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What is the statute of limitations on debt collection? I was…

What is the statute...

What is the statute of limitations on debt collection? I was contacted by an "attorney" attempting to collect on a credit card debt incurred in 2008. I have no records that this is outstanding, nothing appears on my credit report.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And when did the issue begin?

I am in NY, the attorney is on CA and I was contacted 2 days ago.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

I just returned the call to the representative. I looked through records at home and have no information on this credit card at all.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

The representative told me this had been charged off but this was transferred to this new bank or credit card, collections, not really sure.

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/15/2018
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,610
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. To clarify (as state laws vary on how long a debt may be collected) was the debt incurred in New York?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
the representative advised this was an HSBC account

Thank you.

The statute of limitations for filing a debt collection lawsuit for a "consumer credit transaction" in New York is 6 years, counting from the "date of the default." The "date of the default" is about 30 days after you last made a payment. So for example, if you defaulted in 2009, the statute of limitations would be until 2015. Now, if the creditor was based outside of New York, the statute of limitations could be longer or shorter (though 6 years is generally about the average).

Even if the creditor cannot sue you for the debt, they are still permitted to report it to the credit bureaus and can attempt to collect the debt. If the statute of limitations has run, what you don't want to do is make a payment or enter into an agreement to pay, as doing so can "reset" the statute of limitations all over again, allowing the creditor to potentially file suit.

RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I've clicked the call me button, looking forward to speaking with you shortly.
Phone call session started

The free credit report can be found at annualcreditreport.com

Link to the FTC site that has details all about it can be found here.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has an article on stopping third party debt collectors from contacting you along with sample letters. Lot of good information. You can find that here.

Nice speaking with you!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for your assistance. I received my credit report and this item does not appear on any of the three credit reporting agencies. If I don't call this representative back, what danger am I in that they will file a suit?

Well, the big unknown is we don't know what state this debt was in, but as we discussed, the statute of limitations on credit card debt nationwide is about 6 years (and even if it's slightly longer in some states, this is 2008/2009). So while I cannot guarantee it, I feel confident in saying the statute of limitations has run and they should not sue you. If they do, you can always raise the SOL as an affirmative defense to any legal action.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you.

You are certainly welcome. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
One last question, I just received telephone notification that court papers were attempting to be served in regards ***** ***** situation. What is my course of action at this point?

Wow, that escalated quickly!

Well, if that is true (and you could call the Clerk of the Court in your county --civil division and actually see if they have a case with your name) --I think you have a couple of options. The first would be to fight it if the statute of limitations has run. They shouldn't be suing you if it has.

Alternatively, you could attempt to settle with the debt collector and assuming a settlement is reached, they can dismiss the lawsuit. Be cautious with any settlement agreement however, because as we talked about, it's not uncommon for these settlement agreements to have terms that favor the creditor, and often they will add language that says if you are even one day late on your payment obligation, you consent to an immediate default judgment being entered against you.

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