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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 111660
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I have a question regarding debt... I have a question

Customer Question

I have a question regarding debt... I have a question regarding debt collection and mortgage loans. I am receiving calls from Nationwide Credit (for Ocwen) for a past due account for an investment property in Macon, GA. The last payment made on the account
was February 2009. Since then, the property has been vacant and in need of repair. We have tried to negotiate a deed in lieu and short sales since that time. The loan started with Homecomings, then GMAC, then Ocwen, and now Nationwide. Nationwide has sent
settlement offers that I cannot afford. I have tried to negotiate a different amount to no avail. I know that the statute of limitations has run in GA but I would still like to settle the account. How should I approach NCI about statute of limitations and
the settlement? I don't want to inadvertently reset the SOL.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

In Georgia, written contracts have a statute of limitations period of 6 years from the time in which the debt becomes due and payable and the period runs from the date of last payment. See: OCGA 9-3-24. This is unlike an open account, implied promise or undertaking has a statute of limitation of only 4 years. See: OCGA 9-3-25. If the GA 6 year statute of limitations expired, then they cannot sue over the debt. The key under the GA law you cannot give them anything in writing admitting to owing the loan as it could restart the statute of limitations.

You can send them a writing stating that you are writing to inform them the debt is time barred by the statute of limitations and you dispute that the debt is owed by you or is valid, but for the purposes of settlement only you would like to resolve the matter or have them cease and desist contact with you. Make your offer (it is best for a one time payment if possible) and tell them if they refuse to accept then they are to cease and desist communication over the time barred debt which you do not owe and failure to do so will result in you filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and suing them under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for harassment over a time barred debt.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. Over the years, I have submitted settlement offers to them with a hardship letter. This concerns me since you said I shouldn't admit to owing the debt in writing. I'm not sure they keep good records because they always ask for the same information over and over again. Too, they often claim that they have no record of previous offers.I'm going to call them to get a good address to send the letter. When I'm on the phone, should I talk about any settlement or should all communication be in writing?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You should talk settlement on the phone, because the law would not restart the statute of limitations over anything you say on the phone. You would have to say in writing that you admit the debt is your debt.

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