In these days of aggressive online shopping and tempting cash back programs, it seems that credit cards have replaced the bald eagle as America’s symbol of freedom. However, with that perceived “freedom” comes things many people don’t think about when making purchase after purchase — the hangover of interest and debt that comes with being a credit card junkie.
Credit card debt in the United States has reached an all-time high of over $1 trillion dollars as of the beginning of 2019. In fact, the average American household that currently carries credit card debt owes just shy of $16,000.
This addiction to credit card usage and the inability to pay off the entirety of the purchase each month leads to growing interest that can quickly become insurmountable debt. This is especially true if your payment habits skew toward the minimum balance payoff each month which makes you the ideal credit card company customer.
When debt becomes so great that your credit score is negatively affected and the stressful realization that you may never get your debt balance to zero becomes overwhelming, there are several defenses that can be of assistance. This is the time to meet with a professional legal debt law firm who can help you understand your right to defend against harassing debt collectors and seek professional legal help involving a debt related lawsuit.
“The most important thing is to not ignore your debt,” explains Chantel Grant, a debt lawsuit specialist and Senior Partner at the GM Law Firm in Boca Raton, Florida. “The first step to solving a debt problem is recognizing that you do, indeed, have a problem. From there, we can help you craft the best strategy to know your rights and fight back to hopefully get debt resolution.”
One such little known position of defense is the statute of limitations clause according to one professional legal counsel with expertise in debt related lawsuits at the GM Law Firm.
Understanding the Credit Card Debt Statute of Limitation Laws
Statute of limitations varies from state to state but applies to many legal scenarios. In the case of credit card debt, the law governs the length of time a credit card company can sue a debtor for non payment of an outstanding line of debt.
This statute can be verified by requesting a debt verification letter from the creditor or collection agency. By law, they must deliver the letter to help you determine the time frame for collection.
Once verified, the statute of limitations time frame will vary from state to state. It will often be anywhere from three to ten years. One of the keys to understanding the time frame is knowing exactly when the debt was deemed active. A legal expert can intercede on your behalf to speak with creditors for determination of when the clock began. You may actually find that the statute began later than originally thought which will work in your favor.
Any sort of debt resolution or negotiation cannot begin until the statute of limitations has been confirmed for your debt. Once established, a debtor will have a better chance of debt resolution with the statute of limitations defense if the right amount of time has passed.
Let’s be clear. Even when proven that the credit card debt is outside the statute of limitations doesn’t mean the debt suddenly goes away. The debt is technically still owed, and you will still need to negotiate a debt settlement, but will now do so from a greater strength position as the limitations expiration limits the creditor’s ability to use the court to force you to pay the debt.
If, in the worst case scenario, the courts do intercede, do get experienced and professional help with your debt lawsuit.
Can I Be Sued for a Debt After the Statute of Limitations Has Passed?
The statute of limitations restricts the time a creditor or collector can sue an individual over an outstanding debt balance. Some debt collectors may try to sue you even after the statute of limitations has passed with the hope that you’re unable to prove that the debt is no longer legally enforceable claiming their records are different from yours. There are also strategically legal ways to defend against harassing debt collectors which can provide yet another avenue of defense.
If you are sued for a debt after the statute of limitations has run out, seek help from a legal professional for additional protection and who can defend your case with proof that the time period has passed.
If your credit card debt is indeed past the statute of limitations, try to keep your debt balance as low as possible. This would be the optimal time to consult with a debt law firm to try to negotiate a payoff amount to close the collection attempt.
Whatever you do in all cases of debt, do not under any circumstances simply ignore the situation.
If you start becoming delinquent on debt payments or skip several altogether, a whirlwind of negative financial issues will lurk on the horizon. Your credit score will suddenly plummet and will affect your financial situation for the rest of your life when it comes to purchases. After months of non-payment has passed, the credit card company can revoke your credit access and then hand your delinquency to a third-party collection agency who may be unscrupulous and will be even more dogged and determined to collect the debt by almost any means necessary.
No matter the strategy in dealing with credit card debt, it’s important to be proactive rather than reactive in dealing with the issue. A credit card debt professional legal team can help you distinguish between the lines of defense in fighting back. Always consult with experts to gain awareness of your rights and hopefully resolve the debt and keep your credit score intact.