One of the things that makes the debt collection industry extremely complicated is the fact that anyone attempting to collect an outstanding debt must play by the rules of the country where the debtor resides, and here in the United States they also have to contend with each and every state’s individual laws regarding debt collection.
When the state in question is Virginia, collectors actually get off pretty easy in this department. That is because Virginia doesn’t have any protection laws for debtors that strengthen the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that we have to follow already.
The Virginia Consumer Protection Act
The only state law that sometimes applies to debt collection in Virginia is the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. This basically states that anyone selling a product or service in the state of Virginia must do so in a respectable manner.
Details of the law specify that businesses must state when an item is used or defective, must accurately describe the quality of a product or service, must honor any advertised pricing, and accurately state any repairs or exchange policies.
At the end of the day, this all boils down to operating your business in a respectable manner, which we hope you would be inclined to do anyway. As long as you are playing by the rules, and following the federal debt collection regulation, you should find yourself well within the law.
Statute of Limitations on Debt in Virginia
The other thing that varies with debt collection from state to state is the statute of limitations for a particular debt. In the state of Virginia, a business or collection agency is not able to attempt to collect on any debt that is more than six years past due. This even applies to credit card accounts.
And if you are attempting to collect on a promissory note, the statute of limitations is actually set to only five years.
Types of Debt in Virginia
When you look at the overall debt picture in the state of Virginia, you can’t help but notice that the state has one of the highest total debt numbers in the country. They are actually in the top ten states in terms of each of the three most common types of debt: credit card debt, mortgage debt, and student loan debt.
The flip side to debt situation in Virginia is that their residents generally have higher-than-average salaries compared to other parts of the country, so many of these large debts are actually affordable for the residents responsible for them.
While there is no good argument to suggest that the high levels of credit card debt are a good thing for the state, you could certainly argue that high mortgage debt levels indicate a healthy real estate market and that high student loan debt represents a large number of educated residents.
When you look at the state of Virginia as a whole, you are dealing with a wealthy and educated population that typically lives in nice houses and doesn’t see a problem carrying significant credit card debt. While the overall income numbers show that these residents can afford to service their debt, you should still take every precaution when extending credit to a consumer in any situation.
However, should you find yourself having to collect on an outstanding debt in Virginia, you won’t have to deal with any additional laws than the ones that already apply at the federal level. So you can probably rest easier if some of your collection accounts happen to be in Virginia.