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SOL Stopping if you move


argento05
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This is State specific. Not all States "toll" the SoL.

Additionally, "tolling" almost always requires the plaintiff creditor to prove you left the area in an attempt to avoid being found by the creditor. It's not automatically granted by the judge.

If you moved out of State and filed a postal forwarding card with the USPS, they cannot claim tolling because by having mail forwarded, they knew where you moved to...so evasion is not provable.

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With regard to the FDCPA I am not aware of any specific case law on SOL tolling. With regard to your question, it was not specific. In some locations the SOL period could change if a debtor relocates to another state with a longer SOL period. Also, it is possible for the SOL period to be tolled when a debtor cannot be located or has ex-patted to a foreign land whereby it would not be possible to effect service of process. Otherwise, it would be possible to incur debts, leave the country or hide for a few years and then reemerge with the argument the statute has expired. AAC routinely notates on CR's "customer cannot be located" when they have not gone anywhere, but simply have not been taking their collection calls. That doesn't fly in court, but what does fly is when a creditor argues the customer (and can provide some proof) has moved somewhere and could not be found after skip-tracing efforts. The argument is that you cannot be served if you cannot be located.

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In the case of debt collectors the FDCPA specifies that they may only sue you in the State in which you live or where the agreement was entered into. If the contract is governed by a venue clause, they can sue you in the State listed in the clause, but it is rather ineffectual.

A seperate section of the FDCPA says that they may not use any unfair means to collect. Some past court cases have established that filing suit in a manner that ensures the consumer will not be able to appear in court to offer up a defense is an unfair act that is prohibited. Further, there is the stumbling block of trying to enforce a foreign judgment. Some States don't recognize foreign judgments at all, while others have a number of restrictions. If memory serves me correctly, Florida does not recognize any foreign judgment where the SoL in the foreign State exceeds Florida's own. (Floridian's that know correct me if wrong).

As a result, the only proper way for a collector to file suit, without triggering liability, is in the State (and county) that the consumer currently lives in.

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