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What is the Statute of Limitations on Debts in Ohio?
The statute of limitations on debt limits how long a creditor can sue you for payment. All consumer debts, from outstanding credit cards to medical bills, have limits on how long creditors can sue you. This limitation prevents you from being sued over old debts, but keep in mind the debt remains on your credit report.
It may sound like all you have to do is wait until the statute of limitations expires to avoid paying your debts, but it’s rarely that simple and you could do incredible harm to your credit rating. If you are having trouble making payments and are being hounded by creditors, who are threatening legal action, reach out to an Ohio consumer law attorney with Luftman, Heck & Associates.
Call (888) 726-3181 for a free consultation. We will review your situation, discuss your options, and find the best way to deal with your debts.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt?
A main purpose of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is to prevent consumers from getting harassed by creditors. One of its key points is that collection agencies are not supposed to threaten legal action on a debt that falls outside the statute of limitations.
A debt that has fallen outside of the statute of limitations quite simply means that it is too old for an agency to sue for a remaining balance. It is important for you to know when your debt has moved into this range. This article will highlight a few key determinants.
Time Limits on Debt Vary by State
States have their own statute of limitations to which creditors must adhere. In Ohio, the statute of limitations is six years for most debts. However, the debt does not expire or disappear until it is paid or resolved. You still owe the debt, no matter how much time passes, which is why it stays on your credit report.
In addition, the time limit stats the day a debt became overdue or the day you last made a payment. The statute of limitations simply limits the amount of time a debt collector may take legal action to collect. These legal actions can result in judgments against you, liens on your property, and wage garnishment.
Due to all the variables involved, it is always best to research the limits on each debt. For example, debts owed to a government, such as child support or taxes, may be collected on regardless of the age of the debt.
Violating the Statute of Limitations
A telemarketer that threatens a lawsuit over a debt that you know to be past the statute of limitations is violating the FDCPA. As a consumer, you have rights, and this kind of harassment is in direct violation of your rights.
Contact your local Attorney General’s office, or file a complaint with the Fair Trade Commission (FTC). Do not make a payment to settle on a debt until you have made absolutely certain that it is still within the statute of limitations.
Making a payment on an expired consumer debt can renew your obligation, giving the debt collector renewed ability to take legal action.
Debt Collector Lawsuits
If a debt collector sues you over a debt that is beyond the statute of limitations, you are still obligated to respond to the lawsuit.
If you receive a summons to appear in court, you should go and make a case that your debt is so old that the statute of limitations has expired. By ignoring a lawsuit and failing to appear, you could face a variety of unfavorable consequences. Collection agencies can be awarded a default judgment.
The court may also grant permission for these agencies to collect the money via wage garnishments or by putting a lien on your personal property. Alternatively, if you and your attorney appear on your scheduled court date to argue the lawsuit, your case may be dismissed.
Have Debt Questions? Contact Our Ohio Consumer Law Attorneys
If you have questions about the statute of limitations or any other aspects of your debt, do not hesitate to contact our Ohio consumer law attorneys. You should not be harassed by debt collectors, and the attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates will make sure telemarketers aren’t violating your rights.
For a free consultation, call us at (888) 726-3181 or contact us online.