Friday, June 14, 2013

How To Deal With Collection Agencies ~ Part 3 (State Statute Of Limitations For Credit Cards)

A lot of the bad credit that is on credit reports is from collection agencies.  But, there are original creditors too that report, so you may have 2 or more negative entries on your report for the same alleged debt.  This tool, the State Statute of Limitations (SOL) is great for both.  Now, most states have reasonable SOL's but there are a few that are absolutely insane!  When an alleged debt is outside of the SOL it is considered Time-Barred and non-collectible.  But, that doesn't stop many of these collection agencies, and some creditors, from still going after you.  What is completely ridiculous, is that they legally can!  Well, that is, unless you put a stop to them.

How do you put a stop to them, through a demand for validation and then a follow up with a Cease & Desist (C&D) letter.  Some are arrogant and greedy enough though to file a civil claim against you.  That can easily be defeated by taking their lame attempt at validation (usually some printout or a copy of the last bill from the original creditor) that clearly shows a date from years ago.   I have actually seen them dummy up a new statement with a current date on it, supposedly from the original creditor, to try to re-age and trick the alleged debtor into giving up and just paying them.

I'm going to shout now, and bang my head against a wall - DON'T DO IT!!! DON'T PAY THEM!!!
Dig around for a true old bill or contact the original creditor for a copy of the statement.  Ask them to send you back a copy of the last bill that you paid or better yet, check your credit report. Usually, the original creditor will put a somewhat accurate date on the credit report, and Equifax has a little chart that shows when you did and didn't make payments.  That is proof of the Date of Last Activity (DLA), which is when the SOL starts tolling.  If you're sued, then that will be one of your exhibits in your answer to the complaint, proving that it is time barred and they have no recourse.  Don't forget, you want to keep copies of your letters demanding validation and their responses.  It is just more proof that they didn't validate, so they are in violation of the FDCPA (continuing collection activity without validating or verifying the alleged debt).

So, let's get to it. Here are the Statute of Limitations for Open Accounts, which represent credit card accounts, which are the main type of negative credit that annoys most of us, for every US state and several territories. 


STATE NUMBER OF YEARS ANY COMMENTS
Alabama 3 Yrs Actions based on fraud - 2 yrs
Alaska 3 Yrs Used to be 6 yrs
Arizona

6 Yrs  or  4 years
On July 20, 2011 AZ changed its statutes to include credit cards as written contracts. If the default/DLA is prior to 7/20/11 then the prior 3 year statute of limitations (SOL) applies. If the DLA is after 7/20/11 then the new SOL applies.

 Now, the new 4 year SOL is for credit card accounts obtained outside the state of AZ and the 6 year SOL applies to credit cards obtained in the state of AZ.  So check the billing address of your credit card account to see whether your credit card is inside or outside of AZ.
Judgments have to be renewed w/in 5 yrs. Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Arkansas

3 Yrs

Medical 2yrs from service or last payment, whichever is latest
California

4 Yrs

SOL stopped if pymt made after SOL expires - In other words, Do Not Make Pymt after it expires! But, pymt w/o acknowledgment does not restart the SOL
Colorado 3 Yrs Jdgmt can renew every 6 yrs
Connecticut 6 Yrs Open is considered written
Delaware 3 Yrs Considered a general contract
District of Columbia 3 Yrs Oral promise restarts SOL!!
Florida

4-5 Yrs

Contract or Written instrument is 5 yrs but all other is 4 yrs. Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Georgia

4 Yrs

From date of default, not last pymt. Making a pymt without acknowledging the alleged debt does not restart the SOL.
Guam

6 Yrs

For contracts such as medical bills, the SOL is 4 yrs from date of service
Hawaii 6 Yrs Jdgmt can renew 10 yrs
Idaho 4 Yrs Jdgmt can renew 5 yrs
Illinois

5 Yrs

Pymt or promise to pay extends it to 10 yrs from that date
Indiana

6 Yrs

Pymt, acknowledgment or a promise to pay restarts the SOL
Iowa

5 Yrs

Pymt, acknowledgment or promise to pay restarts SOL
Kansas

3 Yrs

Written contracts SOL is 5 years. Many sources claim SOL for credit cards is 5 yrs but that is not so according to Article 5, 60-512 of Kansas statutes.  Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Kentucky 5 Yrs Judgment 15 yrs
Louisiana 3 Yrs Jdgmt can renew 10 yrs
Maine

6 Yrs

Jdgmt is 20 yrs (don't let that happen to you! Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Maryland

3 Yrs

Reaffirming through written, orally or a pymt restarts SOL
Massachusetts

6 Yrs

Judgment 20 years, probate claims 1 yr from date of death. Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Michigan

6 Yrs

Jdgmt can renew 10 yrs. Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Minnesota

6 Yrs

Pymt or written acknowledgement restarts the SOL
Mississippi

3 Yrs

Jdgmt can renew 7 yrs. Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Missouri

5 Yrs

Jdgmt can renew 10 yrs. Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Montana

8 Yrs

Written acknowledgment or pymt restarts SOL
Nebraska

4 Yrs

Pymt, partial pymt, or written acknowledgment restarts SOL
Nevada

4 Yrs

Pymt w/o acknowledgment of alleged debt doesn't restart SOL
New Hampshire 3 Yrs Pymt restarts the SOL
New Jersey 6 Yrs Jdgmt can renew at 20 yrs - that's insane!
New Mexico

4 Yrs

Written acknowledgment or pymt restarts the SOL
New York

6 Yrs

Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
North Carolina

3 Yrs

SOL runs from date of each individual charge
North Dakota

6 Yrs

Written acknowledgment, promise to pay, or payment restarts the SOL
Ohio 6 Yrs Jdgmt can renew at 5 yrs
Oklahoma 5 Yrs Jdgmt 5 yrs
Oregon 6 Yrs Jdgmt 10 yrs
Pennsylvania

4 Yrs

Written acknowledgment, promise to pay or pymt restarts the SOL
Puerto Rico 3 Yrs Jdgmt 15 yrs
Rhode Island

10 Yrs

Jdgmt 20 yrs.  Just slap me silly if I ever go nuts and move there!
South Carolina

3 Yrs

Written acknowledgment or partial pymt restarts the SOL
South Dakota 6 Yrs Jdgmt 20 yrs.
Tennessee 6 Yrs Jdgmt 10 yrs
Texas

4 Yrs

Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Utah

4 Yrs

Jdgmt 8 yrs. Written acknowledgment restarts SOL
Vermont 6 Yrs Jdgmt 8 yrs
Virgin Islands 3 Yrs Jdgmt 20 yrs
Virginia 3 Yrs Jdgmt can renew at 10 yrs. Pymt w/o acknowledgment doesn't restart the SOL
Washington 6 Yrs Jdgmt can renew at 10 yrs
West Virginia 5 Yrs Acknowledging debt, promise to pay, any pymt restarts SOL. Be careful, it may apply to verbal/oral acknowledgment.
Wisconsin 6 Yrs Pymt restarts the SOL
Wyoming

10 Yrs

Jdgmt 21 yrs. Again, just slap me silly if I ever go nuts and move there!

This information is believed to be correct as of the date of this post, but state laws and statutes can change.  You should also check your state statutes to verify that this information is correct, just to be on the safe side. Even though some states show that making a payment without an acknowledgement does not restart the SOL, to be on the safe side, Don't Make A Payment! Don't verbally or in writing admit that its your debt. Don't reaffirm, especially if you are near, at, or past the SOL. Doing any of these things will make the negative information stay on your credit longer. You're trying to improve your credit, not make it worse, right?

Again, just because you have hit the SOL for an alleged debt, it doesn't mean the lowlife, scumbag, junk debt buyers can't keep hounding you and keep trying to collect. If you are outside of the SOL, you will need to send them that C&D letter to make them go away.  I have a sample of one of the C&D letters I use on the post from April 30th, 2013 titled How To Stop Collectors and Creditors From Calling You. (It will open in a new window if you click this link).  

If you don't mind them calling you multiple times a day or using auto dialers, or any other violation of the FDCPA, FCRA, or TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), you can keep a notebook or log book and start documenting, then hit them with a "Notice of Demand" for their violations, notifying them if they don't remove the negative entries from your credit reports, you will be taking them to court.  There is a procedure for this, but I do have some friends that successfully have made some of them pay them as well as deleting the alleged accounts.

Well, hopefully this information will help you in your fight for better credit reports and good riddance of those pesky collectors.  If you need help with your credit repair, feel free to call or email me. I do respond and answer my phone.  If its a job you don't want to take on by yourself, again, just email or call me. My contact info is Waaaay up there at the top on the right (I know, this is a looooong post!). I would love to help you get the credit report that rightfully belongs to you!

6 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Above comment was not a comment by me. It was a comment by a blogger who also has a credit repair site. His link is disabled. Regardless of the attempted spamming, his comments are correct.

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    2. One more thing about the original commenter, he may have a credit repair site, or he may be trying to promote one here. However, the 3 blogs I do know he has are all sex sites. Greeaat! Yeah, that's what I want linking to my blog. All you porno comment spammers should just hit the road. I have disabled links so it does you NO GOOD!

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My issue with debt settlement is that many times they will not do a Pay For Delete (PFD) so then you just extend the time it can stay on your credit report. Plus, many times the debts that are settled are not yours anyhow because they are 3rd party collections and you don't owe them diddlysquat!

      There's just no sense to me in settling debt. It jacks up your credit report and scores and is a pain in the butt to get off. Plus, depending on how much of a settlement you do, you might and quite often will get slammed with a 1099-C, costing you a lot of money in taxes if you don't know how to fight or dispute that as well.

      Delete
  3. I have actually seen them dummy up a new statement with a current date on it, supposedly from the original creditor, to try to re-age and trick the alleged debtor into giving up and just paying them.

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    ReplyDelete

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