Can a credit card company come after me for money owed after 10 years? 12 Answers as of February 27, 2011

In 2001 I had a credit card with a balance that I didn't pay off. Now a lawyer is contacting me over and over telling me that I owe $2,463.71. Can the credit card company still come after me even though it's been 10 years?

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The Orantes Law Firm
The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
Yes. The statute of limitations is an affirmative defense that must be raised on time in an answer to a complaint, which many people fail to do, perhaps because it is so expensive to pay an attorney to defend you in a collection lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
In California the statute if limitatuions is 4 years from the last time you make charge or payment. So you can laugh and hang up.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2011
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
They can ask you to pay voluntarily but most likely the statute of limitation bars the attorney and/or creditor from filing a lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/25/2011
Mercado & Hartung
Mercado & Hartung | Stephanie Hartung
It depends. A debt collector can try & collect from you at anytime when the debt is due. However, they cannot file suit against you if the statute of limitations has lapsed. The statute of limitations on collecting a debt in WA is 3yrs on an oral contract and 6yrs on a written contract. The statute starts when the debt becomes due, or in other words, usually 30 days from the last payment date. If you made a pmt w/in the 10yrs, it could be possible that you restarted the statute of limitations and can collect on the debt. Otherwise, the attorney might be trying to get you to voluntarily pay and that is legal. If you decide to voluntarily pay, you will also run the risk of restarting the statute of limitations.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/25/2011
Ferguson & Ferguson
Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
Yes, although many judges throw those cases out because of the time.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 2/25/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    No, they cannot.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    The statute of limitations on a debt is 4 years from the date of the last payment that you made. If more time than this has passed, the debt is not enforceable in court. However this does not mean that it will not show up on your credit report.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Law Office of Larry Webb
    Law Office of Larry Webb | Larry Webb
    First, make sure you are talking to an attorney who is licensed to practice in your state. Often someone will say they are calling from an attorney's office when in fact they are just working a phone bank somewhere. Then check the statute of limitations for your state. Most likely the statute of limitations is going to be 4 years, based on a written contract. Statute of limitations for collecting a judgment is 10 years in California. HOWEVER, collectors will try to trick you to reaffirm the debt and start the collection process over again. More likely than not the credit card company sold this debt ten years ago.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    The Statute of Limitations prevents them from suing you IF no payment has been made or any charges have been made for 3 years. They can still call you, but they can't sue you for the debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Check your individual state's statute of limitations on that.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Law Office of David P. Farrell
    Law Office of David P. Farrell | David Farrell
    If the credit card company previously sued you and obtained a judgment against you, then yes. If, however, you quit paying 10 years ago and the creditor never did anything about it until now, in California, you would have a statute of limitations defense against any action for breach of contract to collect the balance owed. If the creditor does have a judgment against you and is seeking to collect on it, call them and make payment arrangements.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    Yes. A credit card company can come after you for money that you have owed for 10 years. However, you may have a complete defense to any lawsuit to collect this ten year old debt from you. This defense is called the Statute of limitation. The Statute of limitations is different in different states and for different causes of action. Each credit card has a written agreement that sets forth which state law applies. In California, the statute of limitations for breach of a written contract is 4 years. 10 years is more than 4 years. Accordingly, there is an excellent chance that you may have a complete defense to any lawsuit brought by the credit card company to collect from you. Please note that the statute of limitations is an affirmative defense that you must raise if you are sued. If you let the matter go by default, you could still lose and end up with a judgment against you even though you had a good statute of limitations defense that you never asserted. For specific advice about your specific matter, call me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
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