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Roger, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 31770
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My wife bought a small business in 2003 and has paid her ...

Customer Question

My wife bought a small business in 2003 and has paid her phone bill on time every month. She is now being contacted by a collection agency and has received a copy of a bill from 1999 for a phone bill and Phone book bill, stated on bill as final bill. Is she liable to pay. Her last bill shows her as current.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Roger replied 9 years ago.

It is likely that the statute of limitations has run on the collection of this debt. Usually, open accounts have a 3 year statute of limitations. This is the first thing you should check in to. If the time is out, you're not obligated to pay.

Also, you should demand to see an itemization of the amount claimed and the services allegedly rendered.

Roger and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I should have mentioned this is a california business if that helps on the statue of limitations
Expert:  Roger replied 9 years ago.

Sorry it took so long to reply. I just saw the last entry.

In California, an open account that is in writing has a 4 year statute of limitations, and an open account not in writing has a 2 year statute of limitations.

Because you're dealing with a utility, it is likely that she had to sign an turn on agreement or other paperwork. Therefore, she's likely governed by the 4 year statute.