Statutes of limitations are laws that set the time limits a debt collector has to file suit against you for an outstanding debt; once this time limit ends, no suit can be filed against you, and the outstanding debt must be deleted. If the creditor does not commence legal proceedings, and the stipulated time elapses, the debt collector shall not be allowed by the law to file ever again.
It subsequently means that the debtor shall be deemed, in law, as not owing the creditor or (better still) as having already paid off the debt.
The amount of time within which a creditor must place a case in court against his debtor varies with each and every state. In some instances, a creditor may be allowed to file up to the fourth year after the consumer defaulted. In the majority of states, a creditor has the right to sue the debtor until the sixth year of the dispute.
Many debt collection agencies, however, seem to disregard the statute of limitation by going ahead & seek debt repayments long after the debt’s time limit expires. Despite this, the only thing a debt collector (or collection agencies)can do, is request you to pay the debt; but they have no power under law to sue you for failing to pay, as the debt had already expired, and (subsequently) the debt they are asking for, is no longer recognized by the law. To learn more about how to use the Statute of Limitations to your advantage, go to this website.
After the time has expired, and you are sure that you are free from court proceedings, take special care not to recommit to the creditor again, on that same debt – as doing so is quite possible, and the law allows the debt to renew. Avoid signing anything your creditor may bring you and avoid his calls, as he may attempt to make you enter into some new agreement(s).
In short, after statutory time has elapsed, act like you never knew your debtor! At this point, the debt collector cannot claim to be your creditor – and he knows it. However, they will try their best to have you pay them back. Ask a lawyer, before going ahead and entering into any contract with the same creditor, in the event you have to.
What is good about the statutes of limitations is that they do not outlaw methods employed by debtors to avoid paying off the debts. In other words, the same offense that would normally get you thrown in jail, no longer applies once the statue of limitations expire – no one is taken to prison for failing to pay their debts. If a collection agency attempts to file suit or get you to pay for a debt after it expires, they have committed a violation of your consumer rights, also know as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Once this violation is committed, the debt collectors must pay the consumer $1000, for every violation it commits. Note that different debts are time-barred differently, according to the contract that brought forth the agreement. Some contracts are very categorical when it comes down to where the parties may sue. Some even go ahead to provide more time than reserved in the statutes of limitation (for that state).
Others contracts state, directly, that statutes of limitation shall not be applied, and that only the terms in the contract are valid – in such an event, a party to the specific contract cannot deviate from the express provisions in that contract. To find out other ways to structure a contract, visit this website.
In order for you to find out the statute of limitation in a given state, you need to establish when the debt became due. The courts have ruled that, in the event that a debt account has been open, the statute of limitations start to operate as soon as the first payment is entered. Also realize, that different contracts operate differently, under the state in which they are employed.
You should, therefore, educate yourself and make it your business to utilize the appropriate legal instrument your circumstance may require. Generally, the statutes of limitations range from three to over ten years. However, you can always seek counsel from a lawyer, in case you are not sure what the statutes are in for your state.