If I defaulted on a credit card more than 10 years ago, can a collection agency still take me to court to collect? 13 Answers as of March 21, 2011

If I defaulted on a credit card more than 10 years ago, can a collection agency still take me to court to collect?

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Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
In California the answer is no. If they are threatening you, you should see a lawyer who specializes in unfair debt collection. You have have a right to sue them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2011
Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
It depends on the statue of limitations in your State. In Illinois it is 20 years. As a practical matter, it is rare for a creditor to pursue collection 10 years after the debt has been incurred.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/17/2011
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
The statute of limitation probably has run which prohibits the creditor from collecting on the debt by filing a lawsuit. Do not make any payment on this card because once you pay, the statute of limitation tolls again.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/17/2011
Law Office of Harry L Styron
Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
Assuming you're in California, the statute of limitations on collecting that kind of debt is 4 years from the last payment you made. If more time than that has elapsed, a court proceeding would be dismissed upon filing a motion that the statute of limitations had run.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/17/2011
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
The statute of limitations probably applies, but it is an affirmative defense that you would have to raise after the suit was initiated.
Answer Applies to: South Dakota
Replied: 3/17/2011
    The Law Office of John T. MacDonald Jr., PLLC
    The Law Office of John T. MacDonald Jr., PLLC | John MacDonald Jr.
    It depends. Debts that old may not be worth it to the collection agency to go after. However, it would be in your best interest to seek the advice of a debt relief attorney. If I can be of help please feel free to give me a call.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    In Tennessee the statute of limitations is six years.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes. It is up to the judge if they allow them collect a debt that old. Call an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    The Statute of Limitations on a credit card is 3yrs from the last payment date on an oral contract, and 6yrs on a written contract in WA. A signed application is sufficient for a written contract. If an application cannot be provided, statements showing you made payments will be sufficient for a contract and the 3yr statute of limitations applies. It is a violation of the FDCPA to file suit on a time-barred debt. However, the creditor may still try & collect from you but again, may not file suit if the statute of limitations has lapsed. If you make a payment, you will restart the Statute of Limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    It's probably past the statute of limitations, but it really depends on the laws of whatever state govern your contract with them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    It depends on what the statute of limitations is on collecting debts in the state that you reside and whether or not you have ever acknowledged the debt or made any payments. Any payments made or acknowledgment of the debt will re-start the statute of limitations on collecting. Please note that they may sue anyway but the Statute of Limitations is a solid defense if you meet the standard of the Statute of Limitations in your state.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Law Office of David P. Farrell
    Law Office of David P. Farrell | David Farrell
    They can try, but you probably have a good statute of limitations defense. If they sued you, they would probably sue you for breach of written contract for failure to pay. In California, generally speaking, actions on written contracts have to be brought within 4 years. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Consult with an attorney, but do not ignore the lawsuit if in fact you get sued.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    They can and they do. Even though they may do it, it does not mean they will prevail if you defend and raise the statute of limitations against the complaint. However, many people default on lawsuits filed by credit card companies, especially because it is very expensive to hire a lawyer to defend a simple credit card collection lawsuit. In some instances, which you should explore with your bankruptcy attorney, it may be more cost-efficient to file a bankruptcy case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2011
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