Payday loan collectors are known to lie about everything and anything if it can scare you into paying. Sounds like it might be working with you. Keep accurate records of every call time, who you talk to and what they say. If this is a collection agency, they are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). You need to find an attorney that specializes in these cases - often there are no up front fees - the FDCPA allows for the creditor/collector to pay the attorney fees - and you will get specific instructions to prepare for a suit against the collector.
I could not say about the SOL.
About service, in theory it can happen at any place you may be. But dramatic personal service by a process server is more of a divorce maneuver than a collections case occurance. Rather, many collections are served by sheriff at the defendant's abode (home) or by first class mail in some cases. Perhaps, with a simple call to a small claims court clerk there in your county, you might ask how most collection lawsuits are served and one of the staff could tell you.
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Being served is not big deal. A person shows up and once you identify yourself by your legal name then they hand you papers and walk away.
It's not nearly as exciting as the guy on the current television show.
If you receive a phone call (or see a business card) from a person claiming that he/she is trying to serve you legal papers then arrange to meet them in a public place - such as a restaurant to be served. It takes less than 2 minutes. You identify yourself and they hand you the papers. You "accept" them by reaching out your hand and walking away with the papers. Read the papers after you get back into your car. You don't need to read them when they go into your hands.
The person serving you is just an employee that is getting paid to hand you the papers. He/she will file papers with the court testifying under oath that they "served" you the papers.
Remember, after you have been served you then need to do something or you will lose your lawsuit!
Many times a constable may try to serve you papers. Again, they will work with you to serve you at home or in a public place if you are willing to take the papers without a "big scene" or avoid accepting the papers.
Professional process servers don't get paid until they serve you so they want to give you the papers as quickly as possible and as easily as possible. Also, they don't want to get shot or have a dog bite them so they like to meet people in public places because it is also safer for them.
Lastly, remember the person serving you is not suing you -- they are just "delivery men" so don't get mad at them -- just take the papers then so see a lawyer to defend yourself.