I have judgment that was issued by default; i.e., me not showing up in court. I believe that the 4-year SOL may apply and this judgment may have been issued in error. How do I find this out?
All states have a body of statutes in their codes of law called, "Limitations of Actions", commonly referred to as the statutes of limitations. The length of time a creditor has to sue you depends on your state of residence and the type of debt. For example, many states allow longer for creditors to file suit to collect on closed ended consumer loans than on credit card debts. Most states give credit card issuers 3 to 4 years to file suit after default, but some states have statutes of limitations that allow 10 years or longer.
If a creditor 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). However, you 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.
I encourage you to pull a copy of your credit report. You can pull your credit for free, by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Generally speaking, the statute of limitations runs from the date of last activity, usually the date of last payment, on the account. However, you must remember that the application of the statute of limitation is a matter to be decided by the court in case the creditor files a lawsuit against you to try to collect this debt.
While I think it is unlikely that a collector would attempt to sue you on a debt this old, if you do receive any court documents related to either account, you should consult with an attorney in your area regarding the age of these debts and the applicability of the statute of limitations to your situation.
If you want a free debt consultation with one of Bill's approved debt help partners, click here: Free Debt Consultation. If you are struggling to pay your debts, you may want to consult with a professional debt resolution firm to discuss the options available to you.
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