You are here:

Collections Law/Credit card Debt , etc

Advertisement


Question
Hello....I have credit cards in collections. The SOL in NH is 3 years, the SOL has passed, the cards are 6 years old. If SOL has passed, and if I am summoned to court, I need to bring proof the SOL has passed and a judgement for repayment can not be made ?
Is that true? Also my reports state the collection dates will fall off September of next year , 9/14, so I have a year and 1/2 and then my report will not show these and show a clean report. if they do not drop off , I can write a letter asking/demanding them to remove , negative stays on for 7 years in NH, excluding bankruptcy.      Am I correct thus far?     If the SOL has passed, and a court can not order me to repay, how does a collections try to collect? Is it the scare tactic? The demanding letters, phone calls, etc and if I fall into that trap the SOL restarts?         I can also write a letter asking to stop sending letters , after the SOL , cease and desist I think?     If that is the case, then how in the world can they possibly collect after the 3 yr SOL ?    if they cant take me to court and I write requesting to cease and desist? How on earth can they even contact me ?

Answer
The Statute of Limitations (SOL) is a defense against a lawsuit - it does not prevent being sued, it is merely a reason why the Court should not grant a Judgment. You would have to answer the complaint and claim SOL as a defense. You would prove it in a pre-trial process called "Discovery" where you would require, under Court order, that the plaintiff give you a posting history of the account they are suing over. If the last payment was made long enough ago for the SOL to have expired, then the Judge should dismiss the suit.

How can they collect? The obvious answer would be to trick you into reaffirming the debt, which would re-start the SOL clock. You can reaffirm the debt in many States by simply agreeing that you owe it, so deny owing it at all times. Other than that, just annoying you would be their other option.

Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires derogatory credit lines to be removed from your credit bureau file after 7 years. If they don't do it, you can sue the Credit Bureau. If the creditor changes the "Status Date" to lengthen the 7 years you can sue under FCRA and Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

FDCPA allows you to tell them to Cease & Desist from contacting you and if you invoke that they may contact you ONCE more- to tell you what their next step will be.

By the way - even threatening to sue on an Out of Statute debt is a FDCPA violation. I suggest you pay a visit to a board I set up some years ago which will show you how to recognize violations of FCRA and FDCPA and how to sue. It is www.debtorboards.com and is totally free.

Collections Law

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Steve Katz

Expertise

Debt Collection, Credit Reporting, FCRA, FDCPA, TCPA issues

Experience

Founder of Debtorboards, co-author of Debtsmanship, former Collector, Credit Counselor

Education/Credentials
MBA

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.