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legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
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What is the statute of limitation on collecting a debt once

Customer Question

What is the statute of limitation on collecting a debt once someone has passed away in Virginia?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

Is the decedent's estate being probated?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That I am unaware of. I represent a medical transportation company and am attempting to collect a debt for services rendered. The executor of the estate feels the statute of limitation is one year, which has since expired. However, from what I have found online, there is actually a 5 year statute in Virginia. I am unable to locate the actual statute in the Code of Virginia to quote.
Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

So for a breach of written contract, the statute is 5 years; oral contracts are 3 years; the death of a person results in the statute of limitations being the applicable statute, or 1 year from date of death, whichever is later.

Please see:

Section 8.01-229 (here: http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title8.01/chapter4/section8.01-229/)

2. Death of person against whom personal action may be brought.

a. If a person against whom a personal action may be brought dies before the commencement of such action and before the expiration of the limitation period for commencement thereof then a claim may be filed against the decedent's estate or an action may be commenced against the decedent's personal representative before the expiration of the applicable limitation period or within one year after the qualification of such personal representative, whichever occurs later.

§ 8.01-246. Personal actions based on contracts.

Subject to the provisions of § 8.01-243 regarding injuries to person and property and of § 8.01-245 regarding the application of limitations to fiduciaries, and their bonds, actions founded upon a contract, other than actions on a judgment or decree, shall be brought within the following number of years next after the cause of action shall have accrued:

1. In actions or upon a recognizance, except recognizance of bail in a civil suit, within ten years; and in actions or motions upon a recognizance of bail in a civil suit, within three years, omitting from the computation of such three years such time as the right to sue out such execution shall have been suspended by injunction, supersedeas or other process;

2. In actions on any contract which is not otherwise specified and which is in writing and signed by the party to be charged thereby, or by his agent, within five years whether such writing be under seal or not;

3. In actions by a partner against another for settlement of the partnership account or in actions upon accounts concerning the trade of merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors, or servants, within five years from the cessation of the dealings in which they are interested together;

4. In actions upon any unwritten contract, express or implied, within three years.

http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title8.01/chapter4/section8.01-246/

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

Hi- just checking in to see if you needed clarification on any of the above information. If so please post here (there is no additional charge for this) and I will do my best to get you the requested information.

Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if I am reading this statute correctly, as this gentleman has passed away (14 months ago), we can no longer pursue any type of debt collection from his estate.
Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

The statute states that the debt is time barred 1 year from the date of death, or when the statute of limitations on the claim expires-whichever is later:

"If a person against whom a personal action may be brought dies before the commencement of such action and before the expiration of the limitation period for commencement thereof then a claim may be filed against the decedent's estate or an action may be commenced against the decedent's personal representative before the expiration of the applicable limitation period or within one year after the qualification of such personal representative, whichever occurs later."

8.01-246 has a 5- 10 year statute of limitations for contracts

kindly rate positively if no further questions.

Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

Hi- just checking in to see if you needed clarification on any of the above information. If so please post here (there is no additional charge for this) and I will do my best to get you the requested information.

Thank you!