Georgia Fair Debt Consumer Guide
Learn about your legal rights when facing Debt Collector Problems. Research the applicable laws that could help protect you when a debt collector is attempting to seize your assets, garnish your wages or continue collection of a debt that is outside Georgia's Statutes Of Limitations. Georgia phone recording laws could assist you in gathering proof of the debt collector's illegal tactics; find out whether recording your debt collector's phone conversation is permitted in your state.
The Georgia Fair Debt Collection Consumer Practices Guide summarizes Georgia's laws on wage garnishment, property and asset seizures and state statutes of limitations on debt collection and could provide the ammunition you need to stop or limit creditors and collectors from harassing you, garnishing your wages or bank accounts, and from seizing your property through liens, thus limiting your overall financial exposure.
This Guide does not include information concerning the FTC's Credit Practices Rule, state consumer protection laws or information regarding exemption provisions found in laws other than the state's general exemption laws and is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney.
Georgia Consumer Debt Exemption Laws
If a debt collector threatens to seize your property or your assets, you could be protected under Georgia’s Consumer Debt Exemption Laws. Read the summarized information below to learn how to protect what you own and what you cannot protect from seizure. You could significantly strengthen your bargaining position with debt collectors by knowing your rights under Georgia Debt Exemption Law!
Georgia has opted out of federal bankruptcy exemptions. Georgia Code Annotated § 44-13-100(b).
Wages: Georgia Code Annotated § 18-4-20(d)-(f)
Homestead: Georgia Code Annotated §§ 44-13-1, -40, and -100(a)(I).
Tangible personal property: Georgia Code Annotated §§ 44-13-1, and -40.
Benefits, retirement plans, insurance, judgments, and other intangibles:
Georgia Code Annotated §§ 18-4-22, 44-13-100.
Georgia Debt Statutes of Limitation
Your debt may have expired under Georgia’s Statutes of Limitations, and may be considered uncollectible. Read the summary below to see the length of time certain types of debt can continue to be collected under the Georgia Debt Statutes of Limitations, don’t let a collector threaten to take you to court over an expired debt.
Georgia Debt Statutes of Limitation
Breach of any contract for sale: 4 years, (OCGA 11-2- 725) NOTE: Parties may reduce limitation to not less than one year, but not extend it. A cause of action accrues when the breach occurs, regardless of the aggrieved party's lack of knowledge of the breach.
Contract, including breach of warranty or indemnity: 4 years, (OCGA 11- 22A-506) NOTE: The parties may reduce the period to one year.
Written contract: 6 years from when it becomes due and payable and the six (6) year period runs from the date of last payment. (OCGA 9-3-24)
Open account; implied promise or undertaking: 4 years, (OCGA 9-3-25). NOTE: Payment, unaccompanied by a writing acknowledging the debt, does not stopped the statute. Therefore, the statutory period runs from the date of default, not the date of last payment.
Bonds or other instruments under seal: 20 years, (OCGA 9-3-23) NOTE: No instrument is considered under seal unless it’s stated in the body of the instrument.
Georgia Wage Garnishment Procedural Requirements
Wage garnishment doesn’t mean a debt collector or creditor is entitled to take all your money. Under Georgia’s Wage Garnishment Laws, there are limits and protections on just how much can be taken from your paycheck.
Read the summary below to learn your garnishment rights under Georgia law.
Georgia Wage Garnishment Procedural Requirements
In every case where a money judgment shall have been obtained, the plaintiff shall be entitled to the process of garnishment. Georgia. Code Ann. _ 18460. The plaintiff, the plaintiff's attorney at law, or the plaintiff's agent shall make, on personal knowledge, an affidavit setting forth that the plaintiff has a judgment against a named defendant, the amount claimed to be due on the judgment, the name of the court which rendered the judgment, and the case number thereof. Upon the filing of the affidavit with the clerk of any court having jurisdiction over the garnishee, the clerk shall cause a summons of garnishment to issue forthwith; provided, however, that the affidavit shall first be made and approved in one of the following ways: The affidavit may be made before and approved by a judge of the court in which the garnishment proceeding is filed. The affidavit may be made before and approved by a judge of the court that rendered the judgment upon which the garnishment is based. The affidavit may made before and approved by a judge of any court of record. The affidavit may be made before any officer authorized to administer oaths, including a notary public, provided the affidavit is then submitted by mail or in person to any judge of a court of record and is approved by him. The affidavit may be made before the clerk of the court in which the garnishment is filed or before any officer authorized to administer oaths, including a notary public, and may be approved by the clerk if the judge or judges of the court promulgate rules supervising the initiation of the garnishment proceedings and the affidavit is made and approved pursuant to such rules. Georgia. Code Ann. _ 18461.
The summons of garnishment shall be directed to the garnishee, commanding him to file an answer stating what money or other property is subject to garnishment. Upon the affidavit and summons being delivered to the sheriff, marshal, constable, or like officer of the court issuing the summons, it shall be his duty to serve the summons of garnishment upon the person to whom it is directed and to make his entry of service upon the affidavit and return the affidavit to the court. If the garnishee is a bank or other financial institution and if the defendant does not have an active account with, and is not the owner of any money or property in the possession of, the bank or financial institution then the garnishee may immediately file an answer; however, such answer shall be filed not later than 45 days after the service of the summons. If the defendant does have an active account with, or is the owner of any money or property in the possession of, the bank or financial institution then the garnishee must file an answer no sooner than 30 days and no later than 45 days after the service of the summons and must be accompanied by the money or other property subject to garnishment. Georgia. Code Ann. _ 18462.
In a garnishment based on a judgment, the defendant shall be given notice of the filing of the first summons of garnishment on an affidavit for garnishment and of the issuance of an additional summons of garnishment on such affidavit when no notice has been given to the defendant within 90 days immediately preceding the issuance of such additional summons, using any one of the methods contained in __ 18464 or 9114.
No money or other property delivered to the court by the garnishee shall be distributed; nor shall any judgment be rendered against the garnishee until after the expiration of ten days from the date of compliance with at least one method of notification. Georgia. Code Ann. 18464. The garnishee shall be entitled to his actual reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, in making a true answer of garnishment. The amount so incurred shall be taxed in the bill of costs and shall be paid by the party upon whom the cost is cast, as costs are cast in other cases.
The garnishee may deduct $25 or 10 percent of the amount paid into court, whichever is greater, not to exceed $50, as reasonable attorney's fees or expenses. If the garnishee can show that his actual attorney's fees or expenses exceed the above amount, he must petition the court for a hearing at the time of making his answer without deducting from the amount paid into court. Upon hearing from the parties, the court may enter an order for the payment of actual attorney's fees or expenses proven by the garnishee to have been incurred reasonably in making his answer. Georgia. Code Ann. _ 18497.
Interest Rate at which Judgments Accrue All judgments shall bear interest upon the principal amount recovered at the rate of 12 percent per year unless the judgment is rendered on a written contract or obligation providing for interest at a specified rate, in which case the judgment shall bear interest at the rate specified in such contract or obligation. Georgia. Code Ann. _ 7412. Applicable Forms Georgia. Code Ann. _ 18466.
Georgia (Debt Collector) Call Recording Law
Under Georgia State and Federal Call Recording Laws, you could record the actual recorded conversation with a debt collector in your efforts to stop debt collectors from calling! Georgia is a one party consent state, meaning only the permission of one person on the call is necessary to record. YOU ALONE can be considered the one party to give consent, thus you do not need a debt collectors permission to record the phone conversation in the state of Georgia.
Research and find additional information about Federal Call Recording Laws and learn what call recording procedures are legal in other states.