Is there a statute of limitations on collecting a debt?

Asked over 5 years ago - Greensboro, NC

I had a credit card that was supposed to be paid through a debt management company. The company told me that the debt was paid. I was under the impression tha the debt was paid. It never showed on my credit and over that period I have bought 2 houses and gotten other credit cards and loans. Now here we are 10 years later and I get a summons, stating that I still owe the credit card company $3500. What can I do?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. David Alexander Phipps

    Contributor Level 12

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . Here is a website that says the statute of limitation for credit card debt is three years in North Carolina. I didn't check the law itself, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of the website:
    http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cc/20040116b2....

    There are four traps to watch out for:
    First, in some states the statute of limitations clock stops running during periods when the defendant is out of state. I don't know about North Carolina's law on that point.

    Second, it is possible that you waived the statute of limitations in your contract.

    Third, the statute of limitations is an affirmative defense. That means that it is not automatic. You must plead the defense affirmatively in your first responsive pleading in the case. If you don't, the defense is lost. If this is a small claims case and if you won't be filing anything in writing, don't forget to mention the statute of limitations as soon as it is your turn to talk.

    Fourth, the statute of limitations can start over if you make a payment and in some states, if you acknowledge the debt.

    This answer must not be relied on as legal advice for the reasons posted here: http://davidphipps.com/docs/Disclaimer.doc . And I am not your attorney.

    David

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