Statute of Limitations

Bills.com Team
Pro

By Bills.com Team
August 31, 2007

Highlights


  • Analyzing which statute of limitations applies is more difficult than it first appears.
  • Look to the contract you signed to see if it has a choice of laws clause.
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How to Tell Which Statute of Limitations Applies to Your Situation

This article helps Bills.com readers analyze their statute of limitations questions. Statutes of limitations seem straight forward at first glance, but can become tricky because each state legislature created their own rules for handling time limits on actions.

What Is a Statute of Limitation?

All jurisdictions have a body of statutes in their codes of law called limitations of actions, periods of prescription, and prescriptive periods, commonly referred to as the statutes of limitations. The idea behind these laws is we as a society decided we do not want old debts hanging around forever — we want people and businesses to move on with their lives without worrying about being sued. States and the federal government set statutes of limitations for civil and criminal actions. Each state legislature wrote dozens of statutes of limitation.

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The length of time an original creditor or collection agent have to file a lawsuit depends on the:

  • Consumer’s state of residence
  • Type of debt
  • Contract with the lender (more about contracts below)

For example, many states allow more time for original creditors and collection agents to file suit to collect on closed-ended consumer loans, such as vehicle loans, than on credit card debts or spoken contracts. Most states give credit card issuers 3 to 4 years to file suit after default, but some states allow as many as 10 years. See the Bills.com page collection laws for every state in the US.

Here’s a page containing a list of statute of limitations by state. If an original creditor or collection agent files a lawsuit after the allowed time, the court will usually throw the case out and not allow the creditor to file suit again (called dismissed with prejudice) if the consumer/defendant raises the statute of limitations defense.

The defendant must raise the issue of expired statute of limitations in a written response to the lawsuit, or else the court will not know that the statute of limitations has expired. Courts will not raise the statute of limitations defense on behalf of the consumer. Therefore, you must raise the statute of defense if it is available to you. Although the periods vary from state to state, there is only one (Ohio) that is longer than 10 years.

isconsin and Mississippi outlaw lawsuits against consumers in cases where those state statutes of limitation have passed. Wisconsin and Mississippi are the only exceptions to the “lawsuits are allowed for original creditors even if the statute of limitations expired” rule.

What a Statute of Limitation is Not

The passing of the statute of limitation does not mean an original creditor cannot file a lawsuit against a consumer in most states. The passing does not mean the debt is canceled or extinguished, or must be removed from a consumer’s credit report. It does not prevent an original creditor or collection agent from contacting the consumer to collect the debt.

A statute of limitations, in most states, is just a tool for lawyers to use as a defense in a lawsuit. It is an affirmative defense the defendant must raise in a timely manner before the conclusion of the trial.

ost courts find it is a violation of the FDCPA for a collection agent to pursue a debt collection lawsuit against a consumer after the statute of limitation expired (Kimber v. Federal Financial Corp. 668 F.Supp. 1480 (1987)). Some collection agents still sue in hopes the consumer will not know this rule.

Choice of Laws and Tolling

The statute of limitations for a debt can be set in a contract with a choice of laws clause. A credit card issuer can write a clause that says something to the effect of, “Our headquarters may be in New York, and you may reside in Ohio, but if a dispute arises from this contract, we agree to use the laws of Delaware.” Most judges despise choice of laws clauses, and will make efforts to find reasons to ignore them in favor of their own state laws. However, the US Supreme Court ruled that choice of laws clauses in consumer contracts conform to the Constitution. Therefore, any statute of limitations analysis should include a review of the contract the consumer signed.

Tolling can also affect a debt’s statute of limitations. Tolling refers to a time-out on the running clock of the statute of limitations. In some jurisdictions, a debtor can take an action that is viewed as preventing reasonable efforts by the creditor to collect on the debt. For example, if a debtor leaves the country for a few years, the court may decide that because the creditor did not have a fair chance to collect, the statute of limitations was not running during the time the debtor was abroad. Tolling rules vary from state to state.

Resetting a Statute of Limitations

For debt, the statute of limitations starts either when the debtor last made a payment, or when the payment was due. Once the statute of limitations on a debt is reached, the creditor may use the court system to collect the debt. However, if the debtor/defendant raises the affirmative defense of statute of limitations in a timely manner, the court must dismiss the case. A court will not raise the statute of limitations defense on its own — the court is a neutral referee — the defendant must raise this defense.

A defendant can reset a statute of limitations clock back to zero two ways:

  1. Make a voluntary payment
  2. Acknowledge the debt

Under common law, the acknowledgment must be in writing and convey the idea the consumer promises to pay the debt. Not surprisingly, many state legislatures wrote their own version of this rule. Arizona, Florida, New York, and Oregon are four such states one can find with acknowledgment of barred action rules.

Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

States wrote statutes of limitations laws before the invention of credit cards. Some state courts throw credit card debt in the written contracts bin. Others consider credit cards open accounts, which were written with bar tabs and feed store accounts in mind that are customarily settled at the end of the month. Other state courts lump credit cards with spoken/verbal contracts. Each of these often have different statutes of limitation.

Struggling with debt questions? Let the Bills.com Debt Coach review your debts and give you your options to resolving these debts.

Charge Off and Statute of Limitations

Some consumers confuse charge-off and statutes of limitations. The two concepts have no relationship to each other. Charge off is an accounting term used by creditors when they move a delinquent account from its accounts receivable ledger to the bad-debt line on the general ledger. This usually occurs between 180 and 240 days from the date of the last payment. The fact an account is charged-off does not mean the debt may not be collected later. The charge-off date does not correspond to the statute of limitations on collecting a debt.

Analyzing a Statute of Limitations Issue

There are at least five key issues to a statute of limitations question:

  1. Did the parties agree to a choice of laws in their contract? Review the contract, and look for a “choice of laws” clause in the contract. If the contract states which state laws the parties agree to use if a dispute arises from the contract, then there is the answer to your question. However, although choice of laws clauses are well litigated, some judges take pains to find reasons to ignore a choice of laws clause.
  2. What are the statutes of limitations for the plaintiff’s state? The defendant’s? Assuming the litigants reside in different states, the statutes of limitations for each state may be different.
  3. How does each state’s supreme court look at statutes of limitations conflicts with sister states? Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience to learn how your state resolves conflicts-of-laws issues.
  4. Is the plaintiff filing the case in its home state, or in the defendant’s state of residence? And if it is filing the case in the defendant’s state, is it asking the court to use a different state’s statute of limitations?
  5. Who is the plaintiff? If the party filing the lawsuit is the original creditor, then the court will give a great deal of weight to the choice-of-laws clause in the contract. If the plaintiff is a collection agent, under the FDCPA, collection agents for a credit card or similar debt must file a lawsuit either in a court where the consumer lives, or the judicial district where the consumer signed the contract (15 USC § 1692i). Judges like to use familiar laws and will bend over backwards to use their state’s statute of limitations. However, if the plaintiff’s lawyer creates a convincing argument that another state’s statute of limitations is more appropriate, the judge may agree.

Statute of limitations questions seem straight forward: “Which statute of limitations applies to me?” However, answering this question is tricky because a small change in facts can have a huge impact on finding the correct answer. If the facts are simple — for example, both parties reside in the same state and agree to use that state’s rules — the answer is simple. However, you need a deeper analysis if your facts are complex. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law or civil litigation experience if your facts are complicated.

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349 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Mar, 2013
    Corey
    What will reset the statute of limitations on credit card debt in Colorado?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2013
      Bill
      Making a payment on the debt will reset the statute of limitations, unless it is part of a settlement agreement between you and the creditor. Also, signing a reinstatement contract will reset the statute of limitations.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2012
    Tim
    Hello, I received a letter from an attorney to collect a credit card debt. I sent back a response telling them that I did not have the funds to pay the card. I also wrote..."I was wondering if there is a way to make payments on the debt." However, I don't have the funds to pay the debt and after reading recent things I find that the debt is past the statute of limitations. I am wondering if I "reset the clock" by making that statement according to common law or would I still have the right to use the defense.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2012
      Bill
      You indicated you reside in California. For California residents, an acknowledgment must be in writing. See California Code of Civil Procedure § 360 to read the statute.

      You mentioned you wrote a letter to the collection agent, a lawyer, about the debt in which you wrote "...I was wondering if there is a way to make payments on the debt." I think you stepped into a gray area, which I am certain is not the answer you wanted to hear. One way to view your statement is you imply the debt is yours because you call it a debt. On the other hand, you did not call it "my debt," which would edge the statement closer to an acknowledgement. To me, this reads more like a negotiation than an acknowledgement.

      The general rule in California is that negotiations to resolve a debt are not viewed as acknowledgments. If courts viewed negotiations as acknowledgements, there would be an enormous disincentive to settle matters out of court. Courts want to give parties every incentive to settle matters on their own.

      In future correspondence, make it clear you are not acknowledging the debt, but are negotiating to resolve a dispute. The collection agent may argue your earlier letter was an acknowledgement, but I think that stretches the facts too far. Consult with a California lawyer who has consumer law experience if negotiations get hung up on this point.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2012
    Jake
    In 2002, I attended a local community college here in NJ and I believed I paid all of my bills. Two years later i moved out of my parents house. The other day my mother gave me a bill from the college for around $500 that came to her house. The college claims that its from my last semester in 2002. I know its not much but I have no way to prove that i paid. I keep most of my records for 7 years so I no longer have any proof. If left unpaid will this hurt my credit (as of now it is not on my credit report). What would my course of action be to get this situation rectified?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2012
      Bill
      I will assume the $500 mystery fee is not related to a federal loan. Most derogatories may appear for 7½ years from the date of first delinquency. Assuming the fee was incurred in 2002 or before, it will not appear on your credit report because the time limit ran out some time in 2009 or 2010. Therefore, if all you are worried about is your credit report and score, the $500 fee is not an issue.

      The problem with the unpaid mystery fee is many schools will hold a delinquent alumnus's transcript as long as the fee is unpaid. This means if you ever want to enroll in another school, or if an employer wants to inspect your transcript, the school will refuse to cough-up a copy of your transcript.

      I do not have advice you want to hear. Your choices are to ignore the bill and hope you never need a transcript, or hold your nose and pay it.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2012
    Jennie
    A collection company allegedly bought a debt from a department store I owed. My last payment to the store was either April or October of 2007. I never acknowledged the debt with the collection company, nor did I pay them. I disputed the collection company's claim in court and their attorney filed for a dismissal without prejudice, which was granted in the Superior Court of California in November 2010. They are now attempting to collect the debt again. Can they do this? Do I have to go to court all over again about this? Can I counter-sue for attorney fees, time away from work, etc. because I have already spent a lot of money (I don't really have) defending myself on a debt they could not prove I owe. I believe the SOL is past, although I understand it's only good in court. How do I get them to stop coming after me every couple of years?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2012
      Bill
      I think a good first step is to speak with a lawyer that specializes in violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). He or she will be able to tell you if you have any cause of action. These kinds of lawyers do not charge an advance fee. They only take your case if they feel it is strong and then they collect fees from the party you sue, after winning the case.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2012
    Kelly
    I purchased a car back in July of 2004, and the car was totaled after a year. The company insisted that I continue to pay for the car even though I no longer owned it, and I had for about 3 more months. Then I was hit with child support payments and could no longer afford to pay for the car. In 2010 I received a letter that basically stated that the debt was still valid. Today, July 2012, I find that it has been charged off on my credit. I realize this is a bad sign, but the debt is way beyond its statutes of limitations in the state of Utah where I live. I am currently working towards fixing issues with my credit and I fear that I may soon be feeling the effects of this outdated auto load. Is the SOL on my side in this matter? And what kind of action can they take against me if they so choose to?
    1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2012
      Bill
      Let me change the facts of your comment a bit to illustrate a point. Let us say you buy a car using a loan secured by the car. After a month or two, in the middle of the night, a meteor falls from the sky, lands on your new car, and destroys it. You may ask, “Do I still need to pay-off the loan when my car was destroyed though no fault of my own?” The answer is obvious — yes! You may say, “The car was the security for the loan. The finance company is welcome to repossess the melted metal filling the smoldering crater in front of my house.” That may be true, but the loan agreement you signed also contained language giving you personal liability for repaying the loan balance even if the lender repossesses what’s left of the car.

      In other words, when a person buys a car using a loan, it does not matter if the car is perfectly reliable and never suffers a scratch, or is totaled after a month or two, the borrower must repay the loan as promised in the contract. On to your other questions.

      Charge-off, which is sometimes called write-off, is when the lender moves an account from its accounts receivable ledger up to the bad-debt line on its general ledger. Charge off is not the same as forgiveness or cancelling a debt. Charge off does not change the lender’s or borrower’s legal rights. Typically, charge off appears on a credit report 120-180 days from the first date of delinquency.

      You mentioned Utah and statute of limitations. In all but two states, creditors may continue to attempt to collect a debt after the statute of limitations has passed. Creditors can, again with two exceptions, even file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed. In cases where the statute of limitations has passed, the defendant may offer a statute of limitations defense. If the court accepts the defense’s argument that the statute of limitations applies, the court will dismiss the case. Unfortunately, some Internet commentators will condense what I just wrote here into, “The creditor cannot collect the debt if the statute of limitations has passed,” which is dead wrong in all but Wisconsin or North Carolina.

      As I understand Utah law, the statute of limitations for a written contract is 6 years. If you stopped making payments in sometime 2005, the statute of limitations passed sometime in 2011. Therefore, the original creditor (the finance company, bank, or credit union) or a collection agent that purchased the collection account may contact you to attempt to collect the debt. It can even file an action (a lawsuit) against you. If it does, consult with a lawyer to help you file a motion to dismiss based on the passing of Utah’s statute of limitations for a written contract.

      If the creditor’s collections calls and letters become bothersome, send the creditor a cease communications notice.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2012
    Karen
    My husband and I sold property in Truckee,CA in 2004 and moved to Minnesota. There was a second mortgage that was never paid off due to Countrywide never filing a lien (I was not present for the home sale and was not aware of this). My husband and I divorced in 2006 and he passed away in October 2007. I learned that he had been paying on the 2nd mortgage 4 months later. I have not ever made a payment and it has been in default since my ex-husband's death. It has significantly affected my credit. I receive a monthly statement (the amount owed is $27,000) but, there has been no collection activity. I have three sons from my husband and cannot take out a student loan for my oldest in college. A couple questions: 1) What is the Statute of Limitations for this debt? 2) How can I get it off my credit report?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2012
      Bill
      Before I answer your questions, I have two questions for you:
      1. Was the second a purchase money loan? In other words, did the funds from this loan go directly to escrow for the purposes of purchasing the Truckee property?
      2. Were you a signatory for the second? In other words, did you sign the contract for the Countrywide loan?

      If the second was a purchase money loan, then California's anti-deficiency law prevents the creditor from taking any legal action (filing a lawsuit) to collect the debt. Whether the creditor may report the debt to the consumer credit reporting agencies (the credit bureaus) is a question I have not seen resolved.

      If you did not sign the loan contract for the second, you may not have liability for the debt. However, the fact the debt appears on your credit report and the creditor sent you a statement for $27,000 leads me to conclude you signed the contract. On to your questions:

      1. The California statute of limitations for a case or controversy arising from a written contract is 4 years. In Minnesota, the statute of limitations is 6 years. Which applies? Depends on the exact circumstances. If you do find yourself as a defendant regarding this case, be sure to consult with a lawyer. He or she will craft an argument in favor of California's statute of limitations applying in your case.
      2. As mentioned, I am uncertain you have liability for the debt. If you did not sign the contract, then you can make an argument that even though California is a community property state, you were not a party to the contract and therefore have no liability for the debt.

      My advice? Validate the debt immediately. A debt that cannot be validated may not be collected or reported to the credit reporting agencies.

      If you have no liability for the debt, then dispute the derogatory with each of the credit reporting agencies that report the deficiency balance.

      One last thought: Federal student loans are based on need and not the borrower's credit report and score. Also, federal student loans have many repayment and consolidation options private student loans do not. Focus your attention on applying for federal loans and grants.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2012
    Haley
    We purchased an item back in 2000 and also had this company do some work for us in 2003. It is a local small town store. Such a small town, they just took our name and said they would bill us. Went to pay for the item a bit later and they said we would just get the bill in the mail. We live in Ohio. We just received the bill 2 days ago. We are looking into the bank records to see if we really paid for the items and they are just trying to get us again or if we really owe the money. But, Are we responsible for this bill from 12 & 9 years ago?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2012
      Bill
      I see two issues in your question. First, you and the supplier had a spoken contract. You mentioned Ohio. The statute of limitations for a spoken contract in Ohio is 6 years. Therefore, if you refused to pay the bill, and the supplier filed an action (a lawsuit) against you, you could use the statute of limitations affirmative defense to ask the court to dismiss the case. Based only on the facts you shared here, I would foresee an Ohio court siding with you, and dismissing the case.

      Second, you mentioned you reside in a small town. Small towns being what they are, people depend on each other when times are tough. Also, word gets around in small towns, and if the supplier is known to be trusted and admired in town, I doubt you want to be known as the person who didn't pay your bills, even if they were presented ridiculously late. In other words, will you need this supplier's assistance in the future? And, what is your reputation worth to you?
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Thomas
    Hello, My wife received a copy of judgment (filed June 2010) that was originally filed in July of 1992. This is the first I have heard of this. At the time she was married to her ex-husband. We live in Florida and the SOL that I have seen online is 20 years. Is this from the original judgment? Is she liable for the entire amount? They also stated that there was 12% interest charging on this account. Everything I have seen says 10% is max. Is it compound or simple? I am dumbfounded that after 19 yrs and 7 months this issue has surfaced. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      A Florida judgment has a 20-year statute of limitations, but this can be renewed another 20 years. The statute of limitations starts from the date of the judgment.

      Regarding interest, states allow simple interest by default. In some cases, however, compound interest is allowed. These are typically contracts cases where compound interest is mentioned in a liquidated damages clause. Consult with a lawyer in your state for a more precise answer.

      Interest rates on Florida judgments vary over time. See the Florida Department of Financial Services Statutory Interest Rates Pursuant To Section 55.03, Florida Statutes page for details.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Gee
    I have 2 judgements that are reported on my tri-merge credit report. One was filed on November 2007 and the second was filed on July 2007. Does the statue of limitations apply to judgments too; if so I recently certified mailed a Pay to delete letter to both companies. Please advise.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      There are different SOLs for judgments than there are for consumer debt. Both vary from state to state. You can view the SOL on judgments on the chart on Bills.com statute of limitations page.

      In many states judgments can be renewed. Judgments can stay on a credit report for as long as they remain valid or for seven and a half years, whichever is longer.

      I don't think that a pay for delete will work, but please report back and let us know how it goes.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Gee
      one of the judgments was due to a medical bill and the second was due to a Sears department store account. Does that make a difference?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      In all states I am aware of, there is no distinction between a judgment for medical debt, credit card debt, deficiency balance debt, and so on. Tax judgments may be treated differently, however.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Peter
    I have 1st mortgage on my principal residence with Countrywide. I did not make any payment since July 07. I filed a complaint against Countrywide, BOA, Recontrust and my case is still pending. I then filed chapter 13 and now The Bank of NY filed a claim. Can I object the claim base on the SOL?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      The SOL on debt does not run during a bankruptcy. I don't think that strategy would work. Check with your bankruptcy attorney, to get a professional legal opinion.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Gee
    If the S.O.L in California is 4 years (based on the last activity on the account/ ex: last payment paid on the acccount), I understand that I can tell the judge if I go to court that the original debt has expired per the S.O.L, but for those who have expired but are not with ah law firm and have issued a judgment on the debt, what recourse do I have? I received a summons back in 2010 that involved a collection agency trying to collect on a total of 4 medical accounts (Kings Credit Services) and hired an attorney (Hunt & Henriques) to aquire a judgment in my county. The case was dismissed because they tried to put a levy on my dads property which I never owned. I contacted them and issued documentation to show them I was not the legal owner. They send me a paper stating that the levy was waived. Recently, on 1/30/2010, I received a summons from the same law firm representing the same collection agency (Kings Credit Services) with a same case number to garnish my wages. I contacted the sherrif's deparment in my county and said the case was released and had no current paperwork for wage garnishment. I then called the sherrif's department in the county where the credit collection agency is and they verified there was a levy ordered to garnish my wages. I contacted my payroll and they verified that there was a court order to garnish 25% of my bi-weekly pay. I do not feel like I was given the opportunity to validate the debt since it was doubled after their interest, penalties and court fees and I never went to court for it. Can someone please guide me in the right direction on what to do, and if there is anything I can do to counterclaim the collection agency, Respectfully, Gee Q
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      I recommend that you speak with a lawyer. If you are stating that a judgment was awarded because you were not able to make the argument about expired SOL, then see if an attorney can help you get an order to vacate the judgment.

      However, if the judgment is valid, you are liable for accrued interest, even post-judgment. The attorney with whom you consult will advise you whether or not the fees that have been added to your debt are legal and were calculated properly.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Gee
      Thank you for the insight. What type of attorney should I consult with?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      A lawyer with civil litigation experience is best equipped to analyze a statute of limitations question.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Dale
    I am living in NY now but will be moving to NH shortly for a new job. I have three charged off credit card debts that have not had any payments for a little over three years on two of them and one that's two years old. Will the statute of limitations apply from NY which is 6 years or NH which is 3 years ? Thanks
    1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Statute of limitations questions are tricky. It is likely that once you establish residency in NH that you will be governed by NH collection laws. However, issues such as tolling or the presence of a choice of laws clause could come into play. SOL laws vary from state to state, so speak with a lawyer in NH to get a professional opinion. Please report back, so other readers gain from what you learn.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Crystal
    Today,a summons from a C.C.Debt Collector was given to my father...for me! At his home; I don't live there. I have never lived there.He lives in the same county, but a different town. I have lived at my present address for over 15yrs. I have personally received nothing at my own home. Is this even legal?!! Apparently back in October of 2011, a lawyer contacted my father by phone and interrogated him for info about me. My father is very ill,and was confused, but did tell the man I did not live there. My father was told I could be put in jail for a $4500.00 credit card debt. Also, I believe this debt is inflated, and not the original credit card company. I am from Oregon,and I believe the SoL is up, but I may have made a payment in 2008. I can not pay this. Should I get the summons from my dad and answer it, or what ignore it because I wasn't properly served?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      First of all a creditor is not allowed to harass a debtor, including making threats about going to jail. I suggest you read the Bills.com article about being harassed by collector. If the creditor can easily find your address it is not clear why they would serve a summons to your father. I suggest that you speak with a local attorney about the legality of the summons and the SOL issue. It is best not to ignore the situation, because it is likely that a court judgment will be mad against you, if you do not correctly respond.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Winding
    On SSD, needed to use card for food and emergencies, family has helped me as much as they can, NOW Im on my own, condo and food and utilities I cant even pay in full, I have to apply for food stamps, I can't pay my credit cards now.. so can the credit card companies take my SSD payments? SO Scared!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      No credit card company can come after your income or assets without a judgment against you. If the creditor obtains a judgment, your SSD income is not subject to garnishment. If a judgment is obtained, it is possible that other assets you own could be at risk and money in your bank account could be levied, depending on your state's collection laws.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Lindsay
    My situation is a little crazy. I went to the doctor when I first turned 18, and didn't realize that I needed to pay a $25 copay. I didn't have the money for it, and they said that they would bill me. Ten years and five addresses later, a collection agent calls saying that with interest my copay is now over $6000!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      First, validate the debt. Do not pay a debt if the collection agent cannot validate it. Second, if the collection agent validates the debt, then negotiate a settlement for $50 or so. I picked $50 because the collection agent bought the debt for pennies on the dollar, and despite the collection account having a $6,000 face value, 99.996% of that $6,000 are made-up charges with no basis in reality.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Catherine
    OK, So a dear friend of mine just found out that his license is suspended and the DMV wants 25000$ for a law suit that was the result of a car he sold that was crashed before he could make a bill of sale or the new owner could register it. My friend was never made aware of the crash and the buyer disappeared. The court documents where served more than 2 years ago to his foster dads former business location. A commercial address that his dad hadn't rented for years that had no affiliation with anyone he knew even remotely. The case went to court over 2 years ago and he had been unaware of anything until he tried to renew his drivers license. But he had been pulled over many times over the last two years that i know of, and the officers have never mentioned his licence being suspended. Why would the charges not be served until he tried to renew his license? Can he challenge the suit because the court hearing documents were not properly served. How is he supposed to be fiscally responsible if he became unemployed because they took his license without any prior notice or warning.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Tell your friend to consult with a lawyer who has criminal or civil litigation experience. The lawyer will gather all of the facts regarding this unusual case, and file a motion to vacate the judgment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Tony
    I have driving on revoked driver's licenses from 1998 I paid 3,800 in 2002 to get them back and in 2010 they stopped me and charged me with driving on revoked How and what paper's should I file to have these fines removed so I can get my licenses back I do realize that I will have to pay the State of Tennessee a reinstatement fee for each offense before they will let me get a driver's license but I had a valid license from 2002 until 2010 I don't know what papers or how to go about getting these fines dismissed I also received time suspended with each ticket
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      I suggest that you contact the Driver's Services division of the Tennessee State Government, to see what paperwork you need to provide them. If that doesn't help, consult with an attorney who will tell you what paperwork you need and will guide you through the system.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Gee
    I have a question about the Statute of limitations in the state of California where I reside. I have a credit report and need to know if I should try and settle with the collection agencies on some accounts where I made my last payment back in 2007 for unsecured debt (ex: car lease, department store account and medical debt). The current servicing company or collection agencies are reporting the collection to all 3 major credit bureaus.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Statute of limitations questions can be quite tricky. Only a lawyer can properly give you legal advice, however, I will share a few non-legal thoughts with you.

      The SOL issues are separate from the fact that the debts can and will likely remain on your credit report until 7½ years from the date of first delinquency. The only good way to have them removed from your report is to negotiate a pay for delete.

      The SOL of limitations on your debts may very well have passed. If that is the case, then you have greater leverage to negotiate a pay for delete, if your primary desire is to get the debts removed from your credit report. If the SOL has passed, you may also choose to not pay the debts, knowing that you can use the SOL as an affirmative defense if any of the creditors pursue legal collections against you.

      I suggest that you speak with an attorney, as a starting point, to see if the SOL has indeed passed.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Mary
    I am in colorado. I have a car loan from 2006 that I did not pay. I had some one take over payments they took off. I know they are not in the country or the vehicle. I have not heard from the creditor until yesterday. I cannot pay the loan off now. I have not made a payment since 2008. What statute of limitations applies to me here in colorado?They want $5000 from me to start???? What can I do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Your situation is complicated because of the possible fraud or theft issue you described. There are many tasks in law people can accomplish themselves. Your situation is not once of them. Consult with a Colorado lawyer who has consumer law experience to learn more about your rights and liabilities.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    lynn
    I just got a vet bill for $27.83 that goes back 23 months. I don't know how to prove that I paid this amount or not. Am I obligated to pay it? I live in Florida
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      You mentioned Florida. Please see the Bills.com resource Florida Collection Laws to learn more about your rights and liabilities as a Florida resident in a collections situation. Please ask any follow-up questions you may have on the page I just mentioned.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Dee
    I live in Maryland and signed a personal guarantee for a business line of credit that I was a partner in. We defaulted on the loan early 2008 and in June 2008 our company closed. My business partner filed personal bk absolving him of the debt. The lender called me recently. Looking at the statute of limitations it looks like we are past the date they can collect. Am I correct?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Probably not. In a minority of states — North Carolina and Wisconsin are the two I know of — a creditor may not collect a debt that is older than the statute of limitations in the debtor's state of residence. In most states, an original creditor or collection agent may collect a debt of any age privately. By privately, I mean telephoning, sending letters, and so on. An original creditor or collection agent may even file a lawsuit against the debtor. However, if the debtor/defendant raises a statute of limitations defense in a timely manner the court will dismiss the case. In most states, the state statute of limitations provides an affirmative defense in court and nothing more.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Crystal
    A vehicle was given to a friend of ours after the vehicle owner passed away in 2007 or 2008. The vehicle has not been operated and has missouri license plates. bank of the west has a lien on the title due to 3800 being owed on it, we just recently found out after being able to track down the loan and the deceased social security number. bank of the west lowered it to 2400 but vehicle in GREAT condition is only worth 3800. What is the statute of limitations in missouri for collecting on a debt from someone who is deceased? must we pay the 2400 to get the title or is there another way?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Vehicle and home loans are called "secured" loans and consists of two parts. The first is a personal promise made by the borrower to repay the loan. The second is a security interest in the property or vehicle held by the lender.

      Here, the borrower died, but that does not mean the lender loses its interest in the vehicle, even if time passes. This is a long-winded way for me to say that I doubt a state statute of limitations for debt applies here.

      In some states, if a secured creditor receives no payments and makes no effort to collect, the security is considered abandoned. You mentioned Missouri. Consult with a Missouri lawyer who has consumer law experience to learn if your state has such a law, and what its rules may be.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    wayne
    back in feb. 2001 i had a lady due my taxes for me. She said that she would file them electronicly but once she finished putting our W-2 info on the form she sealed it in a enevolope and told me drop it in the mail box, and when i get back my return to bring her back 65.00 dollars. Well i could have done what she done. I was under the impression she was going to do it electronicly. Well i have never paid the 65.00 and she has just sent me a letter saying if she doesnt hear from me that next step is court... 11 years later really can she sue me or is she past the SOL here in Texas? thanks
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      See the Bills.com resource Texas Collection Laws for a discussion of Texas statute of limitations and related laws.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    spencer
    Here's my situation: My girlfriend has a debt on her credit report stemming from a broken apartment lease in July of 2005. This is 6-1/2 years ago and I want to know if this debt should be off the collection agency's books...effectively giving her 0 owed. This happened in AZ and I need to get this matter resolved ASAP or our current place in Dallas won't let us live there till they get confirmation she owes 0 . Thanks in advance.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      Derogatory items appear in a credit report for 7½ years after the date of first delinquency. The creditor is not obliged to send a letter confirming the balance is zero, unless they sent a 1099 form forgiving the debt. If you wish to resolve the issue immediately, then negotiate a pay for delete with the creditor.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Amy
    I have read and re-read a million things on the web and still can't find a clear answer to my question.......how do I figure out which states SOL applies to me? Is it the state I currently reside, the state of the collection agency or ???? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      Please reread the section above entitled "Analyzing a Statute of Limitations Issue" and answer each of the questions in that checklist. If it is any consolation, this issue is the bane of many law students taking Civil Procedure, so you are not alone in your confusion.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Kat
    its been 7 months since i went to the doctor, i never got a bill so i called many times asking how much i owe. today i got in the mail that they just filed a claim. Legally how long does a doctors office have to file a claim?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      The answer depends on your state's laws. This is a tricky question, so consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience to learn what and if there is a state law covering the legally permissible time allowed to invoice a consumer for medical services.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Kent
      what is the limitation in Ohio? I recently recieved 2 bills from a medical provider from two years ago that they never submitted to my medical insurance carrier or to me for payment or processing
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      See the Bills.com resource Ohio Collection Laws to learn more about your rights and liabilities as an Ohio resident.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Barbara
    I received a statement from verizon today with a charge from 2009 on it for the first time. I called there and they admitted that this is the first time they are notifying me of this charge but say I am still responsible for it. I don't even know if this charge is accurate. Is there a time limit in which they can send a first statement of a charge?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      There are two parts to your question. Firstly, do you owe the money? If you are in doubt send a debt validation letter to the creditor. They are obliged to provide proof of your debt. Do not delay in sending the letter.

      Your second question relates to a possible state law relating to a time limit on a business sending an invoice to a consumer. This is not related to each state's statute of limitations on debt. I can find no federal rules on this subject. You state may have general rules on point, especially for utilities. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Karina
    I own a Cleaning Services Company in California and one of my client (with no contract)owes an estimate of $18,000 from last year. Can I charged 10% of the amount due for non payment?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      Depends. The California usury rate for consumers is 10%, but in some instances a 7% limit applies. If both parties are businesses, then no limit applies. Your safest course of action is to consult with a California lawyer who has contracts law experience to discuss the circumstances in more detail.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    G
    I owe some money on a credit card to BOA,the amount have been charged off back in 2007, last payment being on 2006. When i first had the credit card I use to live in Florida and now live in Arizona. I found out the Arizona statues of limitations expires in 4 years when contract is out of state.Does this rules applies to me or for a original Arizona resident only?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Jane
    I owe for deliquincy on a reposessed car that I bought while living in a different state. Which state's statute of limitations on the debt collection will apply - my current state or the state where I bought the car? What about credit cards with major lenders - whose SOL applies to them?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to your questions, as statute of limitations issues are complicated. It is possible that the lender will have specified in your contract specific terms regarding court jurisdiction. It is also possible that 'tolling' took place, where no time was running of the SOL because the creditor did not have a reasonable chance to collect from you.

      In general, in order to pursue collection in your current state of residence, which is different than the place where you resided when the loan or credit was taken, the creditor needs to sue you in your former state and then will need to domesticate the judgment in your current state. I recommend that you speak with a local lawyer, who can evaluate your situation, based on all the facts of your case.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Dave
      Your question is more complex than it would appear at first glance. The law governing the contract is generally determined by the place where the contract was negotiated and executed (signed). In some instances parties may, at their discretion, set which state will govern the rules of their contract. But this may be trumped as states have special rules and laws for large consumer transactions involving real estate and automobiles.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Umu
    I received a letter from the IRS about two weeks ago stating that I owe them about $5,000 because a debt was forgiven for a car that was repossessed in 2001.IRS claimed I did not report the debt forgiveness, well how can I report something that I did not know about? I did not receive any letter stating that my debt was forgiven, now my question is,how do I ague that to IRS? The debt was from Pennsylvania,I now live in Utah.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      What you are facing is not fair, on many levels. Not only did you not get notice way back in 2001, but the debt has grown significantly with interest that is charged back from April, 2002. Had you received timely notice, you may have been able to use the IRS Form 982 to avoid declaring the forgiven debt as income or you could have set up a payment plan before the debt had grown. Unfortunately, the IRS does not care about fairness.

      I think the only argument that you could successfully make would be if the debt had been forgiven after the statute of limitations had passed for collecting on the debt. If you can argue that the debt was no longer your responsibility, then forgiveness should not apply. Discuss this with a tax specialist, after you ascertain when the debt was forgiven. You may have to speak to a lawyer to get a solid opinion about the SOL, especially as you have moved from one state to another.

      You may want to set up a payment plan with the IRS right away. That will prevent any collection efforts. If you prove that you did not owe the IRS, any money you had paid the IRS would be returned to you.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Jennifer
    I just got a call from a collection agency about some bill i owe. They are saying i owe a bill from 2003. I have not received any bills or letters from the company trying to collect from me. And know a collection agency says they are highed from this company to collect $178.00. It has been almost 9 years and know they want to collect this from me. I asked them why so long they told me to contact the company. I also told them that i paid this bill. I dont have proof as this again was about 9 years old. I do not want to pay this. they said to wright a dispute letter. I asked to whom do i send it to they gave me an address in washington. I asked whos attention do i put they said just write dispute. they will look it over and then talk to the company and see what they want to do. I told the collection agency that it was there job to research this considering they are getting paid to collect it. what do i do and is it to long for them to collect.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      Validate the debt. Follow the instructions on the page I just mentioned. A debt that cannot be validated cannot be reported to the credit reporting agencies or collected.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Danielle
    My husband and I filed a Chapter 13 in the state of Maryland back in 2001. My husband lost his employment and we weren't able to complete our payment schedule. We had to sell our house and move in with family in Florida in 2004. I believe our Chapter 13 was cancelled for not completing the payment schedule because after moving to Florida debt collection agencies started sending collection letters on the old debt. This month Dec. 2011 the IRS sent a letter stating Ecast Settlement of NY filed 2 1099c cancellation of debt. We only received a copy of 1 of those and we had already filed our taxes so now we have to send an amended and prove insolvency or we have to claim it as income. On the IRS paper it shows Sales dates of 7-20-2010 in the information of both of the 2 1099c that were filed by Ecast with IRS. I am questioning whether the collections company have the right to send a 1099c on debt that is well over 7 years old first of all and also if it shows a sales date does that mean they sold it to another collection agency who will to try to collect and will they also have the right to send 1099c statements?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      I am not a lawyer or a tax professional, so I can't give you legal advice or tax advice, but I will share a few thoughts with you.

      It is my feeling that if the debt had not passed its SOL, then the original creditor or a collection agent could legally forgive the debt. If the SOL had passed, I think you could make a strong argument that no forgiveness took place.

      My reading of the instructions that accompany the IRS Form 982, the form you need to use to avoid declaring forgiven debt as income, indicate that you have to submit it by October 15th of the year the tax return was due. If your debt was forgiven in 2010, I think that you need to have submitted the Form 982 by October 15th of 2011, regardless of when you found out the debt was forgiven.

      I recommend that you speak with a lawyer to find out if the debt was past its statute of limitations by the time it was forgiven. Also speak with a tax professional, to discuss the Form 982 and whether you are eligible to use it and how to inform the IRS if the debt was forgiven after the SOL had passed.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Ashley
    I recently logged into an account, that I had with a collection agency, to make sure that the items I paid off were still showing paid. The last time I logged in was in October 2011. I logged in today, Dec. 14th, and saw that there was a new account added to the ones that had been paid off. This was a medical bill from Feb 25 2005 for $90.70 from a Dr. in the state of Florida. I am fairly sure that this was paid off, but since it is so old I have no documentation, or any way to go back and prove that it had been paid. I called the collection agency and asked where this came from and asked when it showed up on my account, as I did not receive anything from them stating that I had any other accounts with them. They responded that they did indeed mail something out to me, to which I asked where did they mail the letter. The collector stated that they mailed it to an old address that I have not lived at in over 6 years. They stated that they were given the account as of November 2nd 2011. The collector also advised me that it comes off the credit report on Feb 25 2012. When I logged in and checked my credit report I saw nothing of this account. What should I do? Send a validation of debt letter to them? Should I ignore it at this point? Are they outside the Statutes of limitations for the state of Florida? Advice would be greatly appreciated!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      Let us look at the facts and terms you mentioned, and others that were implied:
      • Statute of Limitations. Just because a statute of limitations has passed does not mean a creditor may not collect a debt, except in Wisconsin. The passing of a statute of limitations gives a defendant in a lawsuit an affirmative defense, and nothing more. Reread the original article above to learn more.
      • Time and Credit Reports. Seven and a half years is how long most derogatory items can appear on a consumer's credit report file. The 7½-year rule has nothing to do with charge off. It does not determine whether the debt is collectible. It also has nothing to do with a state's statute of limitations. See the Bills.com resource Fair Credit Reporting Act to learn more about what can appear on a credit report and for how long.
      • Charge-off / write-off. An accounting term that means a creditor moved an account from its current-accounts book to its general ledger as a bad debt. It does not mean the account is canceled, forgiven, or extinguished. See the Bills.com resource Charge Off for a more complete discussion of this oft-misunderstood phrase.

      A collection agent or original creditor working on a debt older than a state's statute of limitations may contact the consumer to attempt to collect the ancient debt (except in Wisconsin). It can even file a lawsuit against the consumer. However, the consumer has an affirmative defense if there is such a lawsuit. If the affirmative defense is successful, then the court will dismiss the case.

      My advice? As you mentioned, validate the debt. A debt that cannot be validate may not be collected nor reported to the credit reporting agencies.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Daniel
    Hello, I am currently looking at my girlfriend's finances and credit report and have a question. She has MS and has many medical bills that have now gone into collections since she did not have insurance at the time. As a result her credit score is 555. Not good. Are medical bills that have gone to collections considered 'open accounts'? Also, is has a bill from 2007 that was from an Ohio Hospital, where she then lived. She has not yet received any letters from the collection agency listed on her credit report about this bill. Is this bill past the statue of limitations now? For the more recent bills that have been sent to collections, at what percentage of the total bill can/should we start offering to pay? 25%? 50%? Is there a good starting off point? And finally, once we settle with a collection agency, do we convince them to remove the listing or to change the listing on the credit report from 'collections account' to 'paid' or do we go to the original creditor to do that? Any help you can provide would be great! Thank you for all you do.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      The medical bills, which should be written contracts, have a 15 year statute of limitations in Ohio. You don't state where she currently resides, but it is possible that the SOL from her current state could apply. This is something to discuss with a lawyer.

      The accounts should appear as open accounts on the credit report, showing the original creditor and the collection agency. Unless you negotiate a pay for delete, they will continue to show on her credit report until 7½ years from the date of first delinquency. The collection agency is responsible for reporting changes in the account.

      Your negotiating status will depend on your girlfriend's income and assets and how much money the collection agency feels that it can obtain from her. You can start by negotiating low, showing that her medical condition has made her financial situation difficult. You don't say what she earns or owns or what the size of the debt is, so it is difficult to suggest a specific percentage to start with. However, it is better to start low.

      Lastly, if she is not being pursued currently, there is a risk that contacting the collection agency will shine the light on her that makes collecting on the debt likelier and faster.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    I just received a phone call from a collection agency stating that I owe $306.00 to Wachovia Bank in 2005. I reported my visa card stolen and closed down the account. Isn't the statue of Limitation up in the state of VA?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      Although the statute of limitations may be up in Virginia, the creditor may still try to obtain a judgment. If the creditor attempts to sue you, be prepared to make your defense of expired statute of limitations. There may be other circumstances which can lengthen the statute of limitations, as explained in the article.

      Since it is a collection agency handling the account, first validate the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Marisol
    I fell behind with my credit card when we lost our house in 1999, around that time there was a judgement in favor of my credit card but I was not employed and wasn't able to pay. Over the years they stopped calling and it fell off my credit report. I received a call today that a collection agency is trying to collect. Can they do that?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      The fact that the judgment fell off your credit report does not mean that your legal requirement to pay on the debt has expired. The length of time a judgment stays in effect depends on the state and in many states judgments can be renewed. In Indiana, it is my understanding that a judgment is good for 20 years.

      Validate the debt to see if the collection agency can prove that you still are liable for paying it.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Chue
    My sister received a bill from International Arbitration Svcs for me for the amount of $591.13. When I called they told me this pay loan was in 2002, which is 9 years ago. They demanded that I pay them back.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    michelle
    I have a company hounding me over debt from 1999 and 2000. they have gotten a judgment against me and my x-husband. they levied my checking account. What can i do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      You indicated you reside in California. California statutes specify a 4-year statute of limitations for written contracts. How did the creditor convince a California court to issue a judgment on a debt that was almost three times older than the statute of limitations? My guess — note that word choice — is you never received, or if you received it you never responded to the plaintiff's summons. Because you did not respond and appear for the court date, the plaintiff won a summary judgment. If you sat on your rights and willfully failed to respond, then this judgment is the result.

      However, if you never received a summons, then consult with a lawyer immediately about vacating the judgment based on a defective service of process.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Caressa
    my car was taken while making 1/2 payments due to my job loss...it has now been nearly 9 years, it's off my credit report but now they are calling me~ How do I get them to stop. they are nasty.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      First, educate yourself about your state's laws regarding debt collection. You indicate you reside in Florida. See Florida Collection Laws to understand your rights and liabilities. Second, read How to Avoid Garnishment on Deficiency Balance to understand some tactics that may help you avoid liability. Finally, validate the debt immediately. A debt a collection agent cannot validate may not be collected.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Caressa
      I will be trying the debt validation & then the cease & desist. I tried something similar years ago but on my own without a template & it worked for a bit. I wish there was something more permanent. Thank you!
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      If you still owe the debt, then even if some steps you take make the debt fall off your report for a while, it will reappear.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Caressa
      Then I should not validate..? Thx.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      You won't be harmed by validating the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Susan
    In 2000-20003, I lived in WV and had a phone line with a local company. I have since moved to MD. A collections agency has contacted one of the major credit reporting agencies and I received a call and a notice that payment is due on the phone bill from 2003. I contacted the phone company who is sending me verification that the account was paid and closed when I moved. There is another individual whose name comes up as having had the same number. I found this out by doing a records search of the old number. How can a credit agency come after this 8 yrs later? Are they confusing the number as being mine when it may have been another party's? I don't feel I should have to pay this.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      Credit reporting agencies (the credit bureaus) do not collect on old debts. The credit reporting agencies, which include Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, gather information from credit card issuers, vehicle loan providers, mortgage servicers, and others and issue that information in credit reports.

      You are almost certainly dealing with a collection agent, which buys old collection accounts from credit card issuers, cell phone companies, vehicle loan providers, and so on. Read the following Bills.com resources make yourself a more informed consumer:

      My advice? Validate the debt immediately. A debt that cannot be validated cannot be collected.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    lisa
    The state built a new road in front of my house in 2010. My house was level with the old road and now i have a 20 feet bank in front of my house. My drive-way has a 18% grade to it which has caused a lot of water damage and mold to my home, not to mention several health problems to my minor son. How long is the statue of law for filing a law suit against the state of KY and the company that built the road.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer who has civil litigation experience. When shopping for a lawyer, be sure to ask if he or she has experience filing actions against state governments or local municipalities, because special civil procedure rules may apply. Work quickly. Delay is not your ally when it comes to suing the government.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Brian
    Today I was served a summons (I am being sued for a debt 5 years 11 months old). I stopped paying on the debt in December 2005. They filed a lawsuit on May 31st, 2006. Today, I was just served. Can the statute of limitations work here? What else can I do to eliminate this issue?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      It stuns me to read someone was served in November 2011 for a lawsuit filed in May 2006. You indicated you reside in Florida. Consult with a Florida lawyer who has civil litigation experience to learn if this is permitted under Florida law. It would surprise me to learn that plaintiffs would have that long to serve a defendant, or that Florida courts would have the patience to allow a case to languish for 5+ years.

      You asked about a statute of limitations. There are probably several in play here, the most obvious the time limit for service of process. The other, filing an action for a breach of contract, may have been met, but without an adequate service of process I doubt the filing would be considered effective.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Brian
      I will keep you informed how this plays out. I did contact a lawyer and have a 3:00 appt set for 11/09/2011. My stomach has been in knots all day over this issue and I am hoping that this will go away legally. I will keep in touch.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Eva
    I received a notice today from a collection agency in MI. I reside in CA. This is from a credit card I last made a payment on 22 years ago. Now they say "it is our pleasure to welcome you as a new customer" and "future payments and inquiries should be made to". What should I do? What can I do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      Don't pay a penny. Validate the debt. I think this collection agency is on a fishing expedition to see if it can trick you into bringing an expired debt back to life.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Jennifer
    In 2007 or 2008 I was very stupid (don't ever get a payday loan, they cause a downward spiral) and did a payday loan on line. I filed bankruptcy in 2008, I received my release papers in 2009 by the courts. Can that company come back on me for that? I had not received any calls from this company for 3 years and now I am getting emails demanding payment. I am now too the point that it feels like harassment on their part. The main company is in SC and I am in ID, if the bankruptcy hadn't have been done in 2008 which state laws would the company legally have to go by as far as the law of statutes?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      Was the payday loan included in your bankruptcy filing? If yes, was it included in the discharge order? If yes, the lender violated federal law. Consult with a lawyer who has consumer law experience and ask about hiring him or her on a contingency basis to file a lawsuit against the collection agent.

      If the answers to any of my questions is "no" then you should look to your contract with the payday lender to see which state laws apply. This will be found in the contract's choice of laws clause. If there is no choice of laws clause, then your state of resident's statute of limitations laws will probably apply. Again, consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer or contract law experience for a more precise analysis than the extremely brief overview I offered here.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Ben
    I incurred a medical debt in Georgia but reside in SC (I have always lived in SC) which state statute of limitations must a collections agency abide by? The debtor's state of residence or the state in which services were rendered?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      There is no simple answer to your very reasonable question. The SOL could be governed by the language in your contract/agreement for the services you received. How long you have lived in SC could be at issue. Additionally, different courts may look at the SOL differently. It could be the case that South Carolina legal precedents assert a strong mandate that SC SOLs apply. It could be the case that the opposite is true.

      Your best course of action is to take a copy of any paperwork you signed when you received the medical care and have an attorney review it.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Brian
    If judgment was made on me in December 2006, and I didn't appear in court. The collector successfully had a lien drawn against my properly but could get nothing. Can them come back in October 2011 to try and collect again. In Pennsylvania the statute of limitations is 4 years. There's where I resided the first time. I stopped paying on the card in late 2001 or very early 2002.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      See the Bills.com resource Pennsylvania Collection Laws to learn the statute of limitations for judgments in that state. Ask any follow-up questions you may have on that page.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Rachel
    How do I find out exactly what the limitation on collection old debts is within Michigan.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Sharon
    The last payment made on my mortgage in SC was 7/12/07. I'm no longer living at the residence because on 11/07 they said they were going to foreclosed. The property has not been foreclosed on yet. I have spoken with this mortgage company on several occassions. They told me it was being handled through an attorney. I contacted the attorney and he stated he never received paperwork from the mortgage company. On my credit report it states "foreclosure started"? I received paperwork from a collection agency stated it was turned over to them. Why wouldn't the mortgage company just foreclose on the property? Is their a statue of limitation on a mortgage in SC?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a South Carolina lawyer who has experience with quiet title actions. Something is amiss with the allegedly foreclosed property. A South Carolina lawyer may determine that your mortgage servicer lacks the authority to foreclose, which may mean that you won the lottery and your prize is your old house.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Andrea
    We reside in KS. We had a baby back 7/17/03, at which time we could not afford the rest of the medical bill (I was laid off). We tried the "can you write this off" request to no avail. We agreed to payment arrangements and last paid 10/31/03. We just bought a house May of this year and all of a sudden this bill cam back around almost 8 yrs later. What happens if I say to the collection agency "This is past the statue of limitations" does it still hit my credit report since we cannot pay it? Then does it stay on my credit report for 7 years from the day it hits, or the date of our last payment in 2003? Thanks for your time :) I'm at a loss as to how this bill just showed back up...
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      I can't give you legal advice, as only an attorney can properly to do so. Also, I don't have all the facts. For instance, you live in Kansas now, but were you living in KS when you incurred the debt? Has any event occurred that may have tolled the SOL?

      If you feel the SOL has passed, you should tell the collection agent that the SOL has passed and that you no longer have to pay the debt.

      The item should only be on your credit report 7½ years from the date of your first delinquency. You should dispute the information on your credit report.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Sam
    a friend gave me some money in 2001. There was no agreement either in writing or verbally regarding repayment. She has now served me with a law suit for repayment. has the SOL expired? 11 years?? not to mention there is no agreement for payment.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      You may have solid grounds to contest the legal need to repay the debt due to the SOL. Contact a lawyer to see if the SOL has passed in your state.

      You could also choose to negotiate some kind of settlement with your friend. If you have the means to pay something and feel that it was more than a gift, that may be a way to put the issue behind you and satisfy both parties.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Jaime
    In 2008 I received a notice from a tow company saying a vehicle registered to me was towed and I owed $$. I sent them the information proving the car was no longer mine and returned to the original seller because the car would not pass smog. Today, 3 years later I receive a bill from a collection agency. Stating I owe $2200.00 in 30 days or they are sending me to collections. DMV says they never received my Release of Liability, the registration was never complete in my name because the car was returned to the seller. The Tow yard says they do not have any of the papers I sent them 3 years ago, and I can't find the papers. Has the SOL ran out?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      You indicated you reside in California. Please see the Bills.com California Collection Laws page to learn more about your rights and liabilities as a California resident, including the California statutes of limitations on consumer debt.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Jaime
      I appreciate your help. One last question, is this type of debt considered real property or a no contract?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Real property is land and things permanently attached to the land. You are dealing with either a verbal contract or a written contract. I do not have enough facts to say which type of contract you have.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Gregory
    In 1998 I signed up to Bally's gym. After losing my job a month later I could not pay. The first 5 or 6 years I received leters from collection agencies. One selling the account to another. Its been 11 years...Can they still collect? Or is the SOL in affect? Some say don't acknoledge the letter as it will make it start over at 0. I live in southern California.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Reread the above for a more in-depth explanation of the following. The creditor or its collection agent can continue to ask you to pay the debt even though the statute of limitations has passed, except in Wisconsin. The creditor or its collection agent can file a lawsuit against you, except in Wisconsin. The statute of limitations gives you an affirmative defense that you must raise in a timely manner. Paying the creditor or its collection agent even a penny will restart the statute of limitations at zero.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    emerson
    my account at discover deliquency first reported on 04/2005 and it has been transfered to so many collection agency, then I had one of the agency to verify the account and they could not verified, now that its been over 7 years that passed this account is no longer in the credit bureau. but recently i received a letter from disver saying that the is valid and "the removal of the trade-line from the credit file does not remove your obligation to repay the amount owing." and I know that here in california statue of limitation is only up to 4 years. what advice you give about this situation? should I just ignored the letter that discover sent me, or should I write them back? if I am going to write them back, what do I tell them. any reply would really help. thanks
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Discover's statement is accurate.

      The question is, what can the creditor do to collect the debt? It or its collection agents have the right to write and call you in an attempt to collect the debt privately.

      You mentioned California and its statute of limitations. California's statute of limitation on consumer debt may not apply, as the original answer above tries to explain. Reread the original answer above to get a better understanding of this tricky area of law.

      Let us assume for the sake of argument that California's laws apply. See the Bills.com resource California Collection Laws to understand your rights and liabilities as a California resident.

      You gain nothing by replying to Discover or its collection agent, unless you wish to negotiate a lump-sum settlement for the debt. If you do not wish to negotiate a settlement, stay silent. If Discover or its collection agent files a lawsuit against you, by all means hire a lawyer to help you mount a defense.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      nicole
      I have a medical debt in collections in Wisconsin. The "date opened" is 05/05. It is now 10/11. After talking to the collection agency, they told me: "wisconsins statue of limitations is 6 years and 8 months and a few days" All the research i've done says it is only 6 years. Is the collection agency telling the truth or are they lying?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Give the collection agent style points for creative interpretation of Wisconsin Statute 893.43. The statute of limitations in question is 6 years, period, full stop.

      Collection agents have one job — collect money for their employers. Collection agents are not consumers' lawyers, and oftentimes the legal advice collection agents offer consumers is incomplete, misleading, or false. See the Bills.com resource Wisconsin Collection Laws to learn more about Wisconsin residents' rights and liabilities.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    karla
    I have a delinquent acct balance with Beneficial that is now on my Credit report. The date the card was opened was 06/2005 the date it was reported is 12/2009. The last payment date was 03/2007. Now the collection agency has issued a judgement as of 05/23/2011. My question is has the statue of limitations run out as of 03/2011? I called the original creditor which is Beneficial and they stayed the statue starts over the day the agency brought the acct from them which was in 2009. Please advise.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      The SOL starts running after the date of last payment, not from when the collection agency purchased the account. However, if the filed the lawsuit against you that resulted in the judgment before the date the SOL expired, then that would be enough to make the judgment valid. (By the way, only the court can issue a judgment, not the collection agency.)

      Consult with an attorney, to see if you have grounds to reverse the judgment.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      The SOL starts running after the date of last payment, not from when the collection agency purchased the account. However, if the filed the lawsuit against you that resulted in the judgment before the date the SOL expired, then that would be enough to make the judgment valid. (By the way, only the court can issue a judgment, not the collection agency.)

      Consult with an attorney, to see if you have grounds to reverse the judgment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Tanya
    Two questions: 1. There are credit cards listed on my credit report from 1976! These accounts were paid in full with regular monthly payments. The creditor is still reporting this. How do I get these removed? I haven't charged anything on these accounts since that time. 2. I have a medical bill from 1998. I live in Kentucky. I have made a few $25.00 payments, but still owe over $1000. No action has been taken against me. However, the bill is past the 5 year statue for KY. What do I need to do to get them to stop reporting this to the credit bureaus and to stop billing me?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Was the account from 1976 ever in a derogatory status? If not, then it is not doing any harm to your score. Even it had once been in a derogatory status, it was so long ago that it should not be affecting your score. If you want it off your report, dispute its presence directly with the credit bureaus that show it. (Out of curiosity, how many bureaus are reporting this debt?).

      Regarding your medical debt, how long a debt is valid is different than how long it can appear on your credit report. When was the last time you paid on this account? The account can remain on your report for 7½ years after the date of first delinquency. Once the SOL passes, a creditor can still try to collect from you, though you can use the SOL as a defense for not paying them.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Mike
    LVNV Funding LLC is purchased a debt from a creditor that I may not have paid off. The debt shows up on my credit report with a "Date Opened" of 7/1/08, but if this debt is actually valid the previous creditor that LVNV purchased the debt from should be a very old account. I live in CA and the Statute of Limitations I believe is 4 year. My question is if the Statute Of Limitations is based on the "Date Opened" (when LVNV purachesed the debt) of 7/1/08 or from the date the original creditor tried to collect for full payment or the date I made my last payment to the original creditor?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      The SOL starts running from the date of your last payment. The 7/1/08 sounds like the date when the collection agency picked up the account, not he date from when the SOL started running. Look for the date of last payment that shows for the listing from the original creditor.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Jessica
    On 9/12/11 I received a letter from the County Court of Lancaster County (Lincoln, NE) that lists 3 separate bills; two are hospital, the other is a doctor.. The Judgement Date is June 19, 2007. They have assigned me attorneys as they are listed. I've looked up info on statue of limitations and what I can find is that NE is 4yrs for medical debt. Am I right in this? And if so would that be from the 'judgment date' or the date from the attorneys? I have called to make payments on this but nothing in writing and I haven't made a payment..has my SOL started again?? Thank you so much!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Without reading the letter you refer to, I am reluctant to offer any observations about your rights and liabilities. I find it odd the county court would send a judgment-debtor, if that is what you really are, a statement regarding a judgment that it rendered more than four years ago. Also, courts are not in the habit of "assigning" lawyers to anyone in civil cases. Nor do courts bundle debts from separate creditors into a single judgment. The document you described is far outside of anything I have seen a court issue.

      Take this letter to a lawyer in your state who has civil litigation or consumer law experience, and ask him or her what it means. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call your county bar association and ask for the name of the organizations that offer no-cost legal services to people with low or no income. Make an appointment with one of those organizations, and bring this letter and any related documents to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you accordingly.

      Do not take any other action or pay a dime on these debts until you consult with a lawyer. Your making any payment will almost certainly restart the statute of limitations, which is not in your best interest.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Jessica
      Thank you SO much! I will do what you have advised!
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Jenny
    I received medical attention in May of 2007 at a hospital in Colorado. The ER doctor is trying to bill me for his fees -- almost $400. What is the statute of limitations for this bill? Is it different if it is in collections and they stated that they sent letters, but on just called me on 9/28/2011? IT is four years past since I received anything on this. I was informed that it was resolved.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Just because the statute of limitations has run on a debt does not mean the creditor is barred from collecting it (except in Wisconsin). The expiration of a statute of limitations gives the defendant an affirmative defense should the creditor ever file a lawsuit regarding that debt. The creditor can still call and send letters asking you to pay the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Gabby
    had a credit card transaction with Levitz furniture in 2006, the financial charges was deferred for three years. All the same, I only made one payment, which was at time of purchase. Midland funding mgt is representing Levitz and requesting I pay now after five years. They have gone to the extend of filling a suit. Does my status of limitation apply? seeing that California has 4 years for SOL to apply.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer who has experience in consumer law or civil litigation. You may have grounds to use the SOL, but it depends on the date of your payment and when the suit was filed, and whether there is any reason that the SOL may have been tolled in the past few years. Tolling is when the running clock on the statute of limitations is stopped, giving the creditor additional time to collect on the debt because it was prevented from reasonably pursuing collections due to an action that the debtor has taken or due to some factor affecting the debtor.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Holly
    My husband just received a debt collection notice from Angell Memorial Animal Hospital dated back to 1997. The law firm has indicated that they have 20 years to collect the debt and file a lawsuit but from my research I saw that it was a 6 year SOL for collection and 7 years for the credit report. This is in the State of MA. Which information is correct? This is for an initial $100 bill whihc has accrued interest over the past 14 years.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      I am not trained or experienced in Massachusetts law, so I am not competent to comment on the legal information the collection agent shared with you. That said, I would be very suspicious of any legal advice offered by a collection agent. In general, a creditor may file a claim even after the state statute of limitation has passed. However, the statute of limitation gives the consumer/defendant an affirmative defense. If this affirmative defense is raised during the trial, the court will dismiss the case. Consult with a Massachusetts lawyer who has consumer law experience for a more precise answer to your question.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Pat
    A collection agency contacted me with an offer to settle - but I don't recognize the name of the (old old old) credit card ... and there is nothing on my credit report with that same credit card name. There is a charge off from 2006 Chase Bank - but that's not the credit card company listed on the collection letter. What do I do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Validate the debt. If the collection agent cannot validate the debt, it may not attempt to collect it or report it to the consumer credit reporting agencies.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Pete
    I had a coworker ask me to work on a duplex he owns back in July 2008. He advanced me a check for work I need to do. I have been working on items on his duplex for this whole time. He was fired from our company and now he wants to take me to small claims court for the money saying I never finished all the work and wanting more money from me for work he had to pay someoen else for. How do I bring up statutes of limitations? There are no instructions on the summons. is it 3 years on verbal agreements? It is in colorado and no written contract was written. He did write me a check for the money.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      You are asking me to formulate a defense strategy for you, which I cannot do because that would require me to give you legal advice. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has civil litigation experience for precise advice and direction.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    AL
    Currently we have a judgement against us for a repossession from 2006. The vehicle was taken off of the property after one payment past due. We were unable to get the vehicle back. As well as the company sold the vehicle at auction and did not apply the auction balance to the amount owed. We now owe over $26,000. My husband's work is seasonal. He usually is laid off during the winter and returns to a different employer, rarely ever the same one. Over the past several years they have attempted a garnishment. However, because of his job history, they have never been able to contact the right employer. When we go into court, explaining his lay off, they tell us to contact the office when he has employment to arrange payments. But when I tried this they refused to do a repayment plan and demanded me to inform them where he is working. Which at that point I did not. We recently received a settlement letter, for a proposed settlement. Obviously, we are unable to afford such a large amount and we assume that we will receive a garnishment letter soon with a court date. We were informed by our attorney to continue to appear at the court dates to show our continued effort. This is the dilemma, he most likely will be working through the winter for the first time in 8 years. We have been trying to stay current with all of our bills, but at the states garnishment of 25% we will not be able to afford our bills and pay for fuel for him to go to work. Will the courts consider this and only garnish a smaller percentage, or do they not consider the cost of living included and just take the 25%? Is there anything I can do to get them to give us a payment plan? And why will they not let us do a payment plan? I want to contact them, but I am afraid that they will not consider anything and still come after us for the garnishment. From what I understand the SOL is 20yrs on a judgement in Indiana.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with your lawyer to learn specifics on wage garnishment for you in your state. Also, your statement that the creditor did not apply the sale price to the vehicle gives me pause. Again, this is an issue to discuss with your lawyer.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      AL
      Our lawyer informed us that once the vehicle was charged off and we did not catch the auction amount right away, we may not be able to insist on research because of the age of the debt. So because of the court fees added, we are now paying the full purchase price of the vehicle, plus court fees. The vehicle was bought for $23,000 in 2006. Sold at auction, and that amount was not applied and some how disappeared. The vehicle was definitely sold for some amount, that once it was taken we were not told where it was sold or for how much. Should I contact them directly before they try garnishment again, or wait till after we go to court, since the only person that seems to want to do a payment plan is the lawyer waiting for us and not the office.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Bill
    I have a home security system and have a monitoring service that I've subscribed to since I bought my house in 2002. The monitoring company has been terribly inconsistent with it's billing. Some years they never billed me at all. They bill for a full year at the start of each contract cycle. I just got a letter and a call from the owner of the monitoring service, claiming I owe over $1800.00 in unpaid fees. Not only am I shocked at this claim, but given how disorganized his billing is, I am sure it is incorrect. However, the bills go as far back as 2002 and I don't have bank statements that far back, nor do I have the time or energy to research them. I know that if and when he sent me a bill, I paid it. I have no way to prove when he did not bill me. My last payment to him was in September 2010 for the August 2010-July 2011 cycle. We have no written contract, and his invoices never stated any past due balance. The statute of limitations in Massachusetts appears to be 6 years. My question is this: am I protected by the statute for charges that go more than 6 years back? Or did my payment in Sept 2010 on this ongoing account reset the timer entirely? This letter from him this month was the first and only notice I have ever received that I had a balance. Thanks!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      You should speak to an attorney. You will need to provide all the records you can to cover the recent periods of service and the payments you made. If you contest this, I don't believe that the service provider would have a good case to go back to 2002.

      Select a new security provider. Try not to let gray areas exist. I realize you were not acting in bad faith, but your lack of record keeping (and insistence on working with contractors who bill properly, regularly, and accurately) creates an opportunity for you to be taken advantage of.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Christian
    Hello, I have a credit card debt that is about to expire SOL according to the state of Idaho. Debt was originally with capital one, which was charged off in 2009. First delinquency from capital one was 7/2006. Checked my credit report today and without realizing the SOL, I contacted the collection agency and tried to make arrangements to settle the debt. In the end I offered x amount of dollars to settle and they came back with an x amount of dollars to settle. I told them I would see what I can do... This was over the phone. Did I just restart my SOL due to the phone contact I made or would this have had to be in written form? Thanks.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Laws vary from state to state and I don't know the law in Idaho. Were I in your position, I would not send any paperwork or pay a penny before I found out if a verbal acknowledgment of the debt was enough to restart the SOL. Consult with an Idaho attorney. Please report back and share your knowledge.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Christian
      Thank you for your response. Can you tell me, what type of an Attorney I should contact? Thank you.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      A bankruptcy attorney should be familiar with the SOL laws of Idaho. If not, he or she should be able to provide a referral to another attorney.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Jeff
    I am looking for advice on a situation. I had a medical bill paid by my health insurance company in 2008. It is now 2011 and I am now receiving a bill from the company that supplied the medical supplies stating that the Health Insurance Company paid the amount in "error" and now I owe the full amount for the supplies. I live in Georgia and would like to know if I have any rights in this situation. Thanks for the comments.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Have you spoken with your insurance company? That is a good first step. If the insurance company says that you are responsible, then I suggest you contact the Georgia State Consumer Protection office.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Amy
    A year ago I realized I had not received a quarterly bill from my trash company in a while. When I contacted them, they sent me a hand written statement for 5 quarters that they had not billed me for. I am a single mother, and a $250 trash bill was outside my budget. I sent them $100, then another $100 in a few months. Their billings did not improve, and although I received the bill, it only listed the past due amount, and the new amounts were hand written on them. I still owe them $165, and have cancelled my service. I have told them I can not pay this, and they are now threatening to send me to collections. Are their any laws regarding timely billing in the state of Michigan?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Two suggestions:
      1. Contact the Michigan Attorney General's Office, Consumer Complaints division.
      2. Contact your local or state elected representatives.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Lauren
      This happened to me! I hadn't paid my garbage in almost 2 years! They came and took our cans away when they finally realized it. I called and lied that we just moved in and needed to set up service. No problem!
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      I do not recommend lying to a municipal service provider. Thank you for sharing your experience.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    JK
    I received a collection letter from an agency representing a hospital for a bill from a date of service 5 yrs prior. I had never received a prior bill, have no way to verify the validity of this debt since I've changed insurance companies many times over the years and never, ever, received a bill from the hospital. I sent a letter to them denying the validity and the ownership of that debt (and that statute of limitations was up at 3 years for this type debt) and notified them of cease and desist contact. I sent this registered mail to the agency and to the hospital, both were signed for. I never heard another word from them. Until now. It's a year later (to the month) this time from the hospital stating they want this money or they will do a set-off debt collection and take my income tax money for this now 6 year old debt. (I live in SC) Can they legally do this? Last years letter questioned the validity and the hospital never acted on it. (I think they cannot show proof, that it was a goof on their part) Other than send another letter (which I have to do in the next week or so) what are my options? Thanks in advance.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      I can't give you legal advice, only an attorney can do so. I will share my opinion with you, however, for you to use as a starting point.

      Your tax return should be off limits, even if the debt were valid and judgment were obtained against you. If the SOL is long passed, you should stand firm in your refusal to pay. I also believe that if you properly requested debt validation, that this debt should no longer appear on your credit report.

      I advise that you consult with an attorney that specializes in violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). Such attorneys do not charge an up-front fee, usually, collecting from the party that wrongs you and only taking your case if they feel that your case is a winner.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    chuck
    i recently filed chap 7 and received discharge for my mortgage. I've moved from the house over a year and a half ago but am still receiving collection mail from attorney's for the water/sewage installers. this is/was an annual bill to be paid for underground pipes in the house and was apart of the closing paperwork (when i purchased the house) but completely independent of the mortgage. the annual charge for 2009 was discharged but charges are still be assessed until the bank forecloses. how would SOL apply since i haven't paid this annual bill since 2008, 2009 was discharged, but the fees for 2010 and 2011 are still being assessed although I've been out of the house and the bank has taken possession of the property (changing the locks) but its technically still in my name while i wait for the long foreclosure and transfer process? thank you!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      I do believe this debt would be subject to your state's SOL laws, most likely as a written contract. However, I can't give legal advice and suggest you speak with an attorney, starting with the attorney you used in your bankruptcy.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Teresa
    What type of debt would an old over-drafted checking/debit account be considered for the purposes of SOL? I am receiving letters and phone calls from a company called ER Solution regarding a Chase (Bank One - bought by Chase Bank) account closed in 2003. I am trying to obtain the documents from the bank for my own records and have not spoken with the collections agency as of yet, since I am trying to research the issue before speaking or making correspondence with them, but in speaking with Chase they have stated that the account was overdrawn $474.54, closed in 2003, and charged off in 2006. I live in Illinois and the SOL for open debt is 5 years, but the SOL for a written contract is 10 years. I do not know which of these to consider this account, and do not want to make the argument that the SOL has passed if it hasn't. My research of this company (ER Solutions) shows that they are in the practice of purchasing junk debt, and I want to be positive that this is the case before I proceed with a DV letter and a cease and desist letter. Thanks for your blog.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      You ask a great question. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. It really depends on the agreement you signed when you opened your account and how the courts in IL interpret the law. I suggest you consult with an attorney. Please report back, if you get a definitive answer on written vs. open account.

      Remember that you have 30 days from the notice you received to send your debt validation letter.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Jennifer
    I am looking for some info about profit loss and write off? I am currently helping my boyfriend clean up his credit and we live in the state of maine. Once something says profit loss and write off what should we do? Can they take him to court further down the road if he doesn't pay. i cant tell exactly when his last payment was without someone who knows the reports better but i have been told by my coworkers at a Credit Union that we should not bother to pay at this point... is this true?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      A profit and loss write off is like a charge off. It does not mean that the debt need not be paid. Collection efforts can still ensue. Have you examined a credit report, to see if you can determine the date of first delinquency? If you can figure that out, you can determine the statute of limitations on the debt. Whether you should pay or not at this point in part depends on the goal. Is it to save money or to build his credit score?
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Jen
    My husband received a letter from a debt collector regarding a 6 year old electric bill from a different state. We've never been contacted before about this, nor we were aware of the charge. Is there really no statute of limitations on time that they can collect? And why go immediately to a debt collector, why not just send out a regular bill?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      There is a SOL on the electric bill. How long the SOL runs depends on the state in question. In your case, it could be trickier, as it involves the state where the utility is located and the state where you now reside. How long you have lived in the new state could be an issue, too. SOL questions are complicated; to get a definitive answer on what state's SOL applies, you should consult a lawyer. That being said, if the SOL has passed for both states, you can safely assume that you don't have to pay the debt.

      Let's assume that the SOL has passed. A collector can still try to collect on the debt (except in WI, where that is not allowed). You can refuse to pay. If the creditor sued you, you could raise the SOL as an affirmative defense in court and the judge would agree that you don't have to pay.

      As to why the bill is now with a debt collector, there could be a few reasons. The likeliest, in my opinion, is that the utility company tried collecting on the debt itself for a period of time and then sold the debt to a collection agency. After all, this debt is from six years ago.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Yolanda
    I was told by a phone company that they have a record of a bill that I owe from 2000 and they will not allow me to get their service unless I pay that debt. They told me they would send me a copy of the bill but I have yet to receive it. Hasn't the SOL passed? Oh, I live in MI.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Even if the SOL has passed and you can not pay the bill without fear of debt collection leading to a garnishment or levy, the creditor can choose not to work with you again until you pay the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Jane
    I just received a "Settlement Offer" from CBCS regarding a medical bill. Back in 2002 I had no medical insurance and paid privately for an emergency and thought I paid it by personal check in 2002. I received nothing, no invoices, receipts or any correspondence or calls after that date until an invoice this morning. I moved house recently and purged all my files more than the 7 years I am required to keep for taxes, my CPA has passed on, my bank has changed hands and I have no records anymore. When I called the office this morning the representative was very nice but she said she was the second collection agency on this. My credit is excellent. However I am panicking as its 9 years ago. If you find time to respond or give me advice I would be very grateful. Thank You Jane E. Houston, Texas
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Jane, a quick search I did online about CBCS indicates that they have a reputation for trying to collect on debts that have passed the statute of limitations

      I would not pay on this debt without getting proof it is a valid debt and making sure that your responsibility to pay the debt is not over, due to SOL.

      Don't panic. Validate the debt, don't make any admissions of responsibility or any commitment to pay. Report back here, please, if the contact continues.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Elizabeth
    My great aunt died in July 2008. Her estate was probated and settled in the county of death 10 days later. I received a medical bill from Jan. 2004 for $5.00 which was just sent on July 2011. Do I have to pay the medical bill?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Unless you were responsible for her care and subject to the doctrine of necessaries, she was liable for her own medical bills. Send the entity that sent the bill a letter that your Aunt is dead and that they should close her file. Include a copy of her death certificate, if you have one available.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Robert
      I had a full physical in dec/2003 the results came back and cholesterol was way off, I call drs and they ask did I eat 12 hrs before test? I say yes they say oops we should of told you just stop by and will get another blood sample,my insurance wouldn't pay for it and 8 yrs later they are still trying to get that ;$123 penny-wise and dollar-short, if you ask me! Any advice? Thanks Robert in Minnesota
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      If you have not paid on this debt for 8 years, it should have passed the statute of limitations for debt in Minnesota. If you want medical treatment from the same provider, I think they are able to tell you to pay up or they won't see you as a patient. If you don't need to work with them, inform anyone who tries to collect that you the SOL has passed and you choose not to pay the debt. Send a cease and desist letter, to stop further communication.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    mark
    I authorized a payment to a creditor back in November 2010, and they just withdrew the money from my bank account today August 17th 2011 (over 10 months later). I am not able to varify the transaction as it's out of normal banking hours. I know personal checks are good for 6 months, is there a statute of limitations on payments made out to debtors that takes too long to actually collect the approved payment?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience to learn the time limit on allowing ACH transactions.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    nikki
    I stopped paying all of my credit cards in 2007 because I lost my job. I have not paid anything on them since, I live in AZ and am wondering if I should file bankruptcy as I cannot afford to pay them. Would the limitation apply to my situation?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Statute of limitations questions can be tricky. To get an authoritative answer, you would need to have your credit card agreements analyzed by an attorney, to make certain that Arizona's laws apply. They likely do, but it is possible that your agreement contains a 'choice of laws' clause that could make another jurisdicitons SOL apply.

      I advise you to seek a bankruptcy consultation. If you qualify for Chapter 7, which discharges your debts, you do not need to file right away. If Arizona's SOL applies, the creditor has six years to obtain a judgment before the SOL is reached. As that means that you are likely less than two years away, you may want to wait things out and only file for bankruptcy if the debt collectors become so aggressive that you are being sued and at risk for a wage or bank levy.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Seung
    I have unpaid credit card debt about less than $8,000. I left US and back to my country on 2002. Now I am living in my country for 9 years after than. Recently, a collector (same original-nationality with me, business in California) found me and sent a person to collect it. It is very uncommon case, so I cannot find any solution about it. My lawyer also think so. The followings are my question. (1)They insist that they received my passport information from the INS(USCIS) and knew that I am living in my country now, and found me. But they said that they have no official proof for this procedure. (Maybe they use illegal method to get my passport information. It is possible in my country.) Is it possible in US? The INS can open foreigner's personal passport information to a creditor for only credit card debt problem? (2) In my case, how is the statute of limitation applied? Currently, my credit report is excellent. All bad information are already removed. Over 7 Years have passed... (3) They showed me full documentation they have, but they don't have any contract related things. They have only a text document which printed my account in it. Just 2 lines.... Even if they are legal creditor or not, Can I contact to original creditor now? If possible, I can pay to original creditor. Your answer would be very valuable at this point.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      I don't know what information the US Citizenship and Immigration Services can share. Certainly, just because a debt collector says something does not mean it is true. Perhaps how the collector located you is of less concern than the fact that it is now knocking at your door.

      Statute of limitations questions are tricky. I can't give you legal advice; to get legal advice you have to speak with a lawyer. I will share a few thoughts with you, however.

      Statue of limitations can stop running when a person leaves the country, as the creditor is not given a fair chance to collect on the debt in that circumstance. This is called tolling. It could very well be the case that the clock on the SOL stopped running as soon as you left the US.

      If the collector purchased the debt from the original creditor, I see no benefit in contacting the original creditor.

      My opinion is that you should either try to negotiate a lump sum settlement or speak with an attorney.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      chris
      Hi Seung k. I also used to live in America and just like in your case I got a call from some collector saying I have to pay my card money. They are very rude and bothering me so much. Did you actually have to pay? I just don't have $4,000 to pay right now. I also wonder if it's same collector like your case. Mine was a company called Global Recovery out of California as well. Maybe we can fight together?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Seung
      Hello, Chris. It is very nice to meet a friend having similar problem. Becuse of this problem, I have got lots of information of this situation. ^^ If you are not in the US now, you don't need to worry about it. There are many information I can provide to you, but here is very limited space. Can you send me e-mail? Um....but I can not open my e-mail adress in this open space. Let's think about the way we can communicate by e-mail. Anyway, I did not pay to them. They have no right out of US. If possible, you should use a lawyer. I hope we can communicate more detail. I will try to find the way. Thanks. Seung K.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    vivian
    I am receiving calls from a debt collector saying that I owe $250.00, but I do not remember the bill which they say is from 2001.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Check to see if the statute of limitations would have run out for a debt in your state that is this old.

      I would not pay on this debt, without proof that you owe it. If you receive written communications, then follow the process for validating the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    raymond
    I have $8,000 in unpaid bills from year 2002 bills when my wife delivered a baby in a hospital in new york. i want to know where are the bills now and how can i pay them. i changed my address many times so i didn't received any bill until today.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      First, validate the debt. You may have no liability for the debt if the creditor or collection agent cannot validate the debt.

      Second, if and only if the collection agent validates the debt, then consider your debt resolution options. Go to the Bills.com Debt Coach for a no-cost, no-gimmick, online analysis of your options.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    Raina
    I apologize if this is redundant. I have read through most of these comments, and I think I have my answer, but wanted to post to be sure. I was seeing a doctor in 2001 for maternity/prenatal care. After I delivered I went back to my regular doctor, and did not see this one any longer. Fast forward 10 years, I went to make an appointment with the same doctor for treatment for this pregnancy, and they said I had an old balance of $480 from my delivery in 2001. I asked them why they never called me or sent me to collections? They said that the doctor does not send accounts to collections. I explained if they had, I would have paid it promptly, but they never even attempted to collect it. Am I responsible for this? My question is: In California, what is the SOL for a medical office to attempt collection on a debt 10 years old, that they admittedly did not try to collect?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      The statute of limitations for medical debt in California is four years, generally speaking. That means if the doctor should pursue collections at this point, taking it to the point of suing you, then you could raise the SOL as a defense.

      The doctor may refuse to treat you, if you don't pay the old bill. Perhaps you can offer to clear out the bill for half of what the doctor is asking for, as a compromise solution.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    Suzy
    I live in MD and have been served a summons for an old Citibank credit card. It was sold to one JDB and now again to another JDB(an attorney)in 2007. The complaint has a statement from the first JDB that I defaulted in 3/2005. The current JDB filed suit initially in 2007 and has renewed the same file until I recently got served. The card agreement also included states it is governed by South Dakota law and it reserves the right to assign obligation to a third party. Which state law apply SD or MD? Does the statute of limitation or lack of privity defense apply?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      As I try to express in my original answer above, statute of limitations questions are difficult for a correspondent like me to answer accurately because I never have all of the facts at hand. Also, a seemingly small change in facts can have a large impact on the analysis and a 180-degree difference in conclusion.

      Privity is another tough issue because once again, that is very fact-dependent question and set of analysis. Consult with a lawyer who has civil litigation experience for answers to your question.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    james
    I have been getting calls from the water department pass 2 days threatening to shut off my water if i dont pay that water bill thats not even in my name nor a joint account ,dated back in 2004, what can i do about this?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      The water company wants you to pay a bill you have no responsibility for? By all means, consult with a lawyer, call your local consumer reporters, call the mayor, and raise a ruckus.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Cathy
      I just received a bill from the City of Westminster for Water Consumption dating back to 7/2009. I have been paying the bill that they were sending but that was for the base fee, they state that the ride by meter was not working the batteries were dead and they failed to notify us that there was a problem until June 26, 2011, then when they fixed that they then sent me a $800.00 bill, can they bill for consumption back 2 years?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer in your state to learn what statutes of limitations apply, if any, to municipal utilities in your state.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    Erica
    I have a garnishment on my bank account from a law office group that says they are a debt collecting agency. The debt was for some type of credit card (I don't know even know the name) and it was charged off in 2000. Can they garnish my bank account and collect on this account? I've never received information either about this judgement.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      You should have received notice of the lawsuit filed against you. If you did not, then the plaintiff did not follow your state's civil procedure laws. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law or civil litigation experience. He or she will advise you if it is possible to file a motion to vacate the judgment due to an ineffective service of process, or another civil procedure rule violation.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    shirley
    I live in Ohio and have just received a bill for the first time from an ambulance service that was used over 3 years ago. How long do they have to bill you?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      I am not aware of any state that requires medical service providers to submit an invoice to a customer within a certain period of time. (Readers, I welcome your corrections and clarifications below.) Unfortunately, Ohio's consumer protection statutes are stacked against consumers and lean heavily in favor of creditors. Consult with an Ohio lawyer who has consumer law experience to learn if Ohio case law offers any relief on this matter.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    Nancy
    I recently checked my credit report after being denied for a credit card (this has not happened in a decade!) and I have pretty good credit. They said it was duw to a delinquent account on my report-I saw that a company posted a deliquent account for an old Columbia House membership I had 10 years ago. I have no idea if I paid it or not and did not receive any type of warning or validation letter. It is from a company that purchases old debt and tries to collect I guess. I emailed the company and have not received a response and contested it wit Experian online and they saidit will remain. What if anything can I do to get this OFF of my report asap? I am in Texas. I want my good credit score back!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      See the Bills.com article Credit Repair to learn what steps you can take to remove erroneous information on your credit report.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    Heather
    I live in Ca. and want to know if a creditor can report lates after charging off an account. Wells Fargo charged off my husbands account in Feb. 2009. He made a payment arrangement in March 2009 for a monthly payment to be deducted from his checking every month until paid. Wells Fargo removed it from charge off status and has been reporting him late 90, 60 30 days for the past 2 years until just recently because they say its no longer in "delinquent status"! How can they go back to the original terms after charging off and then changing the terms and lowering the interest rate, closing the account and still report lates? Can they do that and how can he fight this? Thank you
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      What did Wells Fargo promise to report to the the consumer credit reporting agencies in the settlement agreement your spouse signed? If Wells Fargo failed to honor its written promise, then you have a cause of action for breach of contract. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law or civil litigation experience to learn more.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    Dan
    The MidAmerican Power Co. has an electric bill that is 11+ years old which they are charging Interest. Not court order or judgment and in the past refused to make payment arrangements. I was told that unless there is a judgment this bill can be considered not a collectible bill and not to pay because its over 10 years old and beyond the Statute of Limitations.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      In all jurisdictions except Wisconsin, a debt can continue to be collected privately after the statute of limitations has passed. In other words, the statute of limitations is not a hard stop for debt collections (except for Wisconsin). This means that if State X has a 10-year statute of limitations, and the creditor sues consumer in year 12, the consumer has the right to raise a statute of limitations defense at trial. If the consumer does so, the court with dismiss the case. However, creditor can call the consumer to ask for payment privately.

      You mentioned a utility company. Each state regulates utilities operating in their borders. Consult with your state public utilities commission to learn what, if any, rules your PUC has for billing consumers and if there is a time limit for collections.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2011
    Troy
    I have credit card companies that kept accounts in collections for 3-5 years before doing a charge off. Now third party collections are calling. Isn't the statute of limitations (4 years in CAL) past? I know the charge off will be on the report for 7 years, but these guys are calling the HR dept of my employer and asking them to have me call them (Yet another issue).
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      In all jurisdictions that I am aware of, with the exception of Wisconsin, a collection agent or original creditor may continue to collect a valid debt privately after the relevant statute of limitations expires. A collection agent can even file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, and it is up to the defendant to raise the affirmative defense of statute of limitations expiration.

      The derogatory account can appear on your credit report for 7½ years after the date of first delinquency. The charge-off date and state statute of limitations are irrelevant to the FCRA, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 7½-year rule.

      See the Bills.com resource California Collection Laws to learn more about your rights and liabilities as a California resident.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2011
    William
    If you had a debt in one state then move to a different state many years later which states statute of limitations would you adhere to. For example the original debt/credit card contract would have been PA, I now live in Ohio. Which state does the debt fall under, the debt is well over 15 years old.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      Statute of limitations questions regarding credit cards are difficult to answer without reading the original cardholder contract and subsequent amendments. Some cardholder agreements contain a choice of laws clause that, in effect, set the statute of limitations to a certain state's laws regardless of where the card issuer is headquartered or where the cardholder resides. With that caveat in mind, if you are sued for breach of contract in your state of residence, your local court will take pains to find reasons to use your local state laws.

      You mentioned you reside in Ohio. See the Bills.com resource Ohio Collection Laws to learn more about Ohio's confusing and conflicting statute of limitations rules for credit cards. If, as you mentioned, the date of last payment was 15 years or more ago, then there is no state statute of limitations law that is greater than 15 years. (Some states, however, allow tolling if the defendant is not residing in that state, so this is tricky.) Therefore, if the collection agent files a lawsuit against you, consult with an Ohio attorney and file a statute of limitations affirmative defense motion.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      shaun
      i have a private student loan with sallie mae. is there a SOL with private student loans? i live in alabama... Integrity Financial partners are hounding me and im thinking my SOL is close cause the loan went into repayment in 2006
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      Private student loans are subject to a statute of limitations. Statute of limitations questions regarding contracts are difficult to answer without reading the contract. Some contain a choice of laws clause that, in effect, set the statute of limitations to a certain state's laws regardless of where the lender is headquartered or where the borrower resides. If you are sued for breach of contract in your state of residence, your local court will take pains to find reasons to use your local state laws.

      Review your student loan contract to learn if there is a choice of laws clause. If so, which state laws did you agree to use? See the Bills.com resource Statute of Limitations Laws by State to see the statues of limitations for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2011
    Michele
    I just received a phone call from a collection agency about a bad check that was wrote in Aug 2006 in Kentucky to a Check N Go. They threatened to take me to court because I am out of work and unable to pay this check that was for $236. What is the statue of limitations for this and should I be worried about having to go to court?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      I am unable to find which Kentucky statute of limitations applies. Consult with a Kentucky attorney about the civil statute of limitations for writing a bad check, which is called a "cold check" locally.

      Writing a bad check is a crime in Kentucky. If the check is for less than $300, the crime is a misdemeanor and has a one-year statute of limitations. If the check is worth $300 or more, the crime may be prosecuted as a felony, which has no statute of limitations.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    andrea
    Back in 2005, I had two medical bills at an urgent care clinic totaling $1,000. Due to some paperwork errors, my insurance company did not pay the claims until Summer 2007. In the summer of 2008, I received verbal confirmation from my health insurance company and the billing department of my health care provider that I was paid in full, and no additional payment was needed. I realize now I should have gotten this in writing (from both sides), because last week (February 2011) I randomly got a call from a debt collector stating I owe $1,000 from those services back in 2005. The provider says their billing records are "archived" and "what stands on file with the debt collector is accurate." My insurance company says the claim is so old, it might not be possible for them to pull up confirmation that the claims were paid in full. Since this debt is from 2005, is it past the statute of limitations for VA? I am worried this is going to negatively affect my credit score (which is around 780) for money that I should not owe to the healthcare provider.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      Validate the debt immediately. It appears the collection agent admitted to you it is impossible for it to prove the debt exists.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    Penny
    I have just moved back to Louisiana. In attempting to establish electric service, I was told they would not turn on service unless I accepted responsibility for a $358 unpaid bill from 1999. I have no idea what this bill is for, the address they have attached to the bill never had a bill higher than $100, and this is the first I've heard of this bill. Agent said she could not give me any info other than amount, that someone else would have to call and explain bill to me AFTER I accepted responsibility. Needing electricity turned on ASAP, I was forced to accept even though I don't know what this is for, and it's 12 years old. Are Louisiana utilities allowed to do this?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2011
    PeeP
    I live in CA. A debt collector is trying to take me to court. I have not been served yet, but did receive a call regarding being summoned. My question is concerning with statute of limitation. I don't have records of last payment made on the account. How do I get that? I know it's been more than four years. I looked at my credit report and it stated that the last payment made was in feb. 06 and the account was charged off two years ago. Can I use that information before appearing in court so I don't have to go to court?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Before discussing these events, allow me to caution you that statute of limitations questions are difficult to answer with a quick one-liner because these types of questions depend on the facts of the case. For example, many contracts have choice-of-law clauses that set which state laws will be used when litigating a dispute that arises from the contract. If a choice of laws clause exists, it could mean that the statute of limitations and other laws of the state where your original creditor is located will come into play.

      Viewing your credit report was the proper step for you to take to determine when your last payment was made on the debt.

      If you determine that your state's SOL for the collection of debts has expired, the likelihood of the creditor attempting to sue you to enforce the debt is much smaller. If a creditor files a suit it indicates that either the creditor believes the SOL has not expired, or the creditor believes you -- the defendant -- will not raise the statute of limitations defense.

      The passing of the SOL does not mean that a creditor cannot sue you. If a lawsuit is filed, you can raise the SOL defense in a timely manner. You must raise this defense -- a court will not do it for you. If you are sued and you respond to the suit stating the SOL has expired, and the judge agrees, the judge should dismiss the case.

      In most states, the SOL begins running from the date of the breech. In other words, the SOL starts running 30 days after the last payment. This means that if you paid just a few dollars to a collector a couple of years ago, the running SOL for that debt could have been reset. Remember that making a payment of $1 will restart the clock on the SOL. Even a commitment that you make to repay the debt can restart the SOL clock!

      Consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your area to discuss the specifics of your situation and to help you determine if the statute of limitations for your creditor to sue you has expired. If it has, let the debt collector know that you are not going to pay the debt because the SOL has passed. It could very easily be the case that the debt is no longer collectible, but the debt collector is hoping that you are unaware of the SOL defense or that he or she is hoping to intimidate you into paying.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Stacy
      I received a judgment for my wages to be garnished for something dated back in 01 that i had already been paying.They say they can renew it after 10yrs. Is this true? The Judgment was 11/01 Not a full 10yrs. Also i never received a court order to appear in court about this also. How can i get this stopped?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Rules on renewing judgments vary from state to state. I am going to make some general observations, but I recommend that you speak with an attorney in your area to determine the laws in your state.

      In most jurisdictions, a creditor can renew a judgment, as well as any judgment-liens against you. The judgment can be renewed for successive periods. Keep in mind, once a judgment has been renewed, it cannot be renewed again until five years later.

      The only exceptions to this that I am aware of are judgments for child support or spousal support. These judgments remain enforceable until paid in full; they don't need to be renewed.

      If your creditor fails to renew the judgment against you, even by one day, then the judgment expires and the creditor is out of luck. If the judgment is successfully renewed, the interest that has accrued will be added to the principal amount owing.

      I don't know what you can do to stop this. I understand that it is preferable if the judgment did not exist, but are you more concerned about the creditor's ability to collect on the debt moving forward than you have been for the past 10 years? If you have avoided collection thus far, maybe you can continue to do so. As I said above, I suggest that you meet with an attorney.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2011
    Cordan
    I still have unpaid home phone bills from when I studied in Texas about 10 years ago. Ethically, I would like to pay it. What if I return to the United States?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      If your desire to pay your old phone bill is based on an ethical concern you have for taking care of all of your financial obligations properly, I am not clear how your returning to the United States or not has any bearing on the issue. If you want to check and see if the debt is in collections, you can get a free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. You can also try calling the phone company to see if your account is still in their records. If there is no record of the account and you feel ethically bound to repay your debt, you can try giving it to the phone company.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2010
    cindi
    I received a hospital bill that was from 2 years ago. I realize from reading your posts that they have not exceeded the SOL. My records indicate that I paid the debt (the deductible after submission to health insurance) with the company credit card 2 years prior. At that time the company paid 100% of all medical expenses. Hospital claims they never received payment. Company is out of business now. Any suggestions on how to fight this?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2010
      Yes. Validate the debt. If the debtor cannot validate the debt it cannot collect it or report it to the credit reporting agencies. There is a good chance neither the hospital nor its collection agent can prove you owe the debt.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2010
    Michael
    While trying to refinance on our home, we discovered a medical collection on my credit report for apx. $5,000. This was in Sept. 2010 that it showed up on my credit report. It was for medical services received back in 1999. However, it was not me who received these medical services. Someone used my social security number & address. I have called this doctor's office numberous times to get copies of my medical records & paperwork so I can somehow prove that someone used my social security #, but they don't have them. What should I do? This was 11 years ago & no one has ever tried to contact me about this debt & since they waited so long to report it on my credit report, I am worried that I am not going to be able to prove it wasn't me.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2010
      Bill
      You do not need to prove anything. 1) The derogatory account must be removed from your credit report 7½ years after the date of first delinquency. That has long passed. Dispute the debt with the credit reporting agencies. 2) You did not mention your state of residence, but there are no states with a statute of limitations longer than 10 years for consumer debt. Therefore, if a collection agent ever sues you for the debt, if you raise a statute of limitations defense in a timely manner the case will be dismissed.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Jim
    Nice advice, Bill! You basically encourage the debtor to ignore his financial obligations and not to honor the agreement he made to repay his creditors. I wouldn't lend money to either of you.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Marcus
    I have recently received an electric bill for a cycle in excess of 200 days. We (my wife and I)were not receiving bills, but continued to send payments. The electric company kept sending the payments back. My wife called to speak with someone who stated that there was "nothing" due. Now they have sent a bill for more than $1000 extending back to November. Can they legally demand for the months we had "no bill" and/or are they out side of some limitations? Side note: I keep thinking our billing cycle says 30 days. Does that change anything? Thanks in advance.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Bill
    You do not mention your state of residence, which is significant to answering this type of question. First, consult with an attorney in your state to determine if your sending ongoing payments to the utility, and then the utility returning your payments to you gives you an claim in equity to not pay the $1000 utility bill. I am thinking of the doctrine of laches, but I must say it is quite a stretch to make it fit into your facts. Still, it is worth investigating. Second, your state has an oversight board that is supposed to be a watchdog over utilities operating in your state. Contact your state utilities board to learn what relief you have, if any, if a utility in your state neglects to bill customers for months on end, only to surprise them with not a 30-day bill, but a 200-day bill.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Bill
    Perhaps this goes without my saying so, but if you did not make the charges on the account(s) in question, then it would be a mistake for you to pay for the crimes of another person. Take the steps outlined in the Bills.com resource Identity Theft Recovery. The facts you will find in the resource I just mentioned are slightly different from yours, but the analysis is the same.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Chukwamba
    I was an international student in Texas from 2000-2003. After my studies, i left for home. I am sure i cancelled all my credit cards before i left(but i am not very sure). I came back to US in 2010 for a few approximately a yr to work on a project. Since, i already had a SSN, i decided to rent an apt instead of the expensive corporate housing option. I was asked to pay an additional deposit, since my credit score was bad. I was shocked, since i had a very good score. Upon tracing it, i finally found out that a bill of 4591$ was pending on my name for a usage in 2004 for approximately 2500$. I was shocked. The collection agency was very rude. They do have any proof of expenditure or track of the records. I do not know what to do. I know i am not responsible for the usage since i was not here-my passport is a proof enough for that. I am currently staying in California and will be doing so for a maximum of one year. What are my options? How should i proceed from here?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Bill
    1) If you are still a Texas resident, read Texas Collection Laws to understand the collections laws in Texas. 2) Validate the debt now. Do not wait. Do it today, immediately, pronto. If the debt cannot be validated then regardless of the statute of limitations, it cannot be collected. 3) The statute of limitations starts at the moment you made the last payment, and is not related in any manner with the date a collection agent buys or sells a collection account. 4) The amount of the debt is negotiable. Collection agents buy debt for pennies on the dollar, so I wouldn't settle this debt for more than $200-300, assuming the debt can be validated.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    chris
    in 2001 i got a sprint phone. i used to live in san antonio, tx. i got billed 2000 for roaming. in san antonio!! wow my brother was in the same plan and in the same city and same school. and did not get billed for roaming. besides most of the numbers that were called while roaming were not any of my contacts. i just got called from a new collection agency. i got laid off two months ago with an accounting degree and having trouble to find a job. i owe over 50000 in school loans which i am paying from unemployment benefits because fedeal loans have to be paid. this billed from sprint started being over 2000, right now the guy from the collection agency said that it is now for over $4000. that it has a 3% interest. interest on a phone bill. it no longer shows on my credit report. but i remember $2500 used to show in the report. if it used to show $2500 am i liable for $4000. is the statue of limitations start when a new collection agency acquire the debt? i live in texas. i have nothiing about this account. since it already passed over 8 years to show that the numbers called were not mine. i told sprint that maybe someone used my account. i used to have friends that worked for sprint and they would activate phones under other people and they would use there air time and stuff. till now. my mother has sprint, and we still hace that problem every single month we have to be calling them because we get billed for text when our phones are restricted for text and they even check their system and indeed it shows that our text service is blocked. but we still get billed for 3 or 4 text. it is now much but every single month it adds up. i jsut wonder all the people that do not check their bills.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Bill
    The answer to you question is found in your bankruptcy discharge document. Was your DTE balance included in the discharge? If so, send a copy of the discharge document to DTE and explain DTE is in violation of federal law. If not, you still owe the balance due.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Jessica
    I filed bankruptcy in April of 2007 and moved out of my house in May of 2007, I called DTE and cancelled my electricity. I just recently moved into an apartment, when I called to set up the electric I was told I had a past due balance, after 30 minutes of speaking to the rep she said she saw that the account was written off in bankruptcy and opened a new account for me. I just received my first bill and it is still showing a past due balance. I called DTE again and they are telling me that it is my responsibility to pay the balance. I have not received a bill since before I filed bankruptcy nor is the charge showing up on my credit report 2 years later. Am I still responsible for this or is this their error?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    Bill
    The utility will not verify / validate a $2,000 debt because you were not originally billed for the debt when it was due? That makes no sense from a business, legal, or any other perspective. On the bright side, it appears the utility's customer service representative admitted the company cannot validate the debt. You have nothing to lose by sending the creditor a debt validation letter. If the utility sells your collection account to a collection agent, be certain you validate the debt immediately.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    Ashleigh
    Dear Bill, Thank you for all of your responses! I believe I may know the answer to my question from the answers you have given to others, but I wanted to chance asking you about my predicament anyway. So here is my situation: I just received a bill totaling almost $2000 from the gas company in PA for service from 2007-2008. I am no longer a PA resident and my service ended in 2008 when I moved out of state. Since this bill is being sent directly from the gas company and is not yet in collections, I wasn't sure if there was much I could do to refute this bill. Unfortunately I do not have my back documents handy, my financial records from 2-3 years ago are in storage, which is in yet another state. My question is what should I do related to this new bill that has suddenly appeared three years late. Can I accuse the company of impropriety due to extreme lateness? Can I try to validate the debt? I have already talked with the company telling them I needed additional documentation saying what I owed, and when I owed it, since the bill I received just had monetary amounts. I have been told I cannot receive additional information because I was not originally billed during these years. If this is not yet in collections am I not able to ask for the verification of the debt? I would not like to consult with a consumer law attorney because I am young and in school, so I am trying to handle this matter on my own. Any help you can possibly provide is greatly appreciated!!!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    Bill
    I confess I do not know what an "expired statute of limitations letter" is, what it would contain, who you would send it to, and why they would care. See the Bills.com resources Collections Agencies, Collections Laws and Your State's Statute of Limitations, and State Statutes of Limitations for details on the purpose and function of statutes of limitations.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    Carlos
    Hi, I had a few questions. I live in California. I have over 5 years since my last payments to these debts: Capitol one $1,800.00 American General $3,800.00 Best Buy $800.00 Target Visa $2,200.00 Now these are just rough estimates from the last payments that I have made. My question is this. Do I have to know the exact amount that I owe to write an expired statue of limitations letter? Should I call to find out my exact balance? I am afraid that by me calling that they may "RENEW" my contract. Also, how do I find the correct address since these debts have been sold to different debt collectors? I called American General just trying to get an address, but they kept telling me that I was very late on payments and that I needed to keep up with these payments.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Bill
    You must raise the statutes of limitation defense in a timely manner. The burden is on you, the defendant, to raise you defenses. Maryland Code, Courts & Judicial Proceedings, § 5-101. Three-year limitation in general states "A civil action at law shall be filed within three years from the date it accrues unless another provision of the Code provides a different period of time within which an action shall be commenced." When you appear in court, tell the judge that under Maryland law (cite the above) the matter at hand is time-bared because the date of last payment on the debt and the repossession occurred more than three years ago.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    DentGirl
    I had a car repossesed over three years ago. I just received that they're now taking me to court. I live in Maryland. The statute of limitations is 3 years. What do I have to do when I go to court? Do I have to prove this and does the creditor have to prove that it isn't under the statutes of limitations. If I have no paper proof (that I didn't make a payment) will I win my case?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Bill
    The customer service representative is correct that you owe the bill but for the wrong reason. Under common law principles, the utility may be time-barred from asking a Florida court for a judgment regarding your mystery bill, but it is not barred from collecting the debt privately. The utility is within its rights in Florida to refuse to do business with a customer who has an unpaid balance on their account.

    Under Florida utility regulations, the utility may be barred from billing a client for a 10-year-old balance. You have nothing to lose by filing a complaint with the Florida Public Service Commission.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    jen
    Progress is trying to get us to pay a bill from 2000 and it all of a sudden popped up on our account after transferring service. They said "the computer just found it" and I told them about the statute of limitations on bills in FL and they told me there wasn't one for utilities. Is that true? Please help!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Bill
    Contact the collection agency. If the attorney is representing the collection agency, then you can negotiate with either party. However, if the collection agency sold your collection account to the attorney, which seems to be happening with increasing frequency, then the attorney has all rights to the collection account. Either way, step one is to validate the debt. Assuming the debt is fully documented, step two is to start negotiating. Debts are sold for pennies on the dollar, so the present balance is a fictional, negotiable amount.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Michael
    Bill, You're amazing! Thanks for being such a hero to consumers! In regards to the previous advice: "1) Validate the debt because the attorney may more may not have the right to collect the debt. 2) The additional fees may be valid in your state, or may be illegal. A cursory search of Colorado law revealed that a collection agent can charge a maximum of 8%. Therefore, the ~$450 in fees may be illegal. 3) If the attorney can validate the debt, then negotiate with him or her." If an attorney is claiming they represent a collection agency, does that prevent one from dealing directly with collection agency? Or must one deal with the lawyer henceforth? Thanks again for your help!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Bill
    1) Validate the debt because the attorney may more may not have the right to collect the debt. 2) The additional fees may be valid in your state, or may be illegal. A cursory search of Colorado law revealed that a collection agent can charge a maximum of 8%. Therefore, the ~$450 in fees may be illegal. 3) If the attorney can validate the debt, then negotiate with him or her.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Michael
    I have a medical debt in Colorado on my credit report of $171, from 10/2005. It is still within the SOL for my state. I have just been contacted by a lawyer claiming they represent the collection agency. The lawyer requests payment of $618, over 3 times the original debt. This seems unfair, is it legal? My question is - should I work with the lawyer or attempt to work with collection agency?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    See the Bills.com resource Collection Laws for the statute of limitations for debts on each state. Medical debt is unsecured debt, and as such is treated the same as credit card debt, a deficiency judgment, or payday loan in most jurisdictions.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Sandra
    Do you know what the SOL is in Arizona for collection on medical bills?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    What you are seeing on your credit report is normal and in accordance with the FCRA, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, See the Bills.com resource Seven Years of History and Credit Reports to learn more about the central issue in your question.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Quincey
    Hi, I am curious about the SOL on a debt (for a Dell lap top computer for almost $2000),and how concerned I should be about having my bank account frozen or being sued. I bought/financed the Dell computer in Aug of 2002 in Florida (I now live in MA). My last payment was sometime between April -June of 2003, so the statute of limitations has passed (as I never made any agreemens or any payments to restart it), but when alarmed me is that when I saw a copy of my credit report recently, I did not even see it on there. Why and how can that be? Thanks for your help.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    Negotiating does not reset a statute of limitations.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Anita
    I had a disagreement with my cellular carrier when while living in Illinois in 2002. (I now live in Ohio.) They said I owed about $1200, which I disagreed about and I never paid. It has since been sent to a couple different collection agencies. Each time a new agency has contacted me I've given them an attorney's number to contact instead. They usually end up selling it to another agency after that. This week I received another letter from a new agency offereing a settlement for half the amount. I called them and said I would settle for $200, just to clear the debt. They refused and I gave them my attorney's name. Did I restart the Statute of Limitations with my call? Which state's SOL governs here? And what else do you recommend that I do now? Thanks.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    I surmise the issue you are getting at is known as "estoppel" in law. Here, you have been paying your water bill faithfully with the expectation that the bill you are paying is the complete amount due. It seems unfair for the water company to come along three years later and say, "Whoops! you owe us another three grand!" Talk to an attorney in your state who has experience in consumer law to research if there is any legal precedent in your state for water utilities being barred from correcting alleged billing errors under the doctrine of estoppel.

    A second but related issue: If the water company was undercharging you before, how can you believe that the water company is not overcharging you now?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    MARY
    Our village we live in sent us a 3,000.00 water bill and is trying to say although we have been paying a monthly water, trash, sewer bill ranging from 50-60.00. We actually have not been being billed for our water usage for the last 3 years. Supposedly our outside meter has not been reading for the whole 3 years we have lived in our new build (Summer 07)-current. November 2009 a village employee asked to come inside our home and read our inside water meter, then again February 24, 2010 came back and asked to read the inside meter again. I was just sent this unexpected 3,000.00 water bill 2/27/2010. What is our rights in this mater.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    Dispute the debt citing the reason you mentioned.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    mona
    i have an auto loan that was charged off in june 2006 and last payment made was april 2006. i reside in the state of CA. The SOL is going to expire in 2 more months. The collection agency verified the debt, but didnt include any written notification that they have the rights to collect. what should I do?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    The full and complete answer is, "who knows?" It is possible but extremely unlikely that the creditor lost your files. In that event it would have been impossible for the creditor to validate the debt resulting in your never needing to repay it. It is more likely the creditor is overwhelmed by collections and simply had not gotten around to starting its collection efforts in earnest. Clearing the debt for 40 cents on the dollar is a good outcome for you -- if the creditor follows through on its promise to put the agreement in writing. If you are asking if negotiating the debt resets a statute of limitations, the answer is no.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Chance
    I have a debt with an auto finance company, It is 2 years until the 7 year "off my credit". Not knowing about the SOL I contacted them to settle my 12k auto debt. They offered me 5k to close account and mark to "paid as agreed" on my credit. I have asked for a letter stating this and they have not sent. The debt was established in California. Did I make a mistake in contacting them trying to resolve my debt?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    A state's statute of limitations regards the debtor's right to an affirmative defense to bar the use of the courts to bring an action, or to use the court system to enforce a judgment. A statute of limitations does not bar private collections. A business is not compelled to do business with you if you have a delinquent account on their books and you refuse to make the account current. Your electric utility, ordinarily, would not be allowed to apply your debt to that of a family member, and I would be curious to know if there are additional facts to explain how and and under what legal theory the utility used to apply your old balance to your parent's 12 years later. As to what rights you have, you have none I see. Your parents, on the other hand, should consult with an attorney in your state who has experience in consumer law to see if they have a cause of action against the utility.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Sherry
    I stayed with my parents for a while and have since moved out, their electric company stated that I owed them $206 for service that I had with them 12yrs ago, so they tacked my past due amount onto my parents account. I know that was illegal and plan to show them NC Statues on the matter but they are stating that there was no statued of limitation because they did not report to the credit reports. I was just wondering if that was true, I have paid half of the bill because they put it on my parents account and was treatening them to interupt service if not paid. What can I do now???
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    I have a difficult time thinking of an instance where an attorney would be duty-bound to wait eight years before billing a client. From a business perspective, I cannot fathom why an attorney would structure a relationship with a client where he or she would wait an indeterminate period of time before billing a client. Take the bill and the guardianship contract to an attorney who has no relationship to the first, and ask him or her to review the documents and advise you if they are in line with the Florida bar's rules of professional behavior.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    John
    My father recently passed away and his estate was in a Florida Guardianship. An attorney for the guardianship stated there were attorney fees dating back to 2003 that need to be paid. A bill has yet to be provided. Does the statute of limitations apply to past attorney fees that have not been billed?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    See Collections Agencies, Collections Laws and Your State's Statute of Limitations. Ask the collection agent for debt validation now. See the Bills.com Debt Self-Help Center for a sample debt validation letter.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    pete
    .can i be liable for a bill from 1991 i was told the last payment was in 1992 . it was a jewlery bill that my ex wife said she would take care of but apparently didnt im in california and believe the limit is 4 years they are calling me 19 years later.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    You need to get a Bonded Title. Go to the link I mentioned to understand the procedure in Texas.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    bjohn
    I obtained a car loan in 1998 and the dealership lost my paperwork and I have not made any payments on this car.. I have had it for 12 years and nothing has ever come up again about payment.. I think the company closed down.. What is the statute of limitations, Texas.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Bill
    To learn the statute of limitations for each state, see the Bills.com resource State Consumer Protection Laws and Exemptions. Second, what you are dancing around and not quite asking the collection agency is for is a "debt validation." See the Bills.com Debt Self-Help Center for a sample debt validation letter. You have a time limitation to ask for debt validation, to complete the letter and send it now. If the collection agent cannot validate the debt it becomes noncollectable.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    jenny
    i am receiving collection bills from a 3rd party collection agency for a un paid electric bill from florida dating back to 1999. I asked them several times to provide me with the original bills and all they tell me is i have to pay. what is the statue of limitation in floirda for electric bills and how can i make sure this has not gone on my credit and to get them to stop sending me collection notices. thanks
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    Bill
    Generally speaking, a court in your state will apply the laws of your state. However, statute of limitations rules are tricky, and I encourage you to consult with an Oregon attorney who has experience in consumer law. An Oregon attorney may be able to argue that you and the creditor executed the credit card agreement in California, so therefore it is reasonable for both the debtor and creditor in this situation to expect that the statute of limitations laws of California should apply, even though the case is being decided in an Oregon court.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    Brandon
    I got a citibank card in 2002 when I lived in California. Last activity on the card was Oct 2003. I didn't move out of California till 2005. I'm now in Oregon and being sued. Statute of Limitations in CA. is 4 years...in Oregon is 6. Which statute is enforceable?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    Bill
    You do not mention your state of residence, so as a result it is impossible for me to give you a precise answer because state laws vary in their regulation of utilities. However, in general, I do not see a statute of limitations argument for you here. SOL is a defense raised when a creditor sues to collect a debt. It does not apply to non-judicial matters, which is the case here. You owe the creditor for services rendered, you did not pay for them, and now you are doing business with that creditor again. The creditor has the legal right to demand payment for past services rendered.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    Broke
    I rec'd a letter in the mail today stating I have to pay or make payments on an old electric bill, from an address I left in March 2003. Sadly, I was young and stupid at the time so its actually a few month's bills totally ~$1500. It says if I don't make arrangements or a full payment within 10 days, it will be rolled onto my current service charges. Because it is so old, can the force me to pay this and/or shut off my existing service? When I started my current service (in March of 2009), I wasn't told of this old bill (yes - I knew about it, just figured it had been dismissed because between 2003 and 2009, my elec. was in someone else's name). Now I am in such a financial pinch that I can barely make ends meet...sure can't add another payment.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    Generally speaking, the statute of limitations starts 60 to 90 days after the date of the last payment. It does not, not, not restart the date any subsequent collection agent purchases the debt. Just because the statute of limitations has run, that does not mean you are immune from collection attempts. It only means that if you are sued you have a defense that, if raised in a timely manner, prevents the court from ordering the collection of the debt. Get the name and address of the latest collection agent, and send them a cease-communication letter. You can find copies of these in the Bills.com debt self-help center.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2009
    NT
    I have a credit card debt. It is a old debt that was charged off and has fallen off my credit report. The credit card company sent the debt to a collection agency and I received the letters.I never responded to them. I received a letter a month ago, from a attorneys office stating that they are representing the collection agency now and they are demanding full payment. Just on yesterday, the attorney's office left a message on my phone wanting to discuss the debt. I currently live in GA and I know that the statute of limitations has run out, the debt is not on my credit report anymore. My question is the statute of limitations does start from the original debt. And also what do i need to say to the attorneys office.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2009
    D.
    I have a negative item on my credit report that I believe is past the Statue of Limitations for the state of Michigan. The Date of First Deliquency on the item is listed as December 2002 and the Type of Account is listed as "Open". On the report it says the item is a "Closed Account", apparently meaning they've stopped collecting. Is this item past the statue of limitations and when will it drop off of my credit report?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2009
    Bill
    First, you need to understand the distinction between charge-off, statute of limitations, and the 7-year limit on a credit report. See the first three sections of my answer I wrote recently to a reader who had similar issues: Charge Off, Credit Report, Statute of Limitations & Merged Creditors. Some of the facts in that reader's question are different from yours, but the bulk of the analysis is the same. The Federal Trade Commission offers advice regarding the dispute of inaccurate credit report listings.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2009
    Bill
    I find it maddening that medical service providers bill patients months and YEARS after the service was rendered, but this seems so consistent that there must be a batch of doctors in the US who are so busy that they get way behind on their billing. To your question, yes, you received the services provided by the medical facility, and it is likely that you signed documents indicating you were the guarantor of the fees.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2009
    RHONDA
    I had an MRI in January of 2006 in Texas. I received an EOB from the insurance company stating I owed, but never received a bill from the facility until recently. Am I responsible for the bill since I have not had any communication with them in more than 3 years? Also, if it is poossible can you give me a website where I can print out some back up? Thank you!!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    Bart
    I opened a line-of-credit account for some dental work back in 2002 in the state of California. I made payments up through February of 2004 in the same state. I ended up moving to Ohio in late 2005 and am now being sued in court by the secondary collector (the third owner apparently) for an amount they claim was leftover from that account. I never made a payment in Ohio- does the SOL for California (4 years) or Ohio (15 years) apply in this case
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    Bill
    There are general rules, and then there are specific applications of rules in certain situations. In general and at first glance, if you are an Ohio resident being sued by a plaintiff represented by Ohio law firm in an Ohio court, you are subject to the rules of Ohio including the Ohio SoL. However, you should take all of your loan documents, payment information, and correspondence with the creditor to an Ohio attorney. There may be other significant facts in your case that make the California SoL apply.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    Bill
    Wesley, you can send them a validation letter and force them to validate the debt. You are referring in your question to two different things: the first is their ability to collect (sue you and win a judgment) and the second is the date something will drop off of your credit report (typically 7 years from last date of activity). For a debt validation letter, check out our free and new debt Do It Yourself center here: Do It Yourself Debt Help
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    Wesley
    I stopped paying a credit card debt in September 2002. A new debt collection agency just contacted me. After I informed them the SOL had expired, they told me I had better check the law as the California 4-year clock was reset after the debt is charged-off (I don't know the date of such charge-off, if any). According to your comments, the 7-year time for dropping off credit reports starts from the date of charge off, not last payment. Does a charge-off reset the SOL for bring suit? If so, debt collectors could extend the SOL forever by simply waiting to charge off the debt until they are ready to file suit, even if that were 30 years after the last activity on the account.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Bill
    The statute of limitations is 15 years for Ohio. you cannot dispute a charge just because the statue has expired.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    CJ
    I received an attempt to collect a gas bill from Jan. 1991 for a bill which I never received, or any notices. The collection agency was rude, and demanding payment. I intend to dispute this charge. What is the statute of limitations in Ohio for a utility bill?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Bill
    You should probably seek advice from a local attorney who is knowledgable in Georgia consumer lending and protection laws (like a bankruptcy attorney might be). Many will even give free consultations. Good luck Rob. bill
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    robran
    The GA state law says a 4 year sol on open ended accounts which CC's are considered in most states. The SOl in GA is questionable in that the GA court of appeals ruled in a case in Jan. 2008 Hill vs AMEX , that credit cards were considered to be written contracts and would fall under the 6 year SOL. I have read that a store card such as Sears would probably still be under the 4 year SOL. Do you know if that is true in regards to a store credit card? What would make a store credit card different?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    rob
    I know that the GA state law says a 4 year sol on open ended accounts which CC's are considered in most states. I'm sure as most of you are aware that the GA court of appeals ruled in a case in Jan. 2008 Hill vs AMEX , that credit cards were considered to be written contracts and would fall under the 6 year SOL. I have read on a legal website that a store card such as Sears would probably still be under the 4 year SOL. Does anyone know if that is true or have information concerning this law or the ruling in regards to a store credit card.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Bill
    The statute of limitations that will apply to you will be the for the state where the debt originated. You could send them a cease communication notice.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Mike
    I had a repossessed in 2004 with my last payment in 2003. I had originally bought the car in California and now live in Idaho. The remaining balance was about 7k. I continually get phone calls with a message to call the lender. Does the SOL of 4 years in CA apply to auto loans and to my case? If it does how do you recommend I deal with the lender. I have not ever spoken to them after the Repo.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2009
    Bill
    If the last payment date on this account is older than 4 years, then yes, the statute has expired.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2009
    mike
    after reviewing my credit report i see that back in (1997 and 1999) a creditor place me at the buerau that reads Comments: Debit Consolidation charged off; Acct. charged to profit loss. Would the statute of limitations apply towardthis situation, in Texas
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2009
    Bill
    The SOL in NY is 6 years, you should ask for the debts to be validated and verify the last date of payment from the collector. Send this request to them in writing. Once they reply and you can confirm the dates, you can tell them that the statute has expired and you have no intention of paying on the debt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2009
    Vinny
    The last payment was about 1995 or 1996
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2008
    Bill
    The statute of limitations Statute of Limitations Chart in New York is six years. That means that the statute would have expired if your last payment was in 2002. Since the debts don't appear to be out of statute, it is likely that the collectors could potentially validate the debt... but it sure wouldn't hurt to try to force them to do this and to justify that the balance owed is legitimate. Good luck. bill
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2008
    Vinny
    I recently recieved a collections letters from a 2 credit cards(service merchandise and sears) Both are back from 1994. One amounts $3800, the other is $1800. Both are about 4x more than what my credit limit probably was back then. Should I request Debt validation? If I do, would that restart the SOL in New York? Or should I not send one at all? Thank you for your help in advance.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2008
    Bill
    You could look up the statute of limitations in Texas at: www.bills.com/collection-laws Unfortunately, however, it is almost certainly going to allowable for them to bill you for historical services performed over the past months. If, however, they charge your late fees or interest expenses for their billing errors you could file a small claims suit or threaten them and try to limit those costs. Good luck.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2008
    Arnold
    I recently switched elctric providers in Texas back in August. I have yet to receive one bill. I have contacted them numerous times and they are aware of the billing issues as they have changed billing systems. They actually sent me a $25 gift card for the inconvenience. How far back can an electric provider bill me once their billing is corrected? Is there any kind of statute of limitations?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2008
    Bill
    It does not matter that you live elsewhere, they can still follow up for collections, but in your case, the SOL for the state of Missouri, expires after 5 years. Bear in mind that the statute is calculated from the last date of a payment and not the actual delinquency itself. I suggest that you check the last payment date on your credit report.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2008
    Gerrett
    I just recieved a collections bill from a phone company in MO. with a delinquent date of 1999; Is the SOL up on this and does it matter that I no longer live in MO?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2008
    Bill
    I am not familiar with the individual requirements of every collection agency as they differ based on individual situations. It is in your best interest to get this sorted out as ID theft is a serious issue. You should also check your credit reports from each of the 3 bureaus to see if there are any other instances such as this.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2008
    Stephne
    I received a call from a collection agency for a bill on an address I never lived at in 1999 and I disputed it. They said I had to fillout a ID theft affidavit. They want proof in the form of utility bills or such and I remarried in 1993 and my old name is not on any of the bills. If I decide to comply and fill in forms will I also have to send marriage certificate copies. I don't know what to do?? I have good credit. Please help!! Stephne
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2008
    Bill
    Any payment made to the outstanding debt will reset the time for the statute of limitations, so yes payments made to collection agencies will also reset the statute.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2008
    Heaven
    When the statue of limitations begins does that include what you have payed to the colection agencies?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2008
    Bill
    I am sorry but my expertise is limited only to consumer finance issues, I would suggest that you consult with a legal professional with respect to your question.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2008
    Sara
    How do SOL's apply to debts accrued for Corporations? We recently took over management of an apartment complex, in which the City is stating they owe a debt of $182,000.00, most of which dates back to 2003. I am in Texas. They also have stated that they will not provide me with orginal billings, something I know to be illegal for individual consumers.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2008
    Bill
    Yes, please contact a lawyer ASAP. You will need to present yourself in court otherwise a default judgment will be passed against you. You should also send a letter to the collection agency to inform them that you plan to respond to their suit. The statute of limitations takes effect from the last date of payment, so depending on which state you reside in, you will have to calculate how many years have passed since you last made a payment on that account. If after your calculations, you find out that the SOL has passed, then you simply present that evidence to the court and the case should be easily dismissed.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2008
    Jessica
    I have credit card debt that was charged off in June of 2004. I'm in Texas. I have been sued by a collection agency. Here is where my question comes in. They filed the suit 5 days before the SOL was up (end of May). I was not served until Aug. 30th. They went to an old address (haven't lived there in 3 years). I don't even know what to do first - I've never been sued before. Does the SOL even apply here? Do I need to contact a lawyer? Should I contact the debt collector and work out a deal?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2008
    Jack
    Back in the late 90's I did get into some credit card debt. All my cards were charged off, and I went into payment plans and paid them off. A letter came to my sisters house, addressed to me, from a collection agency. They say that I owe a debt from that time. I checked all three credit reports, and there is nothing on there at all except the one credit card I have now, and my car loan, which I paid off two years ago. Somebody told me that I should do the following: 1. Send a letter asking them to validate the debt. 2. If the debt is valid, and it has been long enough, inform them that the Statute of Limitations is past on this date. (6 years for my state.) Is this good advice? Somebody else told me that if it is not on my credit report, I don't remember it, and they are not harassing me with phone calls, then I don't need to do anything at all.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2008
    Bill
    You are good either way. You will have to be careful here as many collection agencies are known to alter dates on the debt accounts to offset the statute of limitations. As the statute of limitations has already passed, you are safe as far as the liability is concerned. If you send them a letter, they might start harassing you again. So, what I suggest is that you do not do anything right now. If you happen to receive a second letter from the same agency, then go ahead and send the debt validation letter, but do keep in mind that even if the statute of limitations has passed, they can still file a suit against you just to intimidate you. But once you appear in court the case should be easily dismissed once you can present the facts.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2008
    Bill
    Please start by checking your credit report from all the three bureaus, to see if the account is showing as past due. Collection companies are known for their mistakes that they report to the bureaus. After you search your records, if you believe that this charge is an error, you should dispute the same. The Federal Trade Commission offers a helpful guide to disputing credit listings, available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2008
    Ofelia
    A collection agency call my home on 8/6/08 stating that I owe an old medical bill from 5/04 for around $400. The only explanation they were able to give me is the date of service of 5/04, that if I need any other information I have to contact the medical facility. I contacted the facility immediately, spoke with the office manager and all she was able to tell me is that is was part of my deductible from the insurance coverage I had at the time. They were not able to give me any other information, other that they place my account to collection in 11/04, which I never received such information; she also claim that the manager at the time is not longer employed by the medical facility and since the new manager took over the position she changed collection agency. They were no able to give me any records of any kind, since she claims they do not keep those records after 3yrs. I cannot locate any evidence that I paid this bill. The collection agency also mentioned that this bill was sent to my home address on 7/30/08 which I never received such a bill. I requested a copy of such letter again, and they claim that they cannot do that, since it was mailed and I should contact my mail service to make sure that all mail is delivered correctly. What should I do? Please help. Thank you , Ofelia
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2008
    Bill
    In most states, the statute of limitations (SOL) begins running from the date you last made a payment on the account. This means that if you paid just a few dollars to a collector a couple of years ago, the running statute of limitations for that debt could have been reset from that point on. Also, keep in mind that the passage of the statute of limitations does not prevent a creditor from calling you to collect on the debt; it simply provides you an absolute defense in court if in case the creditor files a lawsuit. You can generally stop collection calls by sending a cease communication letter to the creditor. A new company purchasing your account cannot lengthen the time that the account can appear on your credit report. Be aware though, many debt purchasers have been known to change the date of last activity on old accounts so that they appear on your credit report for a longer time. If you determine that your state?s statute of limitations for the collection of debts has expired, it is unlikely that the creditor will succeed in their attempt to sue you to enforce the debt. Passing of the statute of limitations does not mean that a creditor cannot sue you, although if a lawsuit is filed, you should have an absolute defense against it. If you respond to the lawsuit stating that the statute of limitations has passed, the judge should easily dismiss the case. In addition, if the court believes that the creditor filed suit despite knowing that the statute of limitations had expired, the court may sanction the creditor for its actions. You will need to trace it back to the original creditor. You may also need to check you bank records to obtain payment details that you made to that account. If you find any false information on your credit report, you should dispute the listings with the credit bureaus. The Federal Trade Commission offers a helpful guide to disputing credit listings, available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2008
    Cynd
    My husband had an old Providian in 1998 that was closed and charged-off but a collection company (Lvnv Funding LLC which they keep on chaning their name about every 4-6 mo) keeps hounding him to pay off the debt. When he pulls his credit report the last payment, open date and date closed are listed on the report as N/A. They keep altering (changing) the first date of delinquency so that it's 3 yrs after the last report date. We know that the statute of limitations has past but they keep falsifying the account. What should we do?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2008
    sue
    A collection agency is attempting to collect some unpaid medical copays for my son. He is under 18. The first date of service was 7/23/03 and 1/22/05. Will the collection agency drop the charge plus the fees on the first collection and/or possibly the second?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2008
    Bill
    You need to see if the statute of limitations has passed on each of these debts. You can find out the statute of limitations for your state here: http://www.bills.com/collection-laws/. You will need a credit report to find out the last payment date on these debts, because the statute is calculated from the date of the last payment. If in case the debt from 2003 is beyond the collection statute, then you can inform the same to the collection agency, but do keep in mind that this does not mean that they will stop the collection efforts. What this means is that, if they try to sue you, you should have an absolute defense in court because the statute of limitations has passed.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2008
    Tammy
    I received a collection agency letter regarding an old Citibank credit card account that was charged off in 1992 or 1993(possibly 1994) ... it's been too long ago to remember. My question is: Do I send a SoL Letter to the agency since it's obvious that this open account is far beyond the SoL for both IL (the state acquired) and OH (the state I now reside). This is the first letter I've recieved but I have to tell you that I am scared they will attempt to garnish my wages or try to sue for the $3800+ they say I owe. Please advise how I should proceed. Thank you, Tammy.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2008
    Bill
    It is obvious that the statute of limitations has expired on this debt, the likelihood of the collection agency attempting to sue you to enforce the debt is remote. While the passing of the SOL does not mean that a creditor cannot sue you, if a lawsuit is filed you should have an absolute defense against the lawsuit. If you respond to the suit stating that the SOL has expired, the judge should dismiss the case. Keep in mind that in most states, the SOL begins running from the date you last made a payment on the account. This means that if you paid just a few dollars to a collector a couple of years ago, the running SOL for that debt could have been reset. Also, keep in mind that the passage of the SOL does not forbid a creditor from calling you to collect on the debt; it simply provides you an absolute defense in court if the creditor files suit. You can generally stop collection calls by sending a cease and desist letter to the creditor–for more information about sending cease and desist letters, you can visit http://www.ihatedebt.com/DealingWithYourCreditors/DealingWithDebtCollectors/Cease_and_Desist_Letter_for_Debt_Collectors.php.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2008
    cathy
    I recieved a letter from an attorney stating that they had been retained by a collection agency to collect a credit card debt. The bill is over 10 years old, but there was one $27 payment made 4 1/2 years ago. The statute of limitations will be up the first of Feb. Is there any way to stall or postpone the last few months to allow the statute to run out?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2008
    bradford
    it sounds almost certain that you debt is out of statute of limiations, so you should contest the validity of the debt (literally send them a letter saying that you want them to formally validate that the debt is within the statute and that you want them to validate that it is yours and that you owe it).
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2008
    Jazzy
    I just received a collection notice for a GTE phone bill for a phone number I had when I was livnig in Texas in 1992. How do I go about disputing the bill and if it is my bill (I can't remember what I did yesterday let alone 1992), what course of action can I take? I know that the statute of limitations for Texas is 4 years but I'm confused when you mention 'charge off dates' and the fact that it may hamper my credit rating, which is in the 700's. Thanks for any help.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2008
    Bill
    Many times creditors will just send out letters from attorneys on their rolls. What you need to see is that is the attorney that sent you the letter, licensed to practice in your state? Just because you received the notice, does not mean that a case has been filed against you in court. The statute of limitations running out will not stop the creditor from following up with you, it will just give you a defense in court, in case the creditor decides to sue you. I cannot advise you of any "Tactics" to stall them except that you ask for a debt validation letter. Apart from that, the only way to push it out, would be to stop communicating with them all together, but by doing that you also run the risk of a lawsuit being filed against you. My suggestion is that if you know that you owe the debt, discuss a settlement with the said attorney and come to an agreement to a payment plan. Because the debt is so old, they will most likely agree to a settlement of as low as 30% of the original amount.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2008
    teresa
    i have received a phone call from credigy saying they are taking me to civil court for an old discover card debt. the first delinquency on my credit report shows 6/2001. what can i do?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2008
    Bill
    First of all, just by them telling you on the phone does not mean that they have already taken to court. In case they have started a case against you in court, you are supposed to receive court summons by mail, for which you can send in a reply. Please visit this link and check the statute of limitations for your State: http://bcsalliance.com/y_debt_sol.html. If in case the statute of limitations has passed then you have nothing to worry about.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2008
    Bill
    You are right, the statute of limitations is calculated from the date of the last payment on your account. Being that the statute of limitations is 4 years in Florida, it would run out in July of 2008. Please bear in mind that the fact that the statute has passed does not stop a collection agency from filing a suit, it only gives you an absolute defense in court, if ever the creditor does file a suit.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2008
    Stephen
    I have an installment loan that was charged off in March of 2002. I live in Florida and the debt was given to a collection agency. I made a payment in July of 2004 to them. Does this extend the statute of limitations? When will I be out of the way of any impending legal situations. The debt was 8,000 and the collection agency added 3,000 interest to it. Thanks.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2008
    Bill
    If Discover has started the process of litigation, then it is in your best interest to contact an attorney to represent you in court. The statute of limitations is 4 years from the date of last payment. Bear in mind that it is your responsibility to prove in court that the statute has passed. If it is proven, then the case will be dismissed.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2008
    Brandie
    Today I received a letter in the mail stating that I was being sued by Discover Card. I live in Texas and am not sure of the statute of limitations that they have to do this. According to my credit report my account charged off in November of 2002. What should I do?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2007
    Cindy
    A collection agency sent me a letter stating that I owe an old phone bill of over $400 while I was living in Texas back in 1999. Is this a bill that I have to pay? What can the collection agency do if I do not pay? I cannot locate any evidence that I paid this bill. The collection agency also said that this bill was sent to a temp. address that I had while working in Florida. I never got such a bill even though I placed address changes with the post office. Help please...Thanks, Cindy
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2007
    nathan
    I don't know what state that you live in, but the Statute of Limitations in Florida is 5 years and the Statute of Limitations in Texas is 4 years (the relevant state is where you live). You can always attempt to validate the debt and specifically request for them to prove that the statute has not expired. However, for a debt that small you may consider just negotiating with them to pay an amount and ask them to remove it from your credit report (report it as paid in full).
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2007
    Nithin
    All debts fall off your credit report once the seven-year limit on reporting has passed. Keep in mind that the seven years starts running from the date the account was charged off by the creditor, which generally means seven and a half years from the date of last payment. I encourage you to review your credit report carefully to make sure that the dates of last payment being reported on these accounts are correct. Some creditors, especially debt purchasing firms, will report inaccurate charge-off dates to extend the amount of time an old account appears on your credit report. If you find any inaccurate information, you should dispute the credit report listing with the bureau in question. The Federal Trade Commission offers advice regarding the dispute of inaccurate credit report listings, available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2007
    Felicia
    I have billers calling me everyday about a debt that is 7 years plus and I want to know what do I need to do to get them to take it out of there system?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2008
    sueb
    it depends on what state you live in. if you live in california, and you haven't paid in over 8 years then you cannot be sued. some states have a statute of limitations longer than 8 years though.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2008
    Frances
    Can I be sued over an old medical bill? The bill is eight years old
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2008
    Nate
    A collection agency can contact you attempting to collect a debt for an unlimited amount of time–neither the limit on how long an account can appear on your credit report, nor the statute of limitations (the time period a creditor has to sue you to collect on a debt) prohibits a collection agency from contacting you to try to collect an old debt. However, just because a collection agency contacts you, you are not required to pay the debt. if a lawsuit is filed you should have an absolute defense against the lawsuit. If you respond to the suit stating that the SOL has expired, the judge should dismiss the case. In addition, if the court believes that the creditor filed suit despite knowing that the SOL had expired, the court may sanction the creditor for its actions. Keep in mind that in most states, the SOL begins running from the date you last made a payment on the account.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2008
    Thomas
    I have a debt that the statutue of limlitation ended on 8/1005 the account holder then sold it to a collect agency according to texas state law the account remains under texas law but i move to ohio two years later i being sued for this debt in ohio is this legal?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2008
    bobdawg
    Florida appears to have a five year statute of limitations. This is from the last date of payment.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2008
    Jean
    What is the statute of limitation in Florida for a car loan debt from 1999?
    2 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2008
    bob
    Can collection agency sue me for a CT-Scan bill of $7000? I took a CT-Scan 4 years ago, and disputed the scan since it was not needed and no one told me my insurance will not cover it? Whats the status of limitations for medical bills in California? Can they win in civil court? This is really unfair, since they billed me much more than what they bill insurance companies for a CT-Scan!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2008
    Greg
    When it comes to medical insurance coverage, the onus is on you, the insured to make sure that you have coverage for a specific treatment. The statute of limitations in California for written agreements is 4 years. The beginning of the statue of limitation is whenever the original debt is made, unless the debtor makes a payment after the expiration of the statue of limitations (in which case, the statue of limitations starts all over again). If the collection agency sues you in court, you will have full opportunity to present your case before the court. You can then explain your situation to the judge and see what remedies the court proposes.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2008
    David
    If my debt was accrued in Arizona and I have lived in Texas for 2 years, which state does it fall under? What is the SOL for AZ and what is it for TX?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2008
    Bill
    The debt would fall under the state that you resided in when you signed the original contract. SOL is 5 yeras for AZ and 4 years for TX.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2008
    Bill
    The best way to check is to check on your credit report. You an get a free copy at www.annualcreditreport.com, and after you checkit, if you find that there is an error, then you can dispute the same with the bureaus. You can find information on how to dispute errors on your credit report on FTC.gov at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2008
    apflugradt
    my husband has a collection agency calling insisting he owes for a phone bill with a company we had up until a year ago when we switched to our cable company it was from almost ten years ago and we had the same phone number and company until a year ago and never not one time hear about this bill..what do we do..we live in missouri
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2008
    Bill
    Check your credit report to see if this account is still showing. Collection agencies use standard letter templates when they send out these letters. Collection agencies are also known to manipulate the dates on the accounts so that they can start to report the debts on your credit report. You are right, in that it has been too long for them to come out of the woodwork at this time. If you start seeing this account on your credit report, then you will need to send them a "debt validation letter" which basically asks for the confirmation of the said debt and an explanation of the charges. But, on the whole, you are safe as far as the statute of limitations (SOL) is concerned, but SOL only comes into play if the collection agency ever decides to sue you, which I doubt they will. Think of it this way, they are just shooting in the dark to see what response they get from you. Also keep in mind that if you make a payment now, you will be resetting the statute of limitations. For more information on collection laws, please refer to http://www.bills.com/collection-laws/.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2008
    Bill
    Not to my knowledge, student loans are not dischargeable even in a bankruptcy, so I would check the validity of your source.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2008
    alwms2000@gmail.com
    I read a article concerning that 20 year student loan debt balances will be forgiven in februrary 2009.Is that true
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2008
    Mag
    A collection agency recently sent me two letters stating that I owe an unpaid debt from a career college when I was living in TX some 14 plus years ago. I learn from reading your advice that the Status of Limitation in TX is 4 years and all debts fall off credit report once the seven-year limit reporting has passed; however, on the second letter I received from the collection agency, they said that they may report information about my account to credit bureaus. Please help, thanks! Mag
    0 Votes