Consumer Collection Laws in Oklahoma
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Statute of Limitations
In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for consumer debts that are founded on a written contract requires that a lawsuit be filed within five (5) years of the date of the last voluntary payment by the debtor, or if it is a first payment default, within five (5) years of the date the first payment was due.
Consumer debts that are not founded on a written contract requires that a lawsuit be filed within three (3) years of the date of service or transaction, or if there has been a voluntary payment by the debtor, within three (3) years of the date of the last voluntary payment by the debtor.
In Oklahoma, the venue of civil actions for the collection of an open account, a statement of account, account stated, written or oral contract relating to the purchase of goods, wares or merchandise, labor or services, or for the collection of any note or other instrument of indebtedness shall be, at the option of the plaintiff or plaintiffs, either:
- In any county in which venue may be properly laid as now provided by law; or
- In the county in which the debt was contracted or in which the note or other instrument of indebtedness was given.
If the right to collect the debt has been assigned, sold or transferred by or from the creditor, venue must be brought in the county in which the debtor resides or in the county in which the claim arose.
Interest & Attorney Fees
In Oklahoma, most creditors are entitled to prejudgment interest. If a contractual debt does not specify a rate of interest, in Oklahoma a creditor is entitled to a prejudgment interest rate of 6% and a post judgment interest rate equal to the prime rate, as listed in the first edition of the Wall Street Journal published at the beginning of each calendar year, plus 2%. If a contractual debt does specify a rate of interest, the contractual interest rate shall apply to both prejudgment and post judgment interest.
In Oklahoma attorney fees are awarded in any civil action to recover for labor or services rendered, on an open account, a statement of account, account stated, note, bill, negotiable instrument, or contract relating to the purchase or sale of goods, wares, or merchandise, unless otherwise provided by law or the contract which is the subject of the action. The amount of fees awarded are at the discretion of the trial judge, but on default matters most Oklahoma courts award between 10% and 20% of the principal balance.
Oklahoma statutes also provide for additional attorney fees on certain post judgment actions. A judgment creditor is entitled to an attorney fee of $100.00 for issuing and serving (1) an asset hearing order, (2) subpoena to appear, (3) citation for failure to obey an order to appear at an asset hearing and (4) post judgment discovery requests. A judgment creditor is also entitled to $100.00 attorney fee for issuing and serving a continuing earnings garnishments and a $50.00 attorney fee for the for issuing and serving a general garnishment or a bank garnishment.
Post Judgment Collections
In Oklahoma, if a judgment debtor fails to pay a judgment, the judgment creditor can issue both wage garnishments and bank garnishments. Wages garnishments issued in Oklahoma attach to 25% of a judgment debtor’s net wages. Bank garnishments issued in Oklahoma attach to 100% of any non-exempt funds in a judgment debtor’s bank account.
Other collection methods utilized by this firm are (1) the filing of a judgment lien against any real property owned by the judgment debtor, including the debtor’s homestead, (2) the issuance of an asset hearing order which requires the judgment debtor to appear in court and disclose any assets and/or income that may be available to the judgment creditor for satisfying the judgment, (3) the issuance of a contempt citations for failure to obey an asset hearing order and (4) attachment of non-garnishable assets such as tax refunds.
Contact our Oklahoma City lawyers to learn how our firm’s understanding of the law can assist you.
The Statute of Limitations for Credit Card Debt Collection in Oklahoma
Generally in Oklahoma the statute of limitations for a credit card debt is five years. The statute of limitation is calculated from the later of either:
- The date of the last voluntary payment by the debtor (If the debt is a first payment default, the statute of limitation will be calculated from the defaulted first payment due date) or
- Proof of a purchase or cash advance made on the card.