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Statute of Limitations on County Records


fivehua
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I currently have two lawsuits against me (Not judgments), here in Texas. Both are credit cards and it has been over 4 years since the last activity. I DO understand that CA's will continue to attempt to collect, but can I have the lawsuits removed from the courts records since they are both now past the SOL? In fact, I would welcome discussion on settlement without fear of a lawsuit.

Now, something which needs to be said: One Credit Card was opened in 1992 while I was in Georgia. Last activity again, was March 2004. However, Georgia Court of Appeals came out with a decision on January 24, 2008 in Hill v. American Express that in Georgia the statute of limitations on a credit card is six years after the amount becomes due and payable. Please tell me I'm grandfathered! I have been living in Texas since 1997.

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The statute of limitations applies to how long an injured party, in this case a debt holder, has to file a lawsuit...if they wait too long to bring an action, the defendant has an affirmative defense to use...you don't have to prove refute the facts of the case, all you have to show is that the SOL has past and that should get the case dismissed.

If the case ends in a judgment, that judgment will eventually expire although in many states, judgments can be renewed - meaning, they can exist and be acted on for many, many years...sometimes decades.

Living in TX as long as you have, I'm fairly sure the 4 year SOL would apply to you; the key is whether they filed before the 4 years were up.

I'm not sure what you mean when you ask if you can have them removed from the court records - do you mean get the cases dismissed or do you literally mean have them removed from the records as if they were never filed in the first place?

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Robert, they filed the lawsuits, within the first year but did not get judgments. Once I made them validate the debts, they stopped responding. Both appear as cases in Civil court.

I think I want them taken off the county public record that I am being sued for debt.

That is, if the 4 yr SOL applies.

The way I understood it, if the creditor did NOT get a judgment within the 4 yr period, the 4 yr SOL applies.

If this is true, then THEY are SOL (& I dont mean statute of limitation this time).

BTW, does a Summary Judgment from NAF(National Adjudication Forum) count?

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My guess is that you don't really have a complete picture here...a lawsuite has to have an ending; it doesn't just "sit" there for four years - you need to find out exactly what happened.

Did you answer the summons/complaint?

Did you go to court?

If neither, then they likely have default judgments against you.

Another option is that the suites were dismissed.

My point is, they don't just sit there with no resolution and no action.

Your understanding is also wrong as I tried to explain before...all that matters with respect to the SOL is that they FILE befor the SOL expires...they don't have to have the judgment in hand.

As far as the "summary judgment" goes - sounds like a judgment from an arbitration case which they would still have to go through civil court before they could take any action to collect.

I'd advise you to either spend your time looking at the disposition of the suits and/or hire someone to do it for you because you need to know.

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My guess is that you don't really have a complete picture here...a lawsuite has to have an ending; it doesn't just "sit" there for four years

Ummm .... that can happen ... it shouldn't happen, but it can happen. Most courts have time standards for the processing of cases, and for those that aren't moving forward there is dismissal for failure to prosecute unless the plaintiff's attorney can come up with an explanation why it's not moving forward and a promise that it will start moving forward in a reasonable time. But not all courts have 'em, and even for the majority that do have 'em things sometimes get missed ... computers ain't perfect. So these moldy oldies could still be pending.

you need to find out exactly what happened.

I heartily agree.

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I agree with Robert and flacorps. You need to get the status of this from your county records. Go down to your county courthouse and ask for copies of each piece of paper involved, from page 1 to 100. Yes, it will cost you. Once you have this, then come back and let us know what is written, dated, noted, and signed off on. Even if in another state, you must obtain it.

You mention arbitration. Remember, once it becomes "decided" (you lost) and allows for payment, it is now considered a default judgement, which places it in another set of laws entirely. For this, since you are a resident of Texas, would use the Texas laws regarding foreign default judgements. Do realize that even though the arbitration papers may say another state in where decision was made, don't bother trying to vacate or anything by using the county where you live theory, as you will find in the agreement (contract) with the CC compay, it is legal. But, if the judgement was made in a Georgia court venue after you had moved to Texas, this is where you would place your argument for resolving. If it is in a Texas court venue, you will have to rely solely on Texas laws. Do realize the initial filing date will play in this which is what flacorps is referring to as to what must take place, along with the other factors noted. Until known, nothing else will matter.

Again, before you do anything else, you must get the information so it can be determined exactly what is going on and where all stands right now. Until then you are "dead in the water".

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IF there was an arbitration and award, courts typically will uphold it if it is a sound decision from a competent forum ... and courts seldom notice problems in an arbitration award on their own. Assuming the court filings were to confirm an arbitration award, then the court either found the filings sufficient on their face and issued judgments, or the court found some fault with what was filed and held off issuing a judgment until better documentation could be provided. It's possible in the latter situation that the case languished after that because the creditor didn't have some "i" dotted or "t" crossed and never went back to NAF to fix it and never dismissed it with the court either.

You'll have to get into those court files to find out.

When an arbitration award is issued, the onus is typically on the debtor to file a court action within 90 days to overturn it. If the debtor doesn't do that, the case is as good as over.

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Amen to that!

It isn't going to be easy, unless you can show otherwise. Forget the ignorance defense, it won't work. I remember some time back we had someone question their arbitration. I think it had to do with different states, and if it was legal. Something! Either way, I read it, had questions, then had an attorney friend of mine go through it. He found it was perfectly legal. Showed me the necessary proof. Blew me away. I want nothing to do with arbitrations. The short version is the consumer is screwed, no matter what. At least in my eyes.

fla, just thought of another question on this. As to the 90 day window, I would think that since it is now a default judgement, and bound by consumer's state of residence statutes, the window would be the current state's statute, not the state where awarded, if different. True?

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The question of where to file to overturn an arbitration award and on which state's timetable is one that I haven't researched. I'm not sure at all.

As for arbitration always resulting in the consumer taking a scr*wing, I have seen a different result on another board. The consumer argued the statute of limitations in writing, and the arbitrators agreed with the consumer's position and dumped the case. I was astonished when I read this, because there is a well researched article that was published recently in The Florida Bar Journal that argued that there should be no statute of limitations in which to bring an arbitration.

I found the authors' position difficult to accept, but I figured arbitrators would happily accept it in order to better serve the hand that feeds them ... but it appears that they really are making an effort to be impartial and to achieve the same result that a court would.

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WOW! That is a shock based on what I've read here and in talking to so many others away from this site. True, so glad to hear this.

Personally, I can see no possible way for them to ever be able to legally "ignore" the SOL "just because" an arbitration is involved. Either way you look at it, whether in a court of proper jurisdiction, or the forum, and the end result of either's decision, how applicable federal and state laws on SOL can be put aside. To me, this would tell too many that they do not have to abide by any law written if it involves an arbitration. Can you realize the problems that would arise and how far it could be taken? I don't care what the rationale is, it just can't work. All laws must work in unison to assure a fair and just system. Yeah, I know, it is not true in our system today.

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Excellent dicussion guys. I don't want to interupt the flow or thread jack, but I think this is on topic, at least as far as arbitration is concerned:

I agree with the consumer getting the short end in most (if not all) arbitrations, but if you have to sign a "Voluntary" arbitration agreement when hired, can you not "withdraw" from that agreement after you have been hired? And if you are terminated because of withdrawing, would you have a viable action against your employer?

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Excellent dicussion guys. I don't want to interupt the flow or thread jack, but I think this is on topic, at least as far as arbitration is concerned:

I agree with the consumer getting the short end in most (if not all) arbitrations, but if you have to sign a "Voluntary" arbitration agreement when hired, can you not "withdraw" from that agreement after you have been hired? And if you are terminated because of withdrawing, would you have a viable action against your employer?

No..l.I wouldn't think so.

If such an agreement is a condition of employment then it's a condition of employmet; you don't sign you don't get hired...you "withdraw" you get fired. Point being, if you the rules of the job you work somewhere elase (which is completely fair).

CC arbitration agreements are somewhat the same IMHO - no one is required to have a CC so if you don't like the rules of of one card to find one you do like and/or jsut don't have a CC.

I also do like the arbitration concept as it applies to CC with the CC industy paying for it (a huge conflict of intrest). However, I think it also likely that most arbitration cases go against the consummer not because the process is unfair (even though it is) but that at the end of the day, the consummer owes the money! It's only reasonable then, that the arbitrator is going to say so.

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Forget the obligation of the debt for now. My problem with arbitration is that many times the collector stomps all over the rights of the consumer, and the forum does nothing about it. Therefore, the consumer must use the courts for damages. And, most times the debtor does not have the resources to fight, solely due to costs and limits of amount that can be awarded. In short, where is the balance?

In small claims, the consumer can file a Defendant's Claim, which allows it to be heard and decided, all at one time. Therefore, though debt is valid and due, the consumer still wins as their rights have been protected. Even if they had to pay the whole amount, and their only "payment" is a delete of the TL, they still won.

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