Namsfogden (The Bailiff) – What You Need to Know About Debt Collection

5 min

Sometimes you get into situations where you are not able to pay your bills. When that happens, a bill collector will eventually contact you in hopes that they can make you pay your bills. There are laws that restrict what a debt collector can do.

In other countries, the laws are different than they are in the United States. In Norway, they have a namsfogden, or bailiff that can go after you for your debts. They can even take your home in an effort to get the money for your debts.

This article will tell you about the laws in the United States and what is legal with debt collection. It will let you know what they can and cannot do when it comes to collecting debt money. You can also do more research to find out more about this subject.

What a Debt Collector Cannot Do

  1. Call Or Harass You at Inconvenient Times – There are laws that say that debt collectors can call you between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm. They can call you at any time between these hours, but not before or after. They also cannot harass you while they are talking to you.Harassment might include calling you more than three or four times a day. It also might mean that they use harassing language while they are speaking to you. They are also not allowed to threaten you while speaking to you.
  2. They Cannot Call Your Place of Work – Collectors can contact your workplace to get contact information for you. They can only ask for an address or phone number to contact you. They are only allowed to call your workplace one time.If the collector calls your workplace more than once it is considered harassment. They cannot ask for more information than simple contact details. If they do, it is considered harassment.
  3. You Cannot Be Arrested for Your Debt – These people cannot threaten to arrest you for your debt, and they cannot arrest you for your debt. You could be arrested if you are called to court and refuse to show up. You can also be arrested for not paying your income tax debt.You could also be arrested if you fail to show up on a subpoena for a debtor’s examination. These are the only reasons that you can be arrested, and bill collectors cannot threaten to arrest you for other reasons. If they do, you can call the authorities and let them know.
  4. Contact You After You Argue About a Debt – Collection specialists cannot contact you again if you have argued about your debt. If you have told them that the debt does not belong to you, they cannot contact you. If they have proof that the debt belongs to you and that it is legitimate, they can continue to contact you.
  5. They Cannot Talk About Your Bills to Third Parties – Collection specialists are not allowed to talk to others about your bills. There are a few exceptions, they can talk to your spouse, your parents (if you are underage), or any co-debtors that are on your account: Anyone else is off-limits and they can get in trouble if they do talk to them.They can also talk to your attorney if you have one. If you or your attorney ask the collection specialists to stop talking with you, they must stop. If this is done, the collection specialists cannot call anyone about your bills.
  6. They Must Give You Information About Your Debt – When the specialists first contact you, they have five days to present you with the information about your bill. This needs to include who the creditor is and the amount of money you owe. This note should tell you how you can dispute the charges or pay for them.
  7. They Are Not Allowed to Threaten You or Use Obscene Language – These people cannot use violence or threaten to use violence. They cannot use obscene language when they speak to you, either. If they do, they can face consequences from their superiors.
  8. They Are Not Allowed to Mislead You – These people cannot mislead you about any factor of your debt. They cannot lie to you about their company name, the amount of money that you owe, or about their objective to try to sue you. If they send you a note that is final, they cannot contact you anymore.They also cannot claim to be a lawyer or a government agency to get you to pay. They also must be honest about your credit information. This is all illegal and there can be consequences.
  9. They Cannot Publish Any List of People Who Do Not Pay Their Bills – Collection specialists cannot publish a list of names of people who are refusing to pay their bills. This is publishing confidential information, and they are not allowed to do that. They could lose their business if they choose to do this.
  10. They Cannot Be a Part of Unfair Practices – Collection specialists are not allowed to collect extra money such as interest, fees, or any charges that are not a part of the original bills. There are exceptions to this such as the original collection allowing it, or if the fees are allowed by the law in your area. They also cannot deposit a check that is post-dated check before the date or threaten that they will.

Things That a Collection Specialist Can Do

  1. Ask for Payments on Old Debts – Some of these bills have a statute of limitations that is associated with debt. This means that after a certain time period the collectors cannot ask you for payment. You still owe the bill, and they can continue to ask for payment for it.
  2. Contact You More Than Once – The collector can contact your multiple times, not more than four or five times per day. They can contact you several times per week as long as they are not harassing you. Look here to see how often they can call you. They are not allowed to contact you if you have sent them a note asking them to stop.
  3. Negotiate Your Debts – Since the specialists can buy your debt for much less than what you owe, they can negotiate what you owe. This allows them to get at least part of the money that you owe. If you decide to settle the negotiations, make sure that you get everything in writing.
  4. Sell Your Bills to Other Collectors – They can sell your collection to other collectors. They can sell the whole amount of the bill, or they can sell what you still owe after negotiating the bill. This is the reason that you need to keep records of all payments that you have made.
  5. They Can Bring Suit Against You – You can be brought up for charges for not paying your bills. This can result in garnished wages, attaching your bank account, or taking personal items from you. They can also put a lien against any real estate that you might own.
  6. Take Your Wages – This involves going to court to get this to happen, but they can garnish your wages. They cannot threaten to do it unless they have been to court. They can garnish your wages for many months until the debt is paid in full.
  7. They Can Contact Others for Contact Information – They can contact any third party to get your contact information, but they cannot give any other information about your debt. They can only contact the third party once unless they need to get clarification of the information. This is the only way that collection specialists can contact third parties.
  8. Your Debts Can Be Sent to the Three Major Credit Bureaus – Debt collectors can report your bills to the three major credit bureaus. This will cause your credit history to be lower and add to your negative credit history. This also allows insurance companies and lenders to give you higher interest rates.


There are many things that credit collectors can do and what they cannot do. There are things that can legally be done, such as contacting you about your debts. There are also things that they cannot legally do, such as harassing you about your bills. You need to know what is allowed and what is not so that you will not be harassed about your debt.

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