Old Debts and Statute of Limitations
Oftentimes our debt settlement attorneys get calls from people who say, “a collection agency is trying to collect a really old debt from me.” It seems that a growing number of collection agencies have begun to specialize in trying to collect on old debts.
Fortunately, Minnesota law limits how long you can be sued for an old debt. If a collection agency is trying to collect old debt from you that is outside of the statute of limitations, we can stop them, and you may even be able to sue them.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Collection of Debt in Minnesota?
If you’re sued for failure to pay a debt, you will be sued for a breach of contract under Minnesota state law, and the lawsuit must be initiated within the statute of limitations for Minnesota. “Statute of limitations” refers to the amount of time a creditor can file a lawsuit against you asking a court to hold you responsible for payment of a debt.
The statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit for breach of contract under Minnesota law is six (6) years. This means that a creditor or debt collector can sue you anytime within six (6) years from the date of your last purchase or last payment, whichever was later. In other words, if a debt collector waits too long to sue a consumer to collect an unpaid balance owed to a creditor, the lawsuit can be dismissed for failure to comply with the statute of limitations.
What Are Time-Barred Debts?
Time-barred debts are debts that a creditor or debt collector failed to initiate legal action on within six (6) years from the date of your last purchase or last payment, whichever was later.
It is important to understand that courts and creditors/debt collectors won’t tell you if the statute of limitations has expired. It is you or your attorney’s responsibility to determine whether the breach of contract legal action is beyond the statute of limitations.
You and your attorney may be required to attend a court proceeding and produce proof that the debt is in fact time-barred, such as showing that the last payment was made six years prior to the date the legal action was initiated.
If I Haven’t Been Sued On A Past Due Debt Within Six Years Of My Last Payment, Does That Mean That I Don’t Have to Pay The Debt?
No. Just because your debt or debts have aged past the six-year statute of limitations does not mean that you will no longer be responsible for payment of such debt or debts. The expiration of the six-year statute of limitations simply means that the creditor or debt collector cannot file a lawsuit against you or get a judgment against you from a court of law.
What Should I Do If I’m Being Sued Or Contacted By A Debt Collector For An Old Debt?
You should immediately contact Fields Law Firm and ask to speak with a Consumer Law Attorney who will advise you of your legal rights, evaluate potential defenses to the lawsuit, and/or inform you if the debt collector has committed violations of state or federal law.
If you are receiving collection calls on old debts, call the debt collection attorneys at Fields Law now. We will review your case with no obligation to hire us and help you understand your options.