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What State's SOL applies to You move to another State?


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I currently live in Ohio where the SOL for credit card debt is 15 years. My bad debt is just at 6 years now. During the past six years, I also lived in S.C. for a year. I am contemplating a move in the next 2 months for employment purposes. If I stay in Ohio I have to do a BK it looks like.

HOWEVER, what if I move...to say Maryland (one of the states I have an employment offer)

Can anyone verify that Maryland's SOL is 3 years? And how long would it then take after taking residence there for their statutes to be applicable to me?

Instantly? One year? Another 3 years? (which is still better than 10 years plus the raking my credit score will take) Having a BK was hell for a borrower even WHILE the banks were just giving loans away to anyone, so I can only imagine how it would affect my borrowing status with the banks the way they are now.

I have family in S.C., Florida, N.C., and Maryland. I can reside in any of these states. I will be incorporating or going into an LLC for an internet business, so place of residence doesn't matter too much to me. Getting the BEST 2nd start I can does.

Thanks for any information you have to share!

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When you say 15 years for SOL in ohio, what type of debt are you talking about. If it is a credit card debt there are cases in Ohio that have used the 4year sol and the 6 year sol.

Have you been served yet? If you have not been served and move to say Maryland, and they seve you in Ohio the summons will come back undeliverable. Yo just needto stay on top of the docket in the ohio courts and make sure they don't get a default judgement on you.

Again to provide you with more info we have to know exactly what type of debt it is!!

Hope that helps a little, SOL's can be tricky!!

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There is no simple answer to your question. The answer depends on the exact wording of the statutes in the two states combined. Only an attorney knowledgeable in collection law in the new state can answer the question with any authority.

Some states have what is called a "borrowing statute". That means the SOL is borrowed from that state you came from. Other states have very specific residency standards before a newly imported person can gain avoid a longer SOL from the old state.

My personal opinion is that you are thinking wrong about bankruptcy. In my view, recovery from bankruptcy is often quicker than just dodging and hoping to avoid being sued by a bunch of old problems. A judgment will hurt you much much more than a bankruptcy.

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wiser now is correct. There is no easy answer about state's SOL and moving. Borrowing statue plays a huge part.

I defaulted on alot of my debts while I lived in Louisiana. When I moved to Ohio...a lot of them started back up again. It's been a pain dealing with them.

Here's a good site that tells you about SOL's and different state laws.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Wiser Now...I'm not really looking to run, I may be moving for a new job soon...and I just started to come under the opinion that I am actually past the point of a BK being better for me than standing pat. My credit scores are actually back over 670, and again, my debts are past 6 years old. The scores will only increase in the next couple of months because the negatives are due to come off my credit reports in the next 6 months. Just trying to make sure I don't do anything too hasty in going forward with the BK.

Thanks again everyone.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Does SOL reset back to year one every time you change states? If the debt is older than the SOL in any of the state laws is it actionable?

The answer is very complicated and depends on the laws of all the states involved. You really need a lawyer to figure this out. If anyone here tells you the "know" the answer, they are blowing smoke -- unless, of course, if they have been in your exact and identical set of states and facts and either hired a lawyer or got nailed in court. They then know the answer. Maybe.

Your comments indicate some rather basic misunderstandings. Unless you live in MS or WI (and one other odd state I cannot recall) a debt never dies. It can be collected forever. You can be sued after the SOL has expired. The SOL is merely an affirmative defense to the lawsuit. Also, the defense is a "use it or lose it" proposition. If you are sued and fail to assert your defense and a judgment is awarded -- tough luck. Never ignore a summons.

IL has the longest SOL in the nation -- 15 years. If you live in IL today, you will be sued in IL and the IL judge will understand IL law and likely not understand how an SOL borrowing statute works. You can count on the fact that the plaintiff's lawyer will be telling the judge "it makes no difference". You will have to be prepared to "prove" to the judge that the SOL has expired.

It stinks but that is the way the system works.

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One website claims 15 for Ohio, not Illinois. I won't pretend to opine on Illinois's statute, however there are a great many things that can affect which SOL a court sitting on a debt case involving a debtor who moved into the state will apply.

- Borrowing Statute (state may "borrow" other state's SOL in some cases)

- Fact that SOL ran in the prior state before debtor moved to new state

- Statute similar to Oregon's that applies the forum state's SOL when the foreign state's SOL would be too short or too long (call it a "reverse borrowing" statute)

- "Choice of Law" state applying the SOL of the situs that governs the contract

- "Conflict of Laws" principles

- "Comity" principles

- Whether the state clings to the view that SOL statutes are procedural law or is part of the shift toward the view that SOLs are substantive law. States follow their own procedural law in their own courtrooms, but if the law is viewed as substantive the court will apply the other state's law.

- Whether the choice of law provision in the contract creates an ambiguity about which state's SOL should apply that should be resolved against the drafter (the creditor) to give the debtor the benefit of the shortest one in the mix.

It is usually possible to deduce from statutes and case law what result a court should reach. It is never guaranteed that any particular judge will get it right, even if shown the right path in a well reasoned memorandum of law with impeccable citations to bulletproof authority.

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