limitations in years
  • Goods Sold & Delivered (UCC): 4
  • Open Acct.: 6
  • Written Contract: 6
  • Transportation Service: 3
  • Domestic Judgment: 10
  • Foreign Judgment: 10

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • $100.00 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 $1250.00

General Garnishment exemptions
  • Greater of 75% or amount = to 40 x fed. min. hourly wage

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00 to $20,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $1,000.00 – Initial
    $400.00 – Annual
    $10.00 – Per Collector








Mississippi Collection Laws


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 if resident)

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • On checks up to and including $25.00, additional damages would be 100% of check amount. On checks from $25.01 to $200.00, additional damages would be 50% of check amount but not less than $25.00. On checks over $200.00 additional damages would be 25% of check amount.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: City – Business
  • Fee: $15.00 – $50.00







Missouri Collection Laws


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 times face amount owed or $100.00 whichever is greater not to exceed $500.00 (exclusive of attorney fees)

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law; exempt 90% of week’s net pay, head of household, single person w/o depend. = 75%

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







Montana Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 10%
  • Judgment: 10%
  • A binding written agreement may provide for interest of 15% or 6% above prime

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 5
  • Written Contract: 8
  • Domestic Judgment: 6 (over $5000.00) Renewable
  • Foreign Judgment: 6 Renewable

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • $100.00 minimum or 3 times face value up to $500.00

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No
Caveats
  • Foreign corporations should register with MT Sec. of State prior to any suit in MT Courts or risk dismissal.
  • Attorney fees only if provided by a signed written agreement.







Nebraska Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 12% per written instrument or contract rate
  • Judgment: 1% above bond equivalent yield as published by U.S. Treasury

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 4
  • Written Contract: 5
  • Domestic Judgment: 5 renewable every 5
  • Foreign Judgment: 5 nonrenewable

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Amount due, costs, protest fees

General Garnishment exemptions
  • Greater of 75% disposable earnings (85% if head of household), or 30 x fed. minimum hourly wage.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: Based on Lic. Solic. Less Than:

    5 = 5,000.00
    5 – 15=$10,000.00
    16 – Up=$15,000.00

  • License: Yes
  • Fee: (not to exceed)

    $250.00 – Investigation
    $200.00 – Original
    $100.00 – Renewal
    $50.00 – Investigation Branch Office
    $35.00 – Original Branch Office

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







New Hampshire Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Judgment: 7.6%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 3
  • For Goods: 4
  • Written Contract: 3
  • For Goods: 4
  • Domestic Judgment: 20
  • Foreign Judgment: 20

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Amount due, interest, court costs, reasonable costs of collection & $10.00 per day (max. $50.00)

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 50 x fed. min. hourly wage – All future wages are exempt so that the court cannot issue an ongoing order.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







New Jersey Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 6%
  • Judgment: No Statutory Provision

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)
  • $142.50 wk. min. 10% of gross earnings $142.50 & Over

General Garnishment exemptions
  • N/A

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







New Mexico Collection Laws


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 $500.00 per check.
  • Complex requirements need to be met.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • Greater of 75% or amount each wk. = to 40 x fed. min. hourly wage

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00 minimum – based on volume
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $500.00 – original collection agency or branch
    $300.00 – renewal collection agency or branch
    $100.00 – examination fee for manager’s license
    $50.00 – manager renewal

  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state agency is exempt if [1] collecting by interstate means (phone, fax, mail); and [2] debt was incurred outside the state of New Mexico.







New York Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 16%
  • Judgment: 9%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 6
  • Written Contract: 6
  • Domestic Judgment: 20 (1 0 yr. renewable lien)
  • Foreign Judgment: 20 (1 0 yr. renewable lien)

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Face value of check plus two times check amount up to a maximum of $400.00 on NSF or $750.00 on “no account” (Demand prescribed by law). GEN.OB.1.1-104

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 90% of earnings, except 1st $127.50 wk. wholly exempt.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No
  • Buffalo: $5,000.00 Bond – $50.00 fee
  • NYC: License – $150.00 – 2 yr. fee







North Carolina Collection Laws


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 $500.00 or 3x check amount, but not less than $100.00

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: $5,000.00 to $50,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee: $500.00
  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Contact state authorities. Unofficially, licensing authorities may allow out-of-state agencies to bypass requirements if they do not solicit in state and/or work for instate clients.







North Dakota Collection Laws


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 $20.00, and $100.00 or 3x check whichever is less.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • Greater of 75% or amount each wk. = to 40 x fed. min. hourly wage. Plus $20.00 each household dependent.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $20,000
  • License: Yes
  • Fee: $200.00
  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state collectors may be exempt if [1] collecting only; [2] their office is located in a state that has a reciprocal law; and [3] the state has “enacted similar legislation”.







Ohio Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 10%
  • Judgment: 10%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 4
  • Sales Contract (UCC2-725)
  • Written Contract: 15
  • Domestic Judgment: 21 renew every 5
  • Foreign Judgment: 21 renew every 5

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • The greater of $200.00 or three times the amount of check and attorney fees (no maximum)

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law. Garnishment limited to once a month per employee

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







Oklahoma Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 6%
  • Judgment: 4% over U.S. Treasury Bill Rate of previous year. (1996 = 9.55% 1997 = 9.15%)

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 3
  • Written Contract: 5
  • Domestic Judgment: 5 renewable
  • Foreign Judgment: 3

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: No
  • Fee: No







Oregon Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Statutory + Judgment: 9% simple interest per annum (Unless specified by contract)

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 6
  • Sale of 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 & statutory damages of three times the amount of the NSF check plus $500.00 if demand letter is sent to debtor 30 days before suit is filed.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 75% of disposable earnings or 40 x fed. min. hourly wage.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: Registration only
  • Fee: Established by director
  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Contact state 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.







Pennsylvania Collection Laws


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.)
  • Foreign Judgment: 4

    Lien against real estate: 5 yrs.
    Personal property Ex: 20 yrs.


Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • After demand and judgment triple damages in amount equal to $100.00 or 3 times the check amount whichever is greater up to $500.00

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 100% of wages, certain pensions, retirement accounts & Keogh plan under certain circumstances, and $300.00

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







Rhode Island Collection Laws


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, $25.00 fee & treble damage up to $1,000.00

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







South Carolina Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 8.75%
  • Judgment: 12%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 3
  • Written Contract: 3
  • Domestic Judgment: 10
  • Foreign Judgment: 10

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Reasonable court costs amount of check& damages up to $500.00 or 3x check amount whichever is smaller

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 100%

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: Yes – all business
  • Fee: No
  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: License required for instate agency only.







South Dakota Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 12%
  • Judgment: 10%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 6
  • Sale of Goods: 4
  • Written Contract: 6
  • Domestic Judgment: 20
  • Foreign Judgment: 10

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • N/A

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 20% of the individuals disposable earnings for a 60 day period

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







Tennessee Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 10%
  • Judgment: 10% (or contract rate) (varies with type of transaction)

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 $500.00 + 10% interest & reasonable service charges, atty.’s fees, & court costs.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law. Add $2.50 per wk. for dependent child under 16.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond:

    $15,000.00 1-4 employee
    $20,000.00 5-9 employee
    $25,000.00 10 or more

  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $600.00 – Original
    $350.00 – Renewal
    $25.00 – Each Solicitor

  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Contact state licensing authority. Out-of-state 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.







Texas Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 6% with agreement can charge up to 18%. w/o agreement – statutory interest of 6% begins to run 30th day after becoming due
  • Judgment: 10%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 4
  • Written Contract: 4
  • 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: Yes
  • License: No
  • Fee: No

Always consult counsel to charge interest





Utah Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 7.35%
  • Judgment: Contract rate or Federal Judgment Rate

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 $15.00 bad check fee.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • $142.50 of disposable earnings for wages paid weekly.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $10,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee: Varies by City and County.







Vermont Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 12%
  • Judgment: 12%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 6
  • Written Contract: 6
  • Domestic Judgment: 8
  • Foreign Judgment: 8

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Court costs, amount of check, attorney’s fees, damage of $50.00 (Notices required)

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 75% of earning above minimum wage or what is necessary to live.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: No
  • License: No
  • Fee: No







Virginia Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 8%
  • Judgment: 9% or contract rate whichever is higher

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 3 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 $250.00 or three times check amount

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond:$5,000.00
  • License: Depends on Locality
  • Fee: No







Washington Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 12%
  • Judgment: 12%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 3
  • Written Contract: 6
  • Domestic Judgment: 10
  • Foreign Judgment: 10

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Lesser of check amount or 12% interest, collection costs up to $40.00. If taken to court, reasonable attorney’s fees, 3 x value, or up to $300.00. Now have 6 years to enforce a bad check.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • Greater of 75% or $64 wk. (40 x state min. hourly wage).

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $6,000.00 general, $4,000.00 specialty
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $100.00 – Investigation
    $100.00 – Original
    $100.00 – Renewable
    $50.00 – Branch Office

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







West Virginia Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 6%
  • Judgment: 10%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 5
  • Written Contract: 10
  • Domestic Judgment: 10
  • Foreign Judgment: 10

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Amount due, service charge up to $10.00. If check is under $500.00 = misdemeanor. Over $500.00 = felony.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See West Virginia code 38-5A-3-Employees withhold 20% of disposable income or 30x the minimum hourly rate, whichever is less. Other exemptions apply.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $5,000.00
  • License: Yes – Franchise Reg. Cert.
  • Fee: $15.00 Annual
  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Contact state authorities. Some out-of-state agencies may be exempt if they are only collecting for out-of-state clients.







Wisconsin Collection Laws


Interest rate
  • Legal: 5%
  • Judgment: 12%

Statute of limitations in years
  • Open Acct.: 6
  • Written Contract: 6
  • Domestic Judgment: 20
  • Foreign Judgment: 20

Bad check laws (civil penalty)
  • Amount of check plus actual damages + exemplary damages up to three times value of check. Limited to $300.00

General Garnishment exemptions
  • 80% of net pay.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $15,000.00 min
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $1,000.00 – Investigation
    $200.00 – Annua

  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state agencies do not need to be licensed if [1] collecting by interstate means (phone, fax, mail); and [2] collecting for an out-of-state client.







Wyoming Collection Laws


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)
  • Double the face amount plus damages equal to collection cost and reasonable attorney fees.

General Garnishment exemptions
  • See federal law for consumer credit sale, lease or loan. Up to 65% for child support arrearage.

Collection agency bond & license
  • Bond: $10,000.00
  • License: Yes
  • Fee:

    $200.00 – Original
    $100.00 – Renewal
    $100.00 – Branch

  • Exemption for out-of-state collectors: Out-of-state agencies may bypass licensing if they are not [1] soliciting clients in Wyoming; or [2] collecting for Wyoming creditors.