Skip to main content

I was issued a credit card from Household bank which hails in Illinois.my last payment was in July of 2009.I now live in Alabama

Heflin, AL |

I recieved a notice from Portfolio LLC for collections.Am I covered by Statue of Limitations here in Alabama ?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You could be sued either where you now live, where you lived when you used the credit card, or, if the contract specifies a place where you can be sued, in that location.

    The applicable sol would be where the lawsuit is brought.

    Hope this perspective helps!


  2. Read the "Cardmember Agreement" or other document containing the terms and conditions which govern the account. It probably designates some other state. Most statutes of limitations applicable to credit card accounts are three years or four years after the date of the last payment. It appears that the original creditor "sold" the account, along with a thousand or more other accounts, to a debt collector for a couple of cents on the dollar. I suggest that you get a copy of your credit report and see who is reporting this account on your credit. You can get a free copy one time each year, or when you are denied credit. Avoid the credit monitoring services which the credit reporting agencies try to sell you. If you settle, you may want the original creditor to agree, as part of the written settlement agreement, to delete the account from your credit reports. You will also need to discuss the issuance of an IRS Form 1099-C. You may be better off not talking with the collectors. If you send them a "cease and desist" letter, they will have to stop calling and dunning you. They only things that they can do are to send you a letter saying that they will not call you, and their attorney may send you a pre-filing letter advising that the attorney will sue. Don't worry if this happens, just see a lawyer.


  3. The statute of limitations is a complicated subject in credit card cases because it may be Alabama law that applies or it may be the law of whatever state is mentioned in the credit card agreement.

    If it is Alabama law, the collection lawyers say 6 years and I say 3 years.

    The more important issue is Portfolio Recovery is a notorious debt buyer -- we sue them regularly in Alabama and just recently received a judgment against them.

    If they sue you they have to prove they own the debt -- hard for them to do apparently as I have never seen them do it.

    But even if outside the statute of limitations, they can still collect against you.

    My suggestion is write to them and let them know you dispute the debt (you have no way of knowing if they truly have the right to collect against you, correct?) and ask them to send you proof that you owe this debt and that they own it.

    Carefully document every communication you have with them -- when you write send it certified mail. Save every voicemail, etc.

    Best wishes -- let me know if you have any other questions or if I did not answer your question.

    John Watts
    Birmingham, Alabama

    No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. I am only licensed in Alabama and no information is intended to be legal advice. Instead, it is simply general education information to help encourage you to speak with a licensed lawyer in your state.