For North Carolina residents with old debts, debt collectors may be unable to sue them to collect on those outstanding balances. This is because debt collectors only have a certain number of years — referred to as the statute of limitations — to sue the debtor and collect. After this period and according to the law, these unpaid debts are considered as being “time-barred” which prevents a debt collector from winning a legal action against a debtor to collect on that debt.
In the state of North Carolina under Section 1-52.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, sets the statute of limitations on debts at 3 years for promissory notes, installment loans, and credit cards. This means that if the creditor is going to sue the debtor, they must take legal action within three years from the date of the last activity or charge on the account. Debtors will want to be careful on knowing and doing the research to know exactly when the last activity has occurred because if there was activity on the account and/or the creditor filed a lawsuit, the statute of limitations may not be expired.
The law in North Carolina states that after the three years has gone by, and if the creditor has not taken action to sue the debtor for the debt, they are barred from filing a lawsuit against the debtor for that money that is owed to them. The debtor should note that they may still call and request a payment but they will not be successful with a lawsuit if the statute of limitations has expired and the debtor has raised that defense in their legal response which requires the debtor named in a lawsuit to file a legal answer with the court and appear in court on the scheduled date to state the defense of the expiration of the statute of limitations and if this defense is not raised the court will most likely rule in favor of the creditor.
If a debtor is sued in court by a creditor that is trying to collect on a time-barred debt they must pay attention and file a response. They should also consider talking to legal consul. The defendent and/or their attorney should tell the court that the debt is time-barred and provide any information that they have that will verify the date of the last payment on that account. The lawsuit will get dismissed by the court if the judge concludes the debt is time-barred. Never ignore the lawsuit because it can result in the debt collector winning a court judgment and the possibility of money being garnished from the debtor’s bank account, paycheck, or tax refund.
Did You Know? Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it is illegal for a debt collector to sue or threaten to sue a debtor on a time-barred debt. For consumers that believe a debt collector has broken this law, they should be sure to file a complaint with the FTC at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1 along with the NC Attorney General at http://www.ncdoj.gov/Consumer/2-2-12-File-a-Complaint.aspx. The debtor may also want to talk to a attorney about bringing their own private action against a debt collector for violating the above act.
InfoAviator Publishing is a organization determined to help consumers facing time barred debt lawsuit activity that are currently residing in the cities and townships of (but not limited to) High Point, New Bern, Winston-Salem, Durham, Matthews, Mint Hill, Chapel Hill, Salisbury, Holly Springs, Burlington, Wake Forest, Monroe, Wilmington, Cornelius, Indian Trail, Shelby, Lumberton, Sanford, Wilson, Rocky Mount, Huntersville, Concord, Havelock, Mooresville, Charlotte, Hickory, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Thomasville, Raleigh, Greenville, Apex, Asheboro, Gastonia, Kannapolis, Kinston, Cary, Statesville, Asheville, Goldsboro, and Garner in the state of North Carolina.