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Debt Collection Laws in Nebraska: A Comprehensive Guide

What is Debt Collection?

Debt collection, it’s something we’ve all dealt with at some point – whether it’s those pesky calls from creditors or letters piling up in the mailbox. But what exactly is it, and how does it work in the great state of Nebraska?Debt collection is the process of pursuing payments from individuals or businesses that owe money. It can involve phone calls, letters, or even legal action if the debt remains unpaid. And in Nebraska, there are specific laws that govern how debt collectors can operate.

Understanding Nebraska’s Debt Collection Laws

Nebraska’s debt collection laws are designed to protect consumers from unfair or abusive practices by debt collectors. These laws outline what collectors can and cannot do when trying to recover a debt.One of the key laws is the Nebraska Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits deceptive or misleading practices in consumer transactions, including debt collection. This means debt collectors can’t lie about the amount owed, threaten illegal actions, or use profane language when communicating with you.Additionally, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies in Nebraska. This law sets guidelines for how and when debt collectors can contact you, what information they must provide, and what actions they can take to collect a debt.

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Your Rights as a Consumer

As a consumer in Nebraska, you have certain rights when it comes to debt collection. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Debt collectors must provide you with a validation notice within five days of first contacting you. This notice should include the amount owed, the name of the creditor, and instructions on how to dispute the debt if you believe it’s invalid.
  • You can request that a debt collector stop contacting you by sending a cease and desist letter. However, they may still take legal action to collect the debt.
  • Debt collectors cannot call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., or contact you at work if you’ve told them your employer prohibits such calls.
  • They cannot harass, threaten, or use abusive language when communicating with you.
  • If you dispute the debt in writing within 30 days of receiving the validation notice, the collector must provide evidence that the debt is valid before continuing collection efforts.

Common Debt Collection Violations

Unfortunately, some debt collectors may engage in illegal or unethical practices when trying to collect a debt. Here are some common violations to watch out for:

  • Failing to provide a validation notice or providing incomplete information
  • Continuing to contact you after you’ve sent a cease and desist letter
  • Calling you at inconvenient times or places
  • Using profane or abusive language
  • Threatening legal action they cannot or do not intend to take
  • Misrepresenting the amount owed or the consequences of non-payment

If you believe a debt collector has violated your rights, you can file a complaint with the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Dealing with Debt Collectors

Dealing with debt collectors can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and handle the situation effectively:

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  • Keep detailed records of all communications, including dates, times, and the names of the collectors you spoke with.
  • Request validation of the debt if you’re unsure about its validity or the amount owed.
  • Send a cease and desist letter if the collector’s behavior becomes abusive or harassing.
  • Consider negotiating a payment plan or settlement if you cannot pay the full amount owed.
  • Seek legal advice if you’re unsure about your rights or if the collector has violated the law.

Remember, you have the right to be treated fairly and respectfully throughout the debt collection process.

Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

In Nebraska, there is a statute of limitations on how long a creditor or debt collector has to take legal action to collect a debt. The specific time frame varies depending on the type of debt:

  • Written contracts: 5 years
  • Oral contracts: 4 years
  • Promissory notes: 5 years
  • Open accounts (credit cards, utility bills, etc.): 4 years

It’s important to note that the statute of limitations only applies to the creditor’s ability to sue you for the debt. They can still attempt to collect the debt through other means, such as phone calls or letters, even after the statute of limitations has expired.If a debt collector tries to sue you for a debt that is past the statute of limitations, you can use this as a defense in court. However, if you make a payment or acknowledge the debt in writing, it can potentially “revive” the debt and restart the clock on the statute of limitations.

Dealing with Zombie Debts

Zombie debts are debts that have been written off by the original creditor but are later sold to a third-party debt collector. These collectors may try to collect on debts that are past the statute of limitations or that you’ve already paid off.If a debt collector contacts you about a zombie debt, it’s important to request validation of the debt and check the statute of limitations. You may also want to send a cease and desist letter to stop further contact.It’s also a good idea to check your credit report regularly for any inaccurate or outdated information related to old debts. You can dispute any errors with the credit bureaus and have them removed from your report.

Seeking Legal Help

If you‘re facing harassment or legal action from a debt collector, or if you’re unsure about your rights, it may be wise to seek legal help. An experienced consumer protection attorney can review your case, advise you on your options, and represent you in court if necessary.You can find a qualified attorney through resources like AvvoLawInfo, or FindLaw. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations, so you can discuss your situation without any upfront costs.

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Moving Forward: Debt Management Strategies

While dealing with debt collectors can be challenging, it’s important to remember that there are steps you can take to manage your debt and improve your financial situation. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Create a budget and stick to it: Identify areas where you can cut expenses and allocate more funds towards paying off your debts.
  • Prioritize your debts: Focus on paying off high-interest debts first, as they can accumulate more interest charges over time.
  • Negotiate with creditors: Many creditors may be willing to work with you on a payment plan or settlement if you communicate openly and demonstrate a willingness to pay.
  • Seek credit counseling: Non-profit credit counseling agencies can help you develop a debt management plan and negotiate with creditors on your behalf.
  • Consider debt consolidation: Consolidating multiple debts into a single loan with a lower interest rate can make repayment more manageable.

Remember, addressing your debt proactively can help you regain control of your finances and avoid further legal or financial consequences.


Dealing with debt collectors can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but understanding your rights and the laws that govern debt collection in Nebraska can help you navigate the process more effectively. By being proactive, keeping detailed records, and seeking legal help when necessary, you can protect yourself from unfair or abusive practices and work towards resolving your debts in a responsible manner.

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