Debt Collection Statute of Limitations

The ultimate power a creditor can have comes from the filing of a lawsuit and the attempts of debt collection lawyers to obtain a judgment against you. There are time limits that a collector has to file a lawsuit against you. Each debt and state are different. Here are the statutes of limitation for the various types of consumer debts in your state.

What is the statute of limitation?

A statute of limitation is a law that varies by state which imposes a set time limit from when a breach of contract occurs to when a lawsuit can be filed in order to force payment of a debt.

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The Statute of Limitations has expired, why am I still being contacted?

This could be for a couple of possible reasons:

  • The Statute of Limitations hasn’t actually expired. The time limit begins when there was a breach of contract (lack of payment) and not from the time the account was opened.
  • Even if the statute of limitations expired, a debt collector can still call you for payment of debt. However, they cannot make threats or take legal action against you.
  • There was already a judgment entered against you. Once a judgment is entered, that judgment remains in effect for a substantial period of time, which varies from state to state.

Can the statute of limitations be extended?

Potentially, in some states, certain activities can re-start the statute period. Making an agreement to repay the debt, acknowledging the obligation in writing, and in some cases, making any payment towards the debt can re-start the statute of limitations period.

What Can I Do?

You are protected by law under the FDCPA in asking the debt collector whether the debt is time-barred, and the collector is legally required to be truthful. The FDCPA also protects you from collectors falsely threatening legal action due to a time-barred debt. Also be aware of the accuracy of your credit report. While the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows a creditor to report a delinquent debt for up to seven years, many have re-aged the account to make it stay on longer.

If you are still unsure of your status concerning the statute of limitations on an old debt, or are being wrongfully harassed, or have an error on your credit report, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at SmithMarco, P.C. for a free case review or call us at 888-822-1777.