Alaska leads the nation with an average revolving debt per person of $30,375 making it far and away the state with the biggest average debt load. What makes this interesting is that its residents don’t have the worst VantageScore as it’s 758 or right about in the middle. What this suggests is that Alaskans are not necessarily mismanaging their debt, as their average score certainly isn’t at the bottom. So, if you lived in Alaska and had a score of 758, lenders would see you as having “good” credit
Alaska might be America’s largest state but it is the fourth least populous with 731,449 residents. It’s largest city, Anchorage, has a population of 298,610, which means that approximately half of all Alaskans live within its metropolitan area. The states’ second largest city is Juneau whose population is 32,556 and its third largest city is Fairbanks with a population of approximately 32,312. There are only 10,500 people involved in manufacturing, which isn’t surprising given Alaska’s geography and population.
Alaska’s unemployment rate as of November of last year was 6.5%. This makes it 26th in the nation for unemployment or about the same as New Mexico, Colorado and Delaware. The city of Juneau is doing a bit better than Alaska in general with an unemployment rate of just 4%. Anchorage has an unemployment rate of 4.8%. And Fairbanks is a bit higher with an unemployment rate of 5.8%.
The total labor force in Alaska is approximately 363,000. Of this, 18,300 people are involved in mining and logging, 18,000 in construction, and 31,000 in leisure and hospitality. Only 10,500 Alaskans are engaged in manufacturing, which is a drop of 11.8% in the past year.
Alaska Debt Relief Options
Getting rid of debt in Alaska is practically the same as any other state in the country. If you are looking for debt relief options, you can get in touch with a debt management company who can assist you in analyzing your financial standing, total debt and payment capabilities.
National Debt Relief can provide you with debt relief services in the State of Alaska. All you have to do is give us a call and you can get professional assistance that will lead you to rise above your financial woes. You can also send us your information through the short form on this page and we will have someone get in touch with you.
What we can do is to help you come up with a debt relief plan that you can afford. We will present that to the creditor/collector on your behalf to come up with a reduced payment plan. The intention is to have a certain percentage of your debt forgiven as long as you adhere to the new payment term.
Apart from that, National Debt Relief is also here to help educate you of your consumer rights based on the federal laws imposed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the state laws of Alaska. Despite being unable to pay off your debts, your collectors do not have the right to abuse, threaten or harass you and the people around you.
Please note that anything you find on this page is only meant to be a source of debt collection facts in Alaska. It is not meant nor should it be treated as a legal advice.
Debt Collection Laws in Alaska
The State of Alaska follows the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as enforced by the FTC. They also came up with state laws that can further protect consumers under their jurisdiction.
Based on Chapter 1, Article 3 (Sections 210 and 220) of the Alaska Administrative Code, the state laws prohibit the following debt collection practices:
- Debt collectors are prohibited from calling your workplace unless the employer and the debtor allows it.
- A collector is prohibited from getting in touch with friends, employers (former and current), co-workers, neighbors, and other family members and talk about a debtor’s financial obligations. They are only allowed to do so to get information on how to contact the debtor and they should properly and truthfully introduce themselves.
- Unless a property has been used for collateral, the collector has no legal claims over a debtor’s property and should not threaten to repossess it.
- If the debtor is represented by a lawyer, the collector should cease communicating with them and deal with the representative instead.
- Any form of misrepresentation of the collector’s identity is strictly prohibited (e.g. lawyer, government officer). The same holds true for the details of the debt like the amount.
- The collector should not falsely inform the debtor of the rights to file a response or dispute to their demands. They are also prohibited from deceiving the debtor to signing any confession of judgement.
- The collector is prohibited from adding any fees and charges on top of the debt originally owed by the debtor.
In addition to these provisions, the law in Alaska also states in sections 45.50.471 – 561 that unfair trade practices and any violation can be sued in the state courts. If the courts rule in favor of the debtor, they can receive 3 times more than the true monetary damages incurred by the untowardly conduct of the collector. It is either that or $500, depending on which amount is higher. On top of this, you will also be paid for any legal costs and attorney fees spent on the legal action.
To file a complaint, you can get in touch with the Attorney General of the State of Alaska. Their office will use your complaint – along with other consumers, to file a lawsuit against violating debt collectors and their respective agencies.
There are three ways for you to file a complaint.
- By submitting complaint form online.
- By sending a formal written complaint that can be sent to the office of the Attorney General at the Alaska Department of Law (Civil Division), Commercial and Fair Business Division. Here are the different addresses that you can use:
- 1031 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 200, Anchorage, AK 99501-1994; (tel) 907-269-5200
- PO Box. 110300, Juneau, AK 99811-0300; (tel) 907-465-3600
- 100 Cushman Street, Suite 400, Fairbanks, AK 99701-4679;n (tel) 907-451-2811
- By calling the nearest Attorney General’s office near you through the respective numbers provided in number 2.
Debtors are also encouraged to submit your complaints with the FTC. They provide the Congress with a yearlyl report with regards to debt collection and also fair credit reporting practices and violations. To send your complaints, you can use this LINK.
For more information about the Fair Debt Collection Practices in Alaska, click on this LINK.
Statute of Limitations in Alaska
Alaska also has a list of statute of limitations (SOL) that protect debtors from old debts that were not acted upon by either the creditor or the collector representing them. Once the debts age long enough to exceed the statute of limitations, both the creditor and collector cannot go after the debtor or file a legal action against them.
The time limit for debts in Alaska is six (6) years for oral and written contracts. For promissory notes and open-ended accounts, the limit is only up to three (3) years. The SOL countdown begins from the day the debtor defaults payment. This does not mean the count begins on your last payment but the date after you have not paid. For instance, if your payment is every 1st of the month and your last payment was on 2/1/2012, the SOL will start on 3/2/2012. If this is a written contract, you will not be covered by the SOL until 3/3/2018.
What Happens When the Debt Goes to Court
If a creditor or collector goes to court as a last resort to get the debtor to pay their debts, one of the first things to check is the statute of limitations. You need to present proof of the age of the account. This can be in the form of the cardholder agreement and the letter from the collector with the name of the original creditor, the amount of the debt and the date you ceased payments.
Should your debt be uncovered by the SOL, the state laws of Alaska permit the debtor to get the professional services of a debt settlement company. They can represent the debtor to help them reduce the outstanding balance of the debt to an amount that is acceptable to both debtor and creditor.
However, if the creditor or the debtor cannot reach an agreement, they might be forced to go to court. As the debtor, you can present in court proof of your limited financial situation. The Alaska Courts will require at least 3 months of bank statements to prove the debtors claim if being financially unable to pursue paying the debts. If the court rules a debtor as being “judgement proof”, this means any ruling against them will be rendered useless to the creditor since there is nothing of value that can be taken as compensation for the debt.
When the court finds the debtor fully responsible for the debt, the creditor will be awarded judgement. They will be allowed to collect valuable assets and properties that belong to the debtor as payment for the debt owed. However, there are limitations to what they are allowed to collect.
Here is a list of assets and properties that are exempted from being collected:
- $54,000 equity of a home property (whether individually or co-owned)
- $2,800 worth of personal items that the debtor needs to make a living (e.g. books, equipment, etc)
- $350 (weekly) or $1,400 (monthly) of the debtors salary. If the debtor is the sole earner in the family they are entitled to either $550 (weekly) or $2,200 (monthly) of their salary.
- $3,000 worth of personal items like clothing, books, household goods, family portraits, heirlooms and musical instruments
- $1,000 worth of jewelry
- $3,000 of a vehicle’s equity
- $1,000 for pets owned
- Burial plot
- Recoveries for any personal injury or wrongful death (same value as the wage garnishment exemption)
- Proceeds for any lost, destroyed or damaged property exempted from collection
- Health aids
- Building materials
- Insurance benefits for/from the following:
- $10,000 worth of contract or annuity loan from a Life insurance
- Life insurance proceeds for policies wherein the beneficiary is the debtor’s spouse or any dependent (same value as the wage garnishment exemption)
- Benefits from Fraternal benefit society
- Qualified ERISA benefits (should have been deposited at least 120 days before bankruptcy filing)
- Medical, hospital or surgical benefits
- Pensions of teachers, judicial and public employees (benefits building up only)
- Other pensions with the same value as the wage garnishment exemption (for payments being received)
- Public benefits from the following:
- Adult assistance (blind, disabled and elderly)
- Longevity bonus for Alaska residents
- Compensation for crime victims
- Federal public benefits
- General Relief assistance
- 45% from dividends of permanent funds
- Tuition credits from a contract for college tuition payment
- Worker’s compensation
- Compensation for unemployment
- Business property (if involved in a partnership)
- Alimony (same value as wage garnishment exemption)
- Child support from a collection agency
- License for Liquor
- Alaska Fisheries limited entry permit
There are also federal exemptions that you may want to look into. Visit the FTC debt collection FAQ section.
Alaska is also one of the states implementing the community property law. However, couples have the option to sign up for it or not. The community property law means any property or asset incurred after marriage is co-owned by the couple. If one of them declares bankruptcy, properties and assets owned by the couple can be taken by creditors/collectors.
The State of Alaska allows legitimate debt relief companies to help out debt ridden residents in their state. If you wish to talk to a debt professional about your options in handling your debts, you can get in touch with us at National Debt Relief. We offer our debt management services to provide debtors in Alaska with a unique plan to help them get rid of debt entirely. Give us a call and we can discuss your financial standing and capabilities. Initial consultations are free.